The Jerusalem-based Mashu Mashu Group – Theater for Social Change is presenting a new children’s show, The Happy Parasite and Everything Else, in Tel Aviv at the Inbal Theater on January 9.
Mashu Mashu is a creative ensemble of artists who work with, and live in, the community.
The Mashu Mashu artists aim to make theater accessible to populations that may not have been exposed to it in the past, including residents who are secular, religious, Jewish and Arab, as well as those with special needs and those who live in areas in the periphery that are underserved by cultural institutions, or, as its website says, “away from the Gush Dan swamp.”
The group presents plays and other theatrical events for both adults and children. It was established in 2009 by Mirit Yanai and Yael Gideony, both graduates of the Seminar Hakibbutzim State Teachers College. They were joined by a number of graduates of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Nissan Nativ Acting School and other educational institutions.
The group researches the community in which its members live and works with the locals to create works that will speak to those who live there. The group is based in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood of Jerusalem, a neighborhood with about 70,000 residents who constitute a microcosm of Israel society.
The Happy Parasite and Everything Else is directed by Brachi Lipshitz, who was born into a haredi family and left to study theater, and Inbal Lori.
The whimsical show takes viewers on a deep dive into the mysterious world of insects, and the many-legged characters lead a rich life, full of adventure.
The production features spectacular costumes by Yaara Zadok. Children and adults can enjoy the play for its comedy and emotions, and also reflect on issues raised by the story, such as the importance of setting boundaries and how to identify and fight exploitation, all through the lens of insects and their world.
The theater group’s current vision is to become a home for artists in Jerusalem, and there is a growing community of about 50 artists who use the studio as a place to create, hold workshops, stage theater and express themselves in all kinds of ways.
For more information, visit the website at www.mashu-mashu.org