Rabbi Ranon Teller
Nexus of Theater and Worship
A few years back, Brith Shalom put on a play entitled "Bart’s Wedding." I was selected to play the role of Bart’s rabbi. We hired a director and stage manager to help create a meaningful, quality production. The professional team brought in extra stage lights, directed the players, blocked the movements, enhanced the sound, and generally assisted with the production. I struggled with the irony. All of these theatrical enhancements were taking place up on the bima, a place where actual weddings and lifecycles take place all the time! If we are comfortable investing resources into artistic, theatrical production, why are we less comfortable investing resources in sacred, worship production? We have grown accustomed to mediocre production quality for our davening. It’s time we invest in the production quality of our davening. After all, our “competition” is live theater, cinema, Netflix, and HD TV!
Theater and worship can learn from one another. My friend and colleague, Rabbi Marc Soloway, explored one meaningful area of overlap in this article. Enjoy!
Blessings and love,