Argentinian Children's Theater Group Completes First Tour in US
El Toratrón has just completed its first USA tour, with the support of an ROI Go Create! Micro Grant. It has been a wonderful experience: 13 performances, over 1,000 spectators (children, educators and the general public) in 2 different States (Florida and New York) and 2 shows performed in English.
The first show “Pesach Traveling Show” is a new piece for very young children (1 to 5), a co-production of El Toratrón together with Magical Moments, a Miami based kids entertainment group. The show, performed by two actresses (one from each ensemble) was a true fusion and collaboration of both groups and it was a great hit among children and teachers. We held performances at schools, daycare centers, JCC’s, and a synagogue.
The second show that toured by El Toratrón was “Shalom, Shabbat!” a one-woman show, this time performed in English. This show was presented in Florida and in New York City with great reception from both adults and children. It is quite indescribable the feeling that one gets once taking a piece out of its land and context and presenting it in another country, city, and language, and still see the audience engaged in the story, moved by the characters, and joining in singing.
We’ve learned a lot from this experience—performing in a language that is not our own, collaborating with another ensemble that functions overseas, and most of all realizing that we could actually succeed in doing it—on our first try! We are really grateful and proud of ourselves.
The idea of a tour in the United States came up while I was a fellow at PresenTense. I learned about this magnificent program through ROI, and actually at the time got a Go Professional! Micro Grant to attend the training. Once we were ready to take that leap and start planning the tour, I sent the plan out to the world and I was moved by the positive response and collaboration of my peers. Young Jewish entrepreneurs like myself, most of them ROIers and also PresenTense fellows from all over the world, sent e-mails and Facebook posts with suggestions, connections to people and organizations and words of encouragement.
Thanks to ROI Micro Grant support we were able to turn this idea into a reality. After we gathered the means to go abroad, we focused on translating “Shalom, Shabbat!”, co-producing the Pesach show, and booking the presentations. It was a hard, exciting, unexplored enterprise. Even though there were places that were interested in bringing the show to their community but weren’t able, the connection was made, and with this great first experience we are even more confident to go for a second round and to pursue further international tours. So stay tuned for that and please be in touch!
Back in Argentina, positive reactions from the tour are emerging as well. People that have been seeing and supporting our program congratulated us and also asked for more performances here. People that were not familiar with El Toratrón are reaching out. “Shalom, Shabbat!” will now be also performed in English in Buenos Aires, since children learn that language at school.
Thank you ROI for walking this exciting, engaging and unforgettable path with El Toratrón!