Get involved in the amazing Purim process!
We want you to participate in the creation of our radically unique annual Purimshpil! Join the ensemble and attend builds.
The Ensemble: The weekly session whereby we create the show, rehearse during show week and get all kinds of ready to perform in the show. Come work out the production: learn songs, experiment with movement, develop scenes, write performance text! Take on roles in the show! From January 18th til February 22nd, every Wednesday: snack and chat at 6, work from 6:30–9 (and that is for real—this meeting starts and ends on time!)
The Builds: Where we design, invent, and build all the costumes, props, puppets, and physical objects in the shpil. Children are welcome with their adults. Builds begin Sunday, January 22, at 1pm and continue every Sunday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon and evening, and Wednesday afternoon, through February 21st.
Mayday Space, 176 St. Nicholas Ave, Bushwick, Brooklyn
L to Dekalb, M to Myrtle – Wyckoff, B38. Metrocards are available.
We will be working in a ground floor space, but the bathrooms are not wheelchair accessible.
If having childcare would facilitate your participation, please email PurimSpectacleNYC@gmail.com
For more information, and to receive regular emails and updates about the Purim process and the Purim Party in March, sign up for the mailing list on the Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee website here.
WHAT IS PURIM?
Purim is a favorite Jewish holiday for feminists, young people, queer folks, and party animals of all stripes. Purim’s narrative, the Book of Esther (aka the megillah), tells a tale of a foolish king, a woman refusing to dance naked for all the king’s men, a beauty pageant, a secret revealed, and a time of tables-turning on the bad-guy known as Haman (may his name be blotted out)! The holiday calls for noisemaking, rule-breaking, binary-blurring and an end to business as usual. All of those elements come together in a traditional folk play called a Purimshpil.
HOW JFREJ CELEBRATES PURIM
Since 2002, JFREJ has sponsored a radical Purimshpil project founded by artist agitators and educators Adrienne Cooper (zts”l) and Jenny Romaine in partnership with the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter-Ring and the Great Small Works theater collective. For the past few years, the Aftselokhes Spectacle Committee has worked with JFREJ and a long list of other artists and social justice organizations to produce Purim spectacles that bring together hundreds of revelers each year for a wild time. Each year, the Purimshpil offers a powerful example of what can happen when we use our cultural abundance in our political organizing. From 2002’s “Giant Puppet Purim Ball Against the Death Penalty” to 2004’s “Rehearsal for the Downfall of Shoeshine: An Immigrant Justice Purim Spectacular!” to 2007’s “Roti and Homentaschn: The Palace Workers Revolt! A Purim Carnival Spectacular” to 2012’s “Your Homentaschen Are Killing Me! A Purim Ball for the body, its resilience, its fragility, and its bounce!”, the shows have enlivened, enlightened, confused, and inspired JFREJ members and our friends and comrades.
Over the years, these radical Purimsphils have helped JFREJ strengthen and expand relationships with allied organizations including Domestic Workers United, Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Mothers on the Move (MOM), Picture the Homeless, FIERCE, FUREE, The HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, PURSUE: Action for a Just World, Storahtelling, HEEB Magazine, and the AJWS-AVODAH Partnership. They have brought amazing artists into the JFREJ extended family, including Rebel Diaz, Galeet Dardashti, Blakbüshe, the Shondes, Kol Isha, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Yiddish Princess, DJ Rekha, Frank London’s Klez-Brass All-Stars, Maracatú New York, DJ Ripley, and many many more.
To read more about JFREJ Purims past:
- Unmasked: Has Purim replaced Passover as the best holiday vehicle for expressing individual Jewish identity? TabletMag.com. Liel Leibovitz. February 26, 2010
- SPARE TIMES: March 2 – March 8; ROTI AND HOMENTASCHN, New York Times. Melena Ryzik. March 2, 2007.
- Wrestling with Esther: Purim Spiels, Gender, and Political Dissidence. Zeek.net. Ezra Nepon. March 2006.
- Celebration Condemns the Death Penalty, Peoplesworld.org, Louis Shipman. March 22, 2002