Theater has the power to take us where we haven’t been before, transforming us into better people. And that’s true not only for the audience, but also for the performers and technicians.
Never has that statement been truer than for Jerry’s Habima Theatre, Georgia’s only theatrical company directed and produced by theatre professionals featuring actors with developmental disabilities. And from March 7-17, Jerry’s Habima Theatre will celebrate its 20th anniversary of transformation with the popular musical about the 1950s, “Grease: The School Version.”
If you haven’t attended a Jerry’s Habima performance before, you owe it to yourself to attend. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more uplifting and joyful way to spend an afternoon or evening. And you’ll be amazed at the quality and professionalism of the performance - the determination and drive of the performers is overwhelming.
Twenty years ago, Saba Silverman, founding chair of Jerry’s Habima Theatre, had been working with a group of young people with developmental disabilities. After taking the group to several theatrical performances and seeing how much they enjoyed the experience, she decided to take the experience a step further by allowing the young people to put on their own production.
“The theatrical experience filled a need within this community by encouraging and allowing young people to gain self confidence and to develop skills that carried over into their everyday lives by being the ‘stars’ they had seen on other stages,” said Carol Rubin, past chair of Jerry’s Habima Theatre.
But the transformation isn’t limited to the stage. The audience leaves the performance altered as well. Audiences should come prepared to be thoroughly entertained.
“For those of us who have come to performances year after year, we are constantly amazed at how high the bar is raised each year. We have followed the growth of many of these actors and find it hard to believe these shy, introverted young people have accomplished so much,” said Rubin. “Jerry’s Habima Theatre shows you first hand that ‘disability’ is only a word; ‘ability’ is action and determination.
All performances of “Grease” will be presented in the Morris & Rae Frank Theatre at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta – Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Performances are Thursdays, March 7 and 14 at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays, March 9 and 16 at 8:30 p.m., and Sundays, March 10 and 17 at 3:00 p.m. General Admission tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. MJCCA members may purchase tickets for $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 678-812-4002 or via atlantajcc.org/boxoffice.