Imagination in the spotlight

The children’s theater festival, Kesem Shel Agada, celebrates its 20th anniversary at the Suzanne Dellal Center

kesem shel agada311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
kesem shel agada311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Imagine a world complete with knights, wishing wells, jesters, queens, kings and witches – a true fairytale come to life.
Tali Gozalzani, the visionary behind the Kesem Shel Agada children’s theater festival in Tel Aviv, knows a thing or two about turning the stuff of imagination into reality, and has transformed the Suzanne Dellal Center into her own life-size storybook, displaying her creativity through her dancers on stage.
“The Suzanne Dellal Center is an amazing place; when we saw the natural beauty, the elaborate pillars, and the incredible architecture of the building, it was easy for us to let our imaginations wander,” said Gozalzani.
Gozalzani’s vivid imagination has driven her to choreograph the children’s festival, running from August 23 to 25.
Walking through the festival entrance, guests will find themselves on a grandiose red carpet that will escort them down a road to the Suzanne Dellal Center.
Every visitor to walk upon this red carpet will enter a new and unexpected world.
As visitors walk on, reality mingles with fantasy. What was once a simple orange orchard will be transformed into “The Wishing Woods Forest,” where each tree holds dozens of vibrantly colored balloons, soaring high above the festival, creating a genius burst of shades and energy.
Visiting children will be given the opportunity to write down their wishes and leave them in a secret place amongst the trees of the Wishing Woods. Once tucked away in the layers of the forest, perhaps their wishes will come true.
Along with balloons and streamers filling the air, four randomly dispersed gazebos stand gallantly, elaborately decorated as makeshift castles. The mingling stilt-walkers, jesters, queens, kings, magical drummers and witches will fit right in with the mideival scene.
But all good fairytales need more than just royalty and a kingdom.
Every child attending the festival will be “knighted” with an individually designed crown, welcoming them as royal subjects.
The festival will also be filled with theatre, dance, storytelling and puppet shows, all for children.
In an old enchanted well on the premises, there will be a storyteller who will captivate the children with his mythical sagas. For the younger children, a Gymboree has been installed.
The festival theaters have been decorated enchantingly. Productions such as The Trip to the Land of Characters, written by Gideon Koren and Shlomo Artzi, and puppet shows, including The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and The Wizard of Oz will be showing. There will even be a children’s dance performance in which a Spanish mermaid learns to flamenco with her new legs, in hopes of winning the young fisherman.
Each evening there will be two plays; a short rendition at 5:30, and a longer one at 7:30. The energy, the costumes and the world created have been designed so every child should feel like they perpetually live in a fairytale.
The Kesem Shel Agada children’s festival runs August 23-25 at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv.