by David Tanner (’18)

The freshman of MTA were once again privileged to spend a special evening, this time at a preview performance of Yeshiva College Drama Society’s spring production, “The Boys Next Door”.

We kicked off the evening immediately after school with a tasty pizza dinner in the lunch room. Following dinner, we went upstairs to enjoy a funny film Dr. Taylor picked out for us, “The Kid” (a silent movie featuring Charlie Chaplin). We couldn’t finish the movie, however, because we had to go to the main event: the play!

It can be safely said that none of us expected what we would see at the play. The performance portrayed the lives of four men with mental disabilities living in a group home. As we were told before the show, the purpose was not, G-d forbid, to demean or mock the characters, but just the opposite: to show what challenges they have and how even simple situations to us can be incredibly taxing or even impossible for others. At the same time, the show was meant to be humorous, so we could sympathize with the characters while at the same time laughing with them about the funny situations they found theirselves in.

Though maintaining a proper balance in such a sensitive subject is extremely tough to pull off, YCDS did not disappoint. Their acting was superb, and the result was a poignant, hilarious, and moving play that really made us all think of what it means to be “normal”. It gave us an insight into the lives of those less fortunate than us, and we came away with a deeper understanding and feeling of connectedness than we had before.

We learned that YCDS is partnering with organizations that care for those with special needs, such as Libenu, and that a portion of the proceeds from the show would go to support these important organizations. What better way to emphasize the need for greater understanding and support for the special needs community?

Thank you to Lin Snider, director of the show, as well as all of the talented actors, technicians and volunteers at YCDS for letting us participate in this exclusive performance (“The Boys Next Door” opens to the general public this Saturday night, March 21). The acting was truly spectacular. And of course, thanks to Mrs. Levitt for organizing the program and accompanying us on this one-of-a-kind opportunity for MTA’s freshmen!


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