Reflecting on the process of being a Ma’yan Political Theater Apprentice gives me the opportunity to realize how much I took for granted and how much I have changed since hearing the lessons that Rabbi Alissa taught us. The first lesson we learned was about power and oppression. Who has power and who is oppressed as a result of that power? The idea of who holds power is a constant struggle in my life because I always want to hold the power in regards to my life, but I don’t have the power in many of my daily situations, like school. In the theater aspect we did an activity about holding power through images. We were all given a chair and told to do a pose that would give us the most power. We realized that the first person started with the most power, but by the time the rest of us had put out our chairs she would not be the power of the scene at all.
As we started drafting our play we kept thinking about what power meant along with other things like the wealth not being evenly distributed and the G.I bill allowing Jews to fit in but not people of color. The show came from everyones’ favorite lessons and messages along with the idea that we are women who can make a change. Though our show is not feminist, we end with Rosie the Riveter’s famous pose of “We Can Do It.”
Through the lessons I kept thinking: how can I make change when I am so unaware of the problems? By the end of drafting the show I learned that just being part of Ma’yan’s Political Theater I have made a change. I have learned that I have power and I should not abuse it, and that my power can be used to help stop inequality and raise awareness.
Performing the show made me feel like I was doing my part in telling people that what is happening in the real world is not ok. Seeing people show up to hear what eight teenagers had to say was really inspiring to me. Now more than ever I know that I have the power and the strength to make a change. Cowering won’t help, and I took the initiative by doing Ma’yan’s Political Theater Apprenticeship.