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Behind the Mask: A Creative Exploration of the Characters in the Purim Story

March 14 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 1:00 pm on Thursday, repeating until March 21, 2024

a row of people wearing festive masks

Thursdays, March 14 and 21, 2024
1-2:30 p.m. EDT

We each carry inside of us both the hero and the villain. One of the things that makes writing effective is the willingness of the writer to step into the voice of a character who we might not “identify” with. This is the way we build empathy, both on the page and in our lives.

There is pshat, the literal text of the Torah, and drash, the interpretation. So much of our understanding of Judaism and the Torah comes from the exploration of drash. In this workshop, we will use the persona form—a kind of drash—where the writer takes on the mask or voice of a character who is clearly not them. We will try on the voices of multiple characters in the Purim Story and beyond. Gaining inspiration from texts by Patricia Smith, Margaret Atwood, and others to inspire us to move beyond writing from the personal “I” and see what we can discover about the Purim stories and their meaning for our own lives when we put on the mask and write.

All sessions will be recorded and sent to participants. We encourage live attendance for you to get the most out of the experience.


headshot of elana bellElana Bell is a poet, sound practitioner and creative guide. She facilitates artistic rituals and processes that support individuals and groups in accessing their authentic voice and alchemizing raw experience and emotion into artistic expression. Elana is the author of Mother Country (BOA Editions 2020), poems about fertility, motherhood, and mental illness. Elana’s debut collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones (LSU Press 2012), was selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and brings her complex heritage as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors to consider the difficult question of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition to leading her own embodied Creative Fire workshops, Elana teaches poetry to actors at the Juilliard School and sings with the Resistance Revival Chorus, a group of women activists and musicians committed to bringing joy and song to the resistance movement. She is also the founder of the Mother Artist Salon, a community dedicated to supporting mothers in their artistic practice. www.elanabell.com



March 14
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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Elana Bell



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