To celebrate the conclusion of its 100th year, the JCC will bring to life the children’s book, Elijah’s Angel, by Columbus’ own Michael J. Rosen, who has adapted his National Jewish Book Award-winning book for the stage. As a picture-book, Elijah’s Angel was loosely based on Rosen’s own friendship with treasured local folk artist, Elijah Pierce (1892-1984). The story of friendship is set in Rosen’s childhood neighborhood in Columbus, and it is through a class field trip that Rosen’s protagonist, nine-year-old Michael, meets 80-year-old Elijah in his barbershop.
On December 7, 2013, Elijah’s Angel will premiere on the Eisenstein Stage of the Roth/Resler Theater at the JCC. The effort to turn the book into a live stage production began as a community collaboration. “The great thing about the Jewish Center’s involvement in this is that in 100 years this is the first time a play has been commissioned. I’m honored to be the native son who brings this play to the Center,” said Rosen.
For families with children ages six and up, the play is a perfect chance to get together and discuss the meaning of the holidays, of friendship, and how different faiths can intersect and find common ground.
Following the play’s Sunday matinee on December 8 at 2:30 p.m., at 3:30 p.m., a FREE afternoon of activities for children will promote friendship and respect in keeping with the play’s main themes. As a post-play event for families who attend the 2:30 performance or a fun, post-Hanukkah afternoon with the kids, the JCC will host a variety of workshops geared around the symbol of the angel Elijah carved that is a centerpiece to the play.
Several angel-themed activity stations will allow kids to get hands-on with the idea of sharing common ground through art: there will be a sculpting station with play-doh and modeling clay; a creative art table where kids can color, create a book cover, or draw a scene from the play; and a story-writing station will allow kids to write down or share out loud their ideas of what friendship means to them.
Copies of Elijah’s Angel will also be available for purchase, and Michael Rosen will be on-hand to sign them. Following the hour of activities, the entire community is invited to attend a once-in-a-lifetime JCC 100 closing event where we will seal the JCC 100 Time Capsule firmly in the building’s cornerstone, placing artifacts and objects commemorating our year’s worth of exciting events within the capsule.
Showtimes for the play are 7:30 pm on Saturday, December 7; 2:30 pm on Sunday, December 8; 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 12; 7:30 pm on Saturday, December 14; and 2:30 pm on Sunday, December 15. Ticket prices are $15 for JCC members, $20 for nonmembers; $13 for senior members, $18 for senior nonmembers; $10 for Children under 18 or students with a valid ID, and $10 per ticket for groups of 10 or more.
For tickets and information, contact the box office at 614-231-2731 or purchase online at www.jccgalleryplayers.org.