Signs of Life was commissioned by Virginia Spiegel Criste. Esq. to honor the memory of her paternal grandparents who were imprisoned at Terezin before being transported to Auschwitz where they perished. There were several developmental readings beginning in June 2003 at New York University. The first full-scale production was at the Village Theater in Issaquah, WA, the regional theater that launched several Tony-award winning musicals including Next to Normal. In 2010 Amas Musical Theatre, New York City's premier company dedicated to developing multicultural works and the Village Theatre were awarded a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to present a limited Off-Broadway run. The show was accompanied by talkbacks with Holocaust survivors, all of whom were visibly moved by what they had seen and heard on stage. Joan Liman, MD, then-president of the Amas board of directors, was inspired by their reactions to reach out to colleges and universities with musical theater departments to encourage them to mount student productions of Signs of Life on campus which would be open to theatergoers in the community. An abbreviated version at American University (AU) in 2012, under the direction of Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian, Professor of Theater, was the first such offering. Dr. Mardirosian arranged for the AU students to reprise the show at the annual conference of the International Psychoanalytical Association in Prague in the summer of 2013. During their stay, the cast and production crew toured Terezin where they were granted exclusive access to the Attic Theater in the camp's Magdeburg barracks and did an impromptu rehearsal. Afterwards, they received the following e-mail message from Tereza Bruchova, the troupe's Czech tour guide: "The trip to Terezin with you was a whole different type of experience for me, thank you! I was thinking how amazing it would be if you could actually perform the piece in the Attic Theatre...for [the ] public. What a transforming experience. Once all the witnesses of the holocaust atrocities are gone, this might be a poignant and powerful way to disclose the truth to the young generation." In September 2013, Virginia and Joan partnered to do a commercial run of the show at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater. This was followed by an invitation from the Florida Holocaust Museum in Tampa to present scenes and songs from the show at a conference of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, which was held at the museum in June, 2014. It was a pivotal point in the show's "odyssey" as it proved Signs of Life could be successfully mounted as an educational offering to tour non-theatrical venues throughout the world such as museums, houses of worship, community centers, etc. A decision was then made to create a concert version for just such a purpose; it was completed in late 2018. Both the full-length book musical and the concert version without intermission are available for licensing through the Susan Gurman agency (www.gurmanagency.com).