One of the most rewarding parts of my job, is the work I do with WIT, Women In Theatre. When I first made aliyah, over 5 years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Ninoska Ravid, who came to me for singing lessons for nearly a whole year, before she told me I had to meet her friend and partner in crime, Tamar Krantman Weiss. They told me about the theatre company that they had established, with Pnina Schechter, to create a space for women to perform.
At the time, my business was just getting off the ground and I was excited at the prospect of working on a production! Whilst I was loving my piano teaching and my chugim were growing, I was essentially working alone. I was missing the camaraderie of a work environment that I had left behind at my high school in England, and I was excited to collaborate on a musical production. 4 years and 3 (and a half) productions later, I can say it has been, and continues to be, a most rewarding experience.
The work these women do is nothing short of incredible. They provide an opportunity for women and girls to express themselves, to grow and to push themselves to do things they didn't dream possible, all within a framework that allows them to have religious integrity.
For the women and girls in the productions, they experience such growth from participating. They form bonds through their shared experiences, they support one another, they learn from one another, they feel empowered, and they create something truly beautiful. They dedicate their time, their creativity and they open themselves up to give the best of themselves. And all the while, they continue to be wives, mothers, employees, employers, students, sisters and daughters.
For the women and girls in the audience, they are active participants in the sharing of the emotions, the talents, and the creativity of what they witness on stage. A production with no audience is like a restaurant without customers; it doesn't matter how delicious the food, if there is no one to enjoy it, the effort has been wasted. Watching those on stage is as inspiring and uplifting for the audience as it is for the performers.
I have found it to be the most empowering experience to create, as a group of women, something purely magical, to share with other women. For our daughters to see us front and centre, being leaders, being successful, being expressive, being bold, being creative, taking risks, is something I feel is so important as a religious women in this generation.
We are living in an incredible time; a time of change, a time of growth and of opportunity. It is an exciting time to be in the game, and there are many challenges, but I relish the opportunity to play my part. I believe that Hashem gave me my musicality and he expected me to do something with it, and I am forever greatful to Women In Theatre and the amazing women I have met for giving me the opportunity to share my gift, to sing, to teach and to create.
We are now in the throws of rehearsing for our next production, Stages, which will depict the lives of 3 friends, from childhood through the stages of their lives; adolescence, friendship, love, marriage, parenthood and loss, using only the power of music and dance to tell the story. I am so excited to embark on the next chapter of our WIT journey and can't wait to bring this project to fruition!