Every year for twenty three years Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue) teens have delighted the community with a musical that they rehearse throughout the year and perform on the first May bank holiday weekend as the Alyth Academy of Performing Arts.
The Academy was founded in 1993 by Viv Bellos, Music Director at Alyth. Academy shows have included old favourites such as ‘Annie’, ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘Calamity Jane’ and newer musicals like ‘Footloose’, ‘Our House’ and this year’s heart warming and hilarious production of ’13’. It is a show about a young American teenager going through his Bar Mitzvah process and all the issues, worries and milestones that come with turning 13 and becoming a teenager.
Sixteen 12-15 year olds thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the production of this show over the bank holiday weekend. The cast was led by Jay Carlin, Noam Solomons Wise and Lilah Hyman taking the roles of Evan, the Barmitzvah Boy, Brett and Kendra. Next year’s Academy sessions return in September with a new show yet to be announced.
’13’ played four performances on Sunday 3 and Monday 4 May, entertaining all generations of the synagogue. It was directed and choreographed by Simon Rawlings and Ellen Scannell. Sam Brunner, Alyth’s Head of Youth and Stage Manger of the show said: “The constant chatting and strong social group that was formed by attending Academy is a thumbs up for the community and a testament to Alyth youth who consider their synagogue as their safe space full of friends both old and new. The show they created was a joy for all.”