Disney’s Little Mermaid appears at the Hebrew University

Finally, the theater has reopened in Jerusalem.

After a seemingly endless period of empty theaters, live performances, with restrictions, have returned.

During the last crown year, the Beit Hillel Theater Workshop at the Hebrew University successfully produced Aida and Disney, Live in Concert for the enjoyment of a large appreciative audience thirsty for the sensation of a live performance.

For this Hanukkah, the workshop will premiere Disney’s The Little Mermaid, scheduled for nine performances at the Rachel Simon Hillel Theater in Beit Hillel, Hebrew University, Mount Scopus.

The first production of the Beit Hillel Theater Workshop took place almost four decades ago, in a conference room with metal chairs, limited lighting, and no backstage. Nearly 1,500 actors and 500 performances later, the Rachel Simon Hillel Theater is packed with a director / producer, music director, choreographer, technical director, set designer, marketing coordinator, theater seating, acoustic walls, full-stage lighting, and professional dressing rooms. .

ATARA MAYER (credit: Courtesy)

The little Mermaid

The name Disney is associated with heroes, heroines, demons, and characters with magical powers. Disney movies, animated or live, are packed with brilliant musical scores, creative effects, and huge pops of color. In most cases, they contain simple themes and stories, with predictable climaxes and endings that are designed for family entertainment of all ages.

The most notable are the Disney songs. In every Disney production, there is always “the song”, the lyrical ball that captivates audiences and becomes iconic overnight: “Beauty and the Beast”, “Circle of Love”, “A Whole New World “,” Colors of the world, “” I can go all the way “and” Let it go “, to name just a few. True to form, The Little Mermaid follows all the classic Disney formats, from a simple story to a memorable musical score. by Alan Menken, composer of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Newsies, Enchanted and Tangled.

The Little Mermaid is Ariel’s fantasy, a disillusioned mermaid who no longer finds meaning or comfort living under the sea. She longs to become a human and live in a more challenging, creative, and adventurous world. She finds love with Eric, a human prince, which exacerbates her dilemma. She strikes a deal with her evil and diabolical aunt, Ursula, to become a human. In this production, the song that is most thoughtful, beautiful and memorable is “Part of Your World”. The rest will have to find out when you attend a performance.

Michael Berl, founding director of the Beit Hillel Theater Workshop, now in its 37th season, offers these observations:

“The Little Mermaid presented us with complex new challenges to keep the aura of fantasy within the confines of a small setting. Dena Davies, our costume designer, designed costumes that are fun, colorful, and true to history. Dooby Harvey, our set designer, along with Noi Ben Ami and Stav Slutsky, used new elements to create marine effects. Reuven Laytush, our technical director, designed various lighting effects just for this production. We mixed painted landscapes, high resolution photos and Power Point to create a unique look on stage and a feeling of ‘Under the sea’ ”.

The Beit Hillel Theater Workshop fuses both seasoned and novice, Israeli and Anglo actors, college students, and seniors into a community theater experience that is educational, professional, and fulfilling. It is a place to make friends, to interact with people of diverse backgrounds, and to develop theater skills.

The cast members are a mix of established veterans and many new actors. Among them are seasoned artists Shani Wahrman, Bryan Friedland, Atara Mayer, Leora Rosh Gadol, Helene Weintraub, and newcomers Nitzan Ben Ari, Scott Anastasia, Matan Rubin, Arella Mayer, and Lulu Dubin.

“There is also an interactive social fusion aspect at play,” says Berl. “Corona has derailed social gatherings and places for young adults to gather and enjoy each other’s company. The Beit Hillel theater workshop has always been a great source of connections, now more than ever. These young adults have a love for the theatrical experience and a passion for acting. And then they came with their masks, and they were totally on topic. They knew very well that their investment of talent, time and effort could stop at any moment or even be in vain. Finally, it is about to happen as of November 29.

Support staff includes: Michael Berl, producer / director; Gabriella Mischel, deputy director; Shelly Binman, musical director; Mai Dror, assistant music director; Ashira Allon, choreographer; Dooby Harvey, set designer; Noi Ben Ari and Stav Slutsky, assistant set designer; Leora Roshgadol, stage director; and Reuven Laytush, technical director.

The Beit Hillel theater workshop has produced Fiddler on the Roof (3x), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (3x), The Phantom of the Opera, Guys and Dolls (2x), Les Misérables (3x), A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Pippin, Biloxi Blues, Lend Me A Tenor, The Diary of Anne Frank, Ish Chassid Haya, Annie (2x), The Wall, Chorus Line, Oliver! (2x), Beauty and the Beast (2x), West Side Story (2x), Blood Brothers (2x), My Fair Lady (2x), Aida (2x), Hello Dolly !, The Sound of Music and Cinderella.

Performance dates: from November 29 to December 7, nine performances.


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