On Sunday, Dec. 10, approximately 210 people came together at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts at the JCC in Owings Mills, Maryland, to experience the magic of “Hanna and the Moonlit Dress.” “Hanna” is an interactive musical that brings to life the PJ Library story “Hanna’s Sabbath Dress,” based on a beloved Israeli fable by Itzhak Schweiger-Dmi’el.
The play was brought to the Gordon Center in partnership with PJ Library, a program of the Macks Center for Jewish Education, and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School. “Hanna” is the creative brainchild of Ronit Muszkatblit and Yoav Gal from the 14th Street Y in New York.
The families arrived at the Gordon Center and were immediately immersed in an experiential art activity in which the children created and decorated flowers and stars to be used as props in the show. In celebration of Chanukah, they also created Chanukah garlands to decorate their homes.
During the show, the families were brought into the world of Hannaleh, her mother Edna the Cow, and Zuzzi the Dog. Each time she meets a new character, Hannaleh tells them they may not touch her new dress for fear that it may get dirty. Hannaleh decides to do a good deed when she meets a woodsman who needs help, only to find that she has ruined her dress in the process. The moon, through its magical light, helps Hannaleh understand that, in fact, her good deed helped make her dress more beautiful than ever before, and helps her get home to her mother before Shabbat.
The Center for Jewish Education offered CART closed captioning at the Gordon Center for this performance, thanks to the generosity of the Herbert Bearman Foundation and The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.
By Gabrielle Burger
Gabrielle Burger is director of PJ Library and PJ Our Way at the JCC of Greater Baltimore.