From March 9 – 19, Jerry’s Habima Theatre, Georgia’s only theatrical company featuring actors with special needs, directed and produced by professionals, will present its 24th production, The Wizard of Oz. All Habima productions are held at the MJCCA’s Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Jerry’s Habima Theatre has been the recipient of several prestigious honors in recent years, including having received the Spirit of Suzi Bass Award, as well as being a two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Challenge America Grant. This production is ideal for all ages. Jerry’s Habima Theatre, a program of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA), is produced under the auspices of the MJCCA’s Blonder Family Department for Special Needs, and the MJCCA’s Arts + Culture Department. Each year, together with local professional actors from the community, Jerry’s Habima Theatre performers (ages 18+) present a Broadway musical.
This year, the MJCCA will honor Susie Davidow for her outstanding 16 years as Director of the MJCCA’s Blonder Family Department for Special Needs. Davidow plans to retire this year.
“Working at the MJCCA, in particular with the Blonder Department and its jewel Jerry’s Habima Theatre for the past 16 years, exceeded all of my expectations, allowing me to meld my love of Judaism with my passion for enriching the lives of people with special needs,” explained Davidow. “Having experienced firsthand the respect and affirmation that the Habima cast receives each year, I am very optimistic for the future generations and how they will treat people with special needs.”
“I am so appreciative to the MJCCA leadership and to the Blonder family for embracing me, and I am grateful to the participants for always giving me their unconditional love,” said Davidow. “I can’t wait to see them shine in this year’s Habima production; my last as the director of the department.”
About the Show
Somewhere over the rainbow, a young Dorothy Gale from Kansas and her little dog Toto find themselves on a magical adventure through the merry old land of Oz. Along the way, she becomes friends with the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion. Together, the group defeats a wicked witch and a whimsical wizard, while finding the power of friendship, magic, and courage to achieve their dreams. This classic tale is sure to inspire, entertain, and remind us all that there’s no place like home.
Jerry’s Habima Theatre Co-Chairs
Mona Shuman and Rachel Fox Weitz will co-chair Jerry’s Habima Theatre’s 24th anniversary production. “Having been involved with this remarkable theater for several years, I am still overwhelmed by the magnitude of emotions that are felt by the actors, their families, and the audiences,” explained Shuman. “I am awed each time I see a Jerry’s Habima Theatre performance, and I leave every show with a huge smile on my face.”
“What I have always found to be so powerful is when I see these actors come alive on stage, without the fear of not being accepted,” added Shuman. “The audience allows them just to be themselves, and for these actors who turn their disabilities into abilities night after night, the affirmation and the applause are priceless.”
“This year is my first serving as a Jerry’s Habima Theatre Co-Chair, although I have been sitting in the Habima audience watching the shows since I was a little girl,” said Weitz. “Having been a part of this special theater as a patron and a supporter, I look forward to being a part of what happens behind the scenes as well.”
“The participants of this unique theater company achieve new levels of self-confidence from this remarkable experience,” continued Weitz. “I am certain that this delightful, family-friendly performance of Wizard of Oz will inspire and entertain each and every Habima Theatre-goer.”
Thurs. March 9 at 7:30 pm; Sat. March 11 at 7:30 pm; Sun. March 12 at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm; Thurs. March 16 at 7:30 pm; Sat. March 18 at 7:30 pm; and Sun. March 19 at 1:00 pm.