Passover children's theater and film program treats

There are a number of films and shows playing over Passover that are suitable for children.

 ‘ONCE UPON a World’ at the Train Theater in Jerusalem.  (photo credit: KFIR BOLOTIN)
‘ONCE UPON a World’ at the Train Theater in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: KFIR BOLOTIN)

There are a wide variety of cultural activities for children throughout the intermediate days of the Passover holiday, including theater and movies. Here are a few of the highlights from around the country. For all of the theater and movie programs, it is strongly recommended to purchase tickets in advance, because finally, after two years of pandemic, children can return to theaters and while that is cause for celebration, it will mean that there will be large crowds.

The Train Theater in Jerusalem is celebrating 40 years and starting a new decade by moving to a new home where they are holding the Small Train Festival from April 17-19. Where it once actually performed in a refurbished train car, which was cozy but small, now the theater has moved to the Davidson Residence at the Liberty Bell Park, near the Skate Park and other sports facilities at the Bell Park. Now, the theater is full of culture for children, with two halls, workshop rooms, exhibitions, exhibits, classes and training.

The festival is part of a collaboration with Small Size Network, an international association that supports culture for young audiences around the world. The festival, which will be held from the morning until the early afternoon, features two story performances every day, followed by a creative workshop inspired by the story, plays, theatrical tours throughout the Bell Park, outdoor musical performances and more.

Ticket prices range from NIS 25 – 45.

The festival features a number of shows, some of which incorporate workshops and tours of the new center. The plays and stories that will be performed include classics and lesser-known gems from around the world, such as The Friendly Giant, Three Pandas and Goldilocks, Legend of a Cistern and many others, as well as original works. Most of the programs are aimed at children three or four and up. For more information, visit the Train Theater website at https://www.traintheater.co.il/en.

 HAIFA INTERNATIONAL Children’s Theater Festival.  (credit: SONIA SONAGOSTINO) HAIFA INTERNATIONAL Children’s Theater Festival. (credit: SONIA SONAGOSTINO)

The 32nd Haifa International Festival for Children will take place April 17-19. It features open-air street theater and, in addition to Israeli performers, it includes an international artistic section that will host 15 different original and innovative performances by more than 40 artists from around the world: Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain and Mexico. Inon Tzafrir and Gibson Bar-El, from the Ortho-De Group, are artistic managers for this event.

The acts will offer different and varied messages, including about the environment, diversity and acceptance, and the performances feature actors, acrobats, dancers, musicians, jugglers and more. For more information, visit the festival website at https://www.ht1.co.il/ContentPage?Id=15.

The Tel Aviv Cinematheque (www.cinema.co.il) is featuring a special program of all kinds of children’s films, both new films and classics that the entire family can enjoy together, starting on April 16. Perhaps the best-loved children’s Passover movie of all time is the animated Prince of Egypt, and that will be shown on April 18. Your children may have seen it on a DVD but there is really nothing like seeing a movie like this on the big screen. Sci-fi fans in the family can look forward to Explorers, a 1985 movie by Joe Dante (best known for Gremlins) about tween boys obsessed with aliens and space travel who think they have found a way to launch their own spaceship. It stars the late River Phoenix and a very young Ethan Hawke.

If you would rather head for the multiplex, for many children, the clear favorite will be the latest in the Fantastic Beasts series, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which continues the saga of all things Hogwarts, which is having its global opening to coincide with the spring holidays.