The show, which opens Feb. 27 and runs through March 9, features the only theatrical company with special-needs actors in Georgia.
For resident and longtime community center member Lois Blonder, who is also serving as the co-chair of the theater group this year, the production is a project that is near to her heart.
In 2002, she and her husband, Jerry, established the Blonder Family Department for Special Needs that offers various programs including sports, arts and social events for the disabled.
Blonder said the theater company is the “crown jewel of the department.”
“Seeing our participants light up during rehearsals, performing in front of an audience and then receiving a standing ovation provides a wonderful experience for everyone involved,” she said.
Blonder and Susie Davidow, director of the department, said audiences who attend the show can expect to walk out with a new view of the special needs community.
“Once audiences experience these actors and actresses perform, they really see them for their abilities,” Davidow said. “People tell us every year that we’ve raised the bar higher and higher.”
The theater, Davidow said, is particularly important to Blonder and the work that the foundation supports.
“Lois thought the theater needed to continue because of what our actors and actresses receive,” she said. “The life skills and self-confidence they develop in the drama department is immeasurable, but even our seasoned actors with the company always learn from and are inspired by our special-needs casts’ hard work and talent.”
Blonder, who attended the theater’s shows for years before becoming involved, said hearing families talk about their positive experiences with the company is “the icing on the cake,” of her work with the foundation.
“I had one family member tell me that working with the theater really changed her son’s life by enhancing his self-confidence,” she said.
“For that reason, and many others, I think the Habima theatre is one of the best in Atlanta.”
If you go:
When: Feb. 27 through March 9, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Where: Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody
Cost: Tickets for adults are $35 and children, 12 and under, are $15.