God has more in common with a bottle of dish soap than you might think. Or at least Brooklyn-based puppeteer and educator Ora Fruchter wants you to think so.
Through Creatures Teach Torah, Fruchter uses various puppetry methods to explore and teach biblical stories [video trailer here]. One of these methods is object theatre – a school of puppetry developed in Europe in the 1980s in which everyday objects are anthropomorphically transformed into characters. In a world where a fork can be the villain and a slice of coffee cake, the hero, there’s lots of room for interpretation. A simple household object – the way it looks, its real life utility – can be a fresh and unexpectedly provocative way to think about the personalities of the characters in the Torah.
Take Fruchter’s Tabletop Torah performance where Moses is a sponge and God is a bottle of dish soap. Instead of explaining to her multigenerational audiences why this is, Fruchter puts the question to them. In so doing, she hopes audiences can“access the idea that the Torah is theirs to interpret.”
So check it out — just be warned that once you do, your dishpan may never look quite the same to you again.