An important part of Negba’s mission is to enable children in its care to develop their cultural capacities to the same levels as children born into families with greater opportunities. Negba’s Theater Appreciation project is one example of Negba’s success at broadening the children’s horizons and piquing their interest in other areas. Thanks to a free subscription from the Beersheva Theater, Negba’s 4-6th graders and Teens attend five performances throughout the year. The plays are then discussed the following day, to help process the message and share one’s thoughts.
“My favorite play was Kidnapping from the Monastery because it had a happy ending,” said Daniel T., 10. “The play taught me we should be nice to each other. I like to go to the shows because they are fun and they teach us how to behave.” Liam K., also 10, echoed Daniel’s sentiment. “I loved the show Mommy, Don’t Come which was about a school recital. One girl didn’t want her sick mother to come because she was embarrassed by her. I learned that it’s important to always share my feelings with my parents, to tell them everything and not to be ashamed of them.”
The Theater Appreciation project, like Negba’s Music Appreciation cooperative with the Israel Sinfonietta in Beersheva, is one of the many cultural initiatives offered to Negba’s children and youth. Studies demonstrate that cultural exposure expands the imagination and fosters emotional and social development. Tima K., 11, was greatly moved by the project, and he now has a new perspective on people. “My favorite play, The Witch from the House Next Door, was about three unpopular kids who became friends with a neighbor, an immigrant woman, and helped her. It taught me that even if someone is an immigrant and you don’t understand what they’re saying, we shouldn’t hate them or laugh at them. We should look at them for who they are.”