April 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Black Box Studios to Launch All-Female Drama Workshop This Fall

This fall, Black Box Studios is offering a new opportunity for girls in grades 9-12 to participate in an all-female drama workshop. It will take place starting in September on Sundays, 4-6 p.m. The price is reasonable, and well worth it for the skills that will be developed and the experience it will provide. Matt Okin has been working with young people for several years. He said, “Ten years ago, once I started dabbling in teaching theater, it quickly became apparent that when you work with young people they are still at a certain age where they will take a lot more risks than older actors, even professionally trained actors.” He continued, “To be a part of that process and watch kids of all different backgrounds and ages experience and be able to get free in a creative environment, and work on something together…is an inspiring thing to be a part of.”

Black Box Studios was founded by Mr. Okin in 2007 and has an excellent track record of putting on all sorts of incredible performances and teaching the performers important acting skills. Mr. Okin became interested in performing arts at a young age, because his parents took him to see a lot of theater productions and movies. He also took part in several rock bands and wrote songs and poetry. He said, “By the time I was ready to apply to college I narrowed my focus…I wanted to learn about playwriting and screenwriting…I came to New York University, and was in a pretty good program there…where I learned from really good working artists…I started directing at the time, working with actors.”

The idea for an all-female acting program was a grassroots initiative inspired by several girls from North and Central Jersey Orthodox communities. Mr. Okin hopes this new all-female program will create an opportunity for young people who hesitated to participate in Black Box’s other programs, and hopes new participants will “join the ones who are already so interested” in making this program happen successfully. One 14-year-old, who advocated for this program and signed up immediately, is excited about the new program because she loves “performing arts. I was looking for an opportunity to do it during the school year, and Black Box is the perfect opportunity.” She is thrilled that there is now an option to perform real plays in an environment in which she feels religiously comfortable.

Mr. Okin has experience working with an all-girls drama society. He is about to enter his sixth year directing the successful drama program at Ma’ayanot. He explained, “There are some female performing artists that prefer to just work with other females, in a safer environment.” Many girls within local Orthodox communities who love the performing arts and want to experience the thrill of working on a real stage will certainly take advantage of this wonderful new opportunity that offers a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere that is sensitive to halachic norms.

By Sara Schapiro

 Sara Schapiro is a recent graduate of Ma’ayanot High School for Girls, an incoming freshman at Stern College, and a Jewish Link summer intern.

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles