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Shaar Youth Theatre

BY CLAIRE BERGER

In 1973, the first group of Shaar Players performed To Live Another Summer, To Pass Another Winter which premiered on Broadway in 1971. It was a musical revue about all things Israel, ranging from the Bible to the establishment of the country. All of the early productions focused on Jewish themes and later included popular Broadway shows. Many of the young thespians went on to professional careers in the performing arts where they credit the Shaar Youth Theatre for sparking their love for all things performance and all will agree that fond memories and lasting friendships continue to this day. Not to be forgotten is the dedication of the parents who spent hours sewing costumes, carpooling, coordinating and fundraising to ensure a successful show each year. 

 

“We had an amazing time on the set of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Great memory of going to Sheri’s Salon to have our long hair dyed bright red” 

– David Sochaczevski with cast mates David Lipper, David Packer and Michael Shore.

 

“...... Most significantly, was the feeling of support and camaraderie from the entire cast. We all worked together. I had a pretty good sense of the role but, in some of the big musical numbers, I had no idea where to go or what to do and my cast mates just dragged me around the stage.  Every once in a while, we improvised.  Between scenes, I checked my lines and my notes. It was a feeling of community and collaboration unlike anything I had previously experienced.” 

–Steven Chaikelson on filling in for sick cast mate on the very day of the performance. 

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“I spent so may happy hours over 10 years enjoying the rehearsals while sewing the costumes for the teens, catching them for fittings as they waited for their scene”

– Ruth Berger Head seamstress 

 

“....... I have so many amazing memories, mostly thanks to the incredible friendships I forged. Back then, there was nothing better than spending Tuesday and Thursday nights and all day on Sunday rehearsing, sometimes even extending the fun with a trip out afterward for a pot of tea at Café Santropol. ….... Beth, a professional costume designer, lent her skills to the Shaar Players every year and it was fabulous to watch her work, creating masterpieces out of scraps......”

– Janice Chaikelson, inspired by costume designer Beth Shore.

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“To think that we had plays that included a kitten (The House Behind) and yes in Milk and Honey, a sheep and a goat! That is a whole other story!”

- Allen Greenberg 


 

Scroll through the images by clicking on the right side of the photo

or VIEW THE GALLERY 

The gallery includes photos from Ish Chassid Haya (1974), The House Behind (1975), The Grand Tour (1984), Once Upon a Mattress (1985), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1987), 42nd Street (1988), West Side Story (1989).

 

The Museum and Archives of the Shaar is hoping to complete this collection by asking all those who were involved in the productions from 1973-1995 to get in touch with us at museum@theshaar.org. Our aim is to collect and digitize films and photographs, conduct interviews, and compile all written memories. As we continue gathering information and items from our Shaar Players we hope to create an online exhibit for all to access. 

 

Please be in touch! 

 

Friday, December 2, 2022 8 Kislev 5783