Monday, April 06, 2009

“One Giant Leap” at Merrick Jewish Center
Storah on the Road
By Jess Lenza

On Sunday (3/28), Isadore Alexander Wolfson and I, Jessica Lenza, performed the Storahtelling classic, One Giant Leap, at the Merrick Jewish Center. The community couldn't have been more gracious and welcoming! Considering how well loved this endearing show is, Alex and I had a high standard to live up to as first time Leapers. The script explores the experience of Nachshon Ben Amindav, a midrashic character the Rabbis say was the first person to step into the Sea of Reeds. Alex masterfully wielded our blue Nachshon puppet and I joyfully played guitar as Miriam. The children and families were very involved in the story.

Before One Giant Leap, members from the Solomon Schechter School choir performed Passover songs, including, I'm told, a parody of a Hannah Montana song. These students participated wholeheartedly in the talk back we had following the performance. This was an opportunity for audience members to ask us questions about the story we told or how we had told it. The children were particularly interested in our puppet Nachshon. They wanted to know how he worked and how he was made. They also wanted to know if the story was "real" and if the people we mentioned were "real". I think this is a common concern for an age group that already has a permeable barrier between reality and imagination. From their questions and comments, it was clear that they related to Nachshon's stuggle to be brave and Miriam's commitment to freedom. It was a great way to experience the Passover story in an interactive and introspective environment.

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