I’m Maegan (they/she pronouns), and I’m taking on the role of Gragger co-captain this year, with a focus on leading the planning for our shpil. Outside of Gragger, I’m primarily a theater teacher; some of my other odd jobs, however, include teaching martial arts, writing theater reviews for New England Theatre Geek, and singing silly Jewish songs with Hebrew school kids. I also love tarot reading, cats, thrifting for sweaters, and having strong feelings about musicals. I’m originally from Maryland, most recently from Western Mass for graduate school, and still quite new to the Boston area. One of my very first Jewish Boston memories, in fact, was last year’s Gragger; it was so spiritually enriching, to cheer and laugh (and boo) in a room so abundant in queer Jewish joy. That kind of space is so necessary right now, and I’m honored to be able to help bring it to life this year.
As a theater-maker, I’m passionate about cultivating inclusive, compassionate, decentralized, sacred-silly, process-over-product devising spaces, and Gragger 5784 is shaping up to be just that! My favorite part of co-creating a work of theater is the act of leaping into the great unknown: without a pre-set vision for the finished product, vulnerability, trust, and open-mindedness are so important. And whatever we end up creating is totally our own! It’s such a satisfying experience, in part because we create something beautiful, but mostly because of the collaborative tools we develop along the way. My MFA thesis was a devising project called COVEN-19, Magicks for Unprecedented times, so I’m no stranger to spiritually-driven processes, but Gragger will be my first time in an explicitly Jewish (and queer!) creative process. I’m excited to discover how our shared values inform our work.
There are still a lot of unknowns about how this year’s shpil will shape out, but I’m excited to report that there’s resounding interest in puppetry and stage combat.We have an incredible team of creators so far, but we certainly welcome more voices into the room! You don’t need any theater experience to join the team; in fact, the broader array of backgrounds and skills sets people bring to the table, the more enriching the work will become (yet another thing I love about devising). If committing to the full creative/rehearsal process sounds like too much, that’s also fine! We will likely need extra hands on deck towards the end of the process, when we begin building sets and props, making costumes, and rounding out the cast of performers. If you’re even the tiniest bit curious about getting involved, I hope you’ll reach out to learn more by emailing BWC’s organizer, Zohar Berman, at firstname.lastname@example.org