What an incredible mix of talent and enthusiasm! There was great energy at auditions and callbacks, as some of the Nicest Kids in Town (really!) came to strut their stuff for our casting panel. After months of planning, it felt great to share our excitement with so many eager Jerusalemites (and Jerusalemites at heart) – you impressed us with your singing and dancing skills, your passion for the show, and your dedication to being a part of this unique production. I am so thrilled to be a part of this thriving community, and can’t wait to get to know each of you, be it on stage, in a production staff role, or in the house on performance night.
I’m writing to formally announce two exciting partnerships on this production, with two special Jerusalem-based arts organizations we think deserve your attention:
The Malkat Shva Ethiopian Cultural Center is a non-profit institution founded by young Ethiopian Israelis in order to provide a venue where their community can explore and celebrate their own culture. Among its many activities, the Center hosts a series of youth culture programs in collaboration with Kidum Noar, a Jerusalem municipal organization that works with high risk youth, the American Jerusalem Center, an extension of the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Public Affairs, the City of Jerusalem’s Arts Department, and the Neighborhood Improvement Department of Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood, where the Center is located. At present there are approximately 25 Ethiopian teens participating in the Center’s programs each week, several of whom will be in the cast of Hairspray-Jerusalem. Please check out their website and their Facebook Group.
Machol Shalem, founded in 2002, promotes the art of independent dance in Jerusalem and the professional development of Jerusalem-based artists, allowing them to remain and reside in Jerusalem. Throughout the year, Machol Shalem supports and promotes original independent dance pieces, among them a performance targeted for youth. Machol Shalem strives to aid dance artists from a spectrum of styles develop an original take on dance, while maintaining their personal “touch.” The issues that stand at the heart of their pieces are the social dynamics and complexities that arise from the encounter of varied and different populations in Israel. Machol Shalem’s activities are supported by the Jerusalem Municipality; the Cultural Office- Ministry of Culture and Sport, The Jerusalem Foundation, and with cooperation from the Choreographers Association and the Musrara Community Center.