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High School Girls to Perform 'A Light for Greytowers' on Tuesday

Wednesday, 21 February, 2018 - 9:38 pm

The Theatre Arts Program at Hebrew Academy of Orange County is excited to present this year’s annual high school girls’ performance. The annual performance allows young theater enthusiasts to share their passion for the arts with their peers and the opportunity to perform or work backstage. Based on A Light for Greytowers, this year’s performance will be taking place this upcoming Tuesday on February 27th at Hebrew Academy of Orange County (HAOC).

Light for Greytowers.jpg

The girls’ involvement with putting on the annual production is “one of the most important projects done all year,” according to Chedva Aben-Moha, who, along with Devorah Serraf, runs the production, with the help of Rochel Leah Stillerman, the school’s director of student life, and Rabbi Yossi Rapoport, the school’s upper school Judaic vice-principal. The production is “about letting each individual use and show their incredible strengths. It’s a fun way to disconnect from all the stress and let it out.”

 For the seven weeks beginning in mid-January through the end of February, all of the HAOC high school girls are quite involved with the production. “We gave each girl in high school a job to be involved with in production - for example, props, costumes, or tech,” says Aben-Moha. “If they are not involved in the live production, itself, they are the ones finding the costumes for each character, finding props for each scenery, or finding the music for certain scenes of painting the scenery. Every girl has a job for this production.”

One girl who has a significant and involved role in this year’s production is 11th grader Shaina Leventhal, who is the head of make-up for the production. While seniors typically are in charge of departments, Leventhal got a rare opportunity to be in charge of make-up last year as a 10th grader, as well, which has provided a learning experience for this year’s production. “Last year, I definitely underestimated the time I needed,” Leventhal notes. “This year, I finally figured out who is in what and what they are wearing - make-up and costuming.”

Leventhal will, fortunately, not be putting on all of the make-up on the day of the performance; she will have a couple of girls helping her out. Moreover, make-up is not her only responsibility for the performance, as she will be performing in the production, as well. Leventhal says the production has been great for learning about budgeting both time and money. This budgeting experience is not limited to just the make-up department, as she observed, “They’re very good at being efficient with using props from previous years.”

For their time and energy, they gain something out of it: “The girls enjoy this time of year so much, for it gives them the opportunity to show off their talents,” say Aben-Moha. It seems to be paying off: “As the weeks go by, I see the girls getting more and more comfortable getting into their characters.”

“The story focuses on the importance of Shabbat,” says Aben-Moha, “and we found that the girls can really relate to this beautiful topic.” A Light for Greytowers, released in 2007, was the first feature-length musical film made exclusively for women and girls (ages 8 and over) and has played worldwide, as well as receiving international press acclaim. Set in Victorian England, Greytowers tells the saga of a Russian Jewish girl abandoned in an English orphanage who is at the mercy of its cruel matron, who tries to prevent her from observing her religion. The girl remains true to her faith, and inspires friends in the orphanage. Based on the much-loved young adult novel by the same name, this musical adventure celebrates faith and the power a mother has to instill Torah values in her child.

Tickets are $15 at the door and only $10 when you purchase them in advance. You can purchase tickets in advance at the HAOC office or online here. If you are interested in being an event sponsor, which comes along with a reserved seat, you may do so for $36, which can be done either at the office or online. The performance is only available for women and children (and boys under the age of 9).


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