Jewish Virtual and In-Person Programs
Firelight has recently presented programs for communities in California, Canada, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Contact us to book YOUR community over the coming year!
Firelight Shadow Theater
Judaic Cultural Programs
Firelight Shadow Theater aims to invigorate Jewish learning by offering experiential, participatory, performance-based programming drawing on the ancient art of shadow puppetry. Using shadows cast upon a screen, Jewish stories, songs, ideas and values are brought "to life." Designed for both formal and informal educational settings, and including intergenerational and cross-cultural programming, Firelight touches the many strands of the Jewish community, fostering a love of Jewish stories that inspires a life of Jewish learning.
Imagine how the study of these curricular areas could be energized and enhanced by utilizing a shadow theater approach:
Holidays: Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukah, Tu B'Shevat, Purim, Passover, Yom HaShoah, and more...
Biblical Stories: Creation, Noah's Ark, Exodus, and more...
Values: Emunah, Kavod, Tzedek, Chesed, Kehillah, Shomrei Adamah, and more...
Songs and Prayers: Morning Tefilah, Shabbat, Havdalah, Zmirot, and more...
Hebrew: Exploring language in story, song, poetry, and more...
Jewish History: From biblical times to modern day...
Behind the Scenes of Smell of Latkes
Here's a small sample of Judaic-themed shadow puppets created by students of all ages!
In-Person and Virtual Assemblies
Shadow puppetry is an age-old art form that features the shadows of two-dimensional puppets cast upon a backlit screen. With its bold shapes and dynamic movement, it’s a magical medium that’s perfectly suited to bring best-loved stories to life for young audiences.
Firelight Shadow Theater is now offering both in-person and virtual (live and pre-recorded) assembly programs. Each assembly features a mixture of interactive segments interspersed with versions of shadow theater performances. Best of all, at the end of each assembly, Daniel provides a step-by-step demonstration for creating shadow puppets from scratch, as well as free online access to downloadable puppet templates and scripts.
There are three assemblies currently available; one for the early childhood set, one for elementary students, and one for middle schoolers. Descriptions and outlines below. Booking now—inquire soon for best availability!
"Spin Me a Shadow, Tell Me a Jewish Tale"
(Grades PK-1; 30-45 minutes)
(Grades 2-5; 30-45 minutes)
(Grades 6-8: 30-45 minutes)
$225, Pre-Recorded Virtual*
$300, Live with Q and A Virtual*
$500, Live with Q and A In-Person
Discover the magical world of shadow puppetry with Daniel Barash of Firelight Shadow Theater. Shadow puppetry, an ancient art form that casts shadows on a backlit screen to wondrous effect, is truly the "Original Screen Time.” For this assembly, we'll bring Jewish stories, wisdom, and humor "to life" through shadow theater performances. At the end of the assembly, Daniel will teach audience members how to create shadow puppets and a shadow screen from scratch, and provide free online access to puppet templates and a shadow puppetry starter script, so children can continue the fun at home. Live programs will also include an optional Q and A with the artist. See you in the land of shadows!
*If multiple institutions within a system are purchasing the same program slot together, slightly higher fees may be explored. Alternatively, discounts may be offered for multiple, unique bookings within a system. Let's discuss!
“Daniel Barash is amazing! His programs are fun, educational, interactive and engaging for kids of all ages. From the moment he began, Daniel captivated families as they learned about the art of puppetry and how stories can come alive behind a shadow screen. The program was a hit and I can’t wait to have Daniel again.”
PJ Library Bay Area
Workshops, Residencies & Special Events
$350 and up
With over 20 years sharing shadow theater in classrooms around the country, Firelight’s Creative Director Daniel Barash is now offering both virtual and in-person Jewish-themed workshops, residencies and special events that are perfect for families, schools, JCCs, and even special events.
Make shadow puppets, learn performance techniques, rehearse behind the shadow screen, dim the lights, and share your performances!
A workshop is one session, while a residency unfolds over a multi-session schedule.
Multi-session residencies allow students to delve deeper into the worlds of both shadow puppetry and curricular content. Modeled on an Arts Integration approach to teaching and learning, participants first practice shadow theater techniques, which they then use to create performances that demonstrate their understanding of specific curricular content.
Part 1: Daniel will introduce the history and art of shadow puppetry to the class, including foundational shadow theater techniques.
Part 2: Daniel will help students create shadow puppets that can be used to explore a pre-determined curricular area that students are learning about in class.
Part 3: Daniel will introduce the rehearsal process to students so that they can bring this curricular area “to life” behind the shadow screen.
Part 4: Daniel will facilitate small-group rehearsals, helping students to practice their shadow puppetry presentations.
Part 5: Daniel will facilitate in-class sharing of student performances, and then brainstorm with students other areas of the curriculum that could be explored using shadow puppetry.
As shadow puppetry is a highly accessible art-form that appeals to both teachers and students, it is very likely that this “taste of shadow puppetry” will lead to many more explorations long after the formal mini-residencies have concluded.
Workshops, Residencies, & Special Events
“Thank you for all you did to bring us to this wonderful day of our fourth grade performance of Shadow Journeys. We have taken our own special journey with you, and your wisdom, humor, creativity, and dedication have made it all possible.”
Director, Grades 3 and 4
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, MD
"Running Towards Freedom"
Daniel Barash, Director of Firelight Shadow Theater, has been a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist since 2010. In this capacity, he has traveled throughout the country training educators how to use this magical medium with their learning communities. Currently a Consultant with Focus 5, Inc., a leader in the field of Arts Integration, he conducts virtual Professional Development workshops for individuals and groups. Contact Daniel to discuss trainings in your community!