This February we held our first ever play for children in English in Tel Aviv - "Luna" by Ramon Esquivel. According to our young but mighty audience and their parents, it was a true success!
Let’s start at the beginning… In the middle of 2018, we ran a “Run Your Own Project” Contest looking for the next Big Idea. We were quite impressed with a video pitch by Abraham Benson-Goldberg, that declared “Taking risks is hard to do, but taking risks builds courage too”. The ‘risk’ he wanted to take: Bring high quality theater in English to children in Israel.
As we were looking for new endeavors, new people, new projects, Abraham’s project, LUNA, was one of the winning ideas. (In case you're a curious little cat, here is Abraham's contest entry). Having never done a play for children in English in Tel Aviv, we were excited to take on this project.
So Abraham went to work and gathered a great creative team including Hannah, the costume and set designer; Max for sound and light; Megan for fundraising; Shelly for Marketing; Zack as an Assistant Director. Abraham set up auditions and by the end of November he had a great cast together that was passionate to bring this children's play to the Tel Aviv stage. The only missing piece was a producer to help him on the organizational side. Lucky for him, he found Valeriya who took on the position as Producer at full speed.
But what is LUNA? Luna is the Spanish word for Moon. The play is about a girl named Soledad who is the daughter of migrant farm workers. Because her family follows the harvest, they never stay in one place very long. Moving around a lot, it is hard for Soledad to make friends: her only friend is Luna, the moon. Soledad dreams of more and with advice and encouragement from Luna, Soledad learns that “taking risks is hard to do, but taking risks builds courage too,” and with that as her motivation, she is able to make not one, but two new friends!
LUNA, by playwright Ramon Esquivel, is a play about family, friendship, and the ways in which our differences are what make us most like one another.
There were several magical moments during the 3 shows that ran in the middle of February at Beit Yad Labanim in Tel Aviv. One was definitely when the kids in the audience took on the role of the stars, interacting with the actors and delivering Soledad’s message to Luna. The meet-and-greet with the cast and “Selfie time” after the show was a meaningful, fun experience for actors and kids alike. This post-show interaction was especially different from adult shows we’ve produced in the past. We watched as kids came to say hello to the character’s they’d fallen in love with over the course of 50 minutes,playing ‘rock-paper-scissors’ with Soledad, just like she’d done on stage, , and asking their questions of various cast members.
We're over the moon (pun intended, of course) from all the fantastic positive feedback we've received, not only personally after the shows, but on social media.
We feel as if we have found a new niche and opportunity for English language theater in Tel Aviv and are extremely happy that we took on this project.
The feedback we have received from kids and parents alike truly motivates us - The Stage - to provide more high quality English language theater for children in our community.
The Stage is a non-profit, volunteer-run performing arts community. We'd love to do more of these projects and need your help. If you enjoyed seeing “Luna” or believe in our vision, help us fund future projects-- you can donate now or get in touch with us regarding partnerships.