The Occasion of Purim

Wherein we share about the spiel authors, spiel theme, and costume contest.

Want a more basic Purim 101? Check out Roz and Jake's blog here.

This year's spiel (Yiddish for "play") is being written by the fabulous Jake Ehrlich, Zach Kolodziej, & Aaron Mondry. Lindsay McCaw, Purim Producer extraordinaire, is consulting. We won't give too much away, but here's a taste of what to expect at the Extravaganza.

We're exploring equitable development as it intersects with racist mass incarceration. To aide spiel development, DJJ liaised with folks at the No New Jails Detroit coalition. The coalition has an excellent FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on their website with visionary definitions of safety and justice that are emblematic of an international transformative justice movement that seeks to transform how communities handle harm. The script is original and satirical, but because the injustice of our current system of criminalization intersects with every single issue that DJJ has had a major campaign stake in (workers' rights, regional transit, water justice, and the illegal tax foreclosure crisis), the performance will still be all too familiar. 

I got a chance to interview Zach about the script-writing process, which has been rewarding for him. The spiel will have "...lots of layers, like an onion." Using a deeply collaborative process, each scene of the spiel was written by a different creator. The group then came together to rehash the draft, generate puns, and weave statistics and other factual information about mass incarceration in Detroit into the framework of the Purim story.

I know, right? Here's two ways to help us make sure that this thing comes to fruition at its full potential:

  1. RSVP! Even if you think we know you're coming, RSVP!
  2. Volunteer to help with logistics by emailing [email protected]

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.