Poolesville and its grand dame of the theater, Barbara Royster Eklof, have done it again.
Eklof, director of the Barbara Eklof Community Dance Theatre, has reached into a broad segment of her community for the third straight year and drawn more than 100 children and adults into exciting experimental theater.
This year's production, "Blessed Are The Children," which eneded Feb. 8, was a musical about outter space that delivered the message that love and the goodness of children can conquer all evil.
It began with a narator (Dick Murphy) who set an eerie tone, introducing two worlds: Dromedon, "a world wit forgotten morals, a dying environment" and Shalima, "a beautiful time and place in the future."
Butterflies, characters adorned with silver leis and performers in white "Galactica" costumes moved to and chanted music with overtones of reggae and calypso. Eklof, the show's writer, director and choreographer, fully utilized the modern Poolesville High School auditorium, darkening it so that the word "love" could be spelled out with flashlights.
One side note: According to Eklof, Bob Frederick, area coordinator for the Montgomery County department of recreation, which supplies funds for her organiation, says his department cannot continue to pay for the productions because of what he called a lack of community interest and support.
The fifth Annual Festival of Jewish Arts will be celebrated throughout March at the Jewish Community Center, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville.
This varied examination of Judaic cultural life begins with "Jewish Dance and Song of the Renaisance" and a "Purim Paper Workshop" led by artist Tamar Fishman (both on March 1).
"The New Rise of Anti-Semiism," a talk by Samuel Pisar, a survivor of the Holocaust (March 3); drop-in singing with the Folk Song Society (March 5), and a concert by the Zemer Chai Chorale (March 7) are the subsequent events.
These are to be followed by the film "The Shop on Main Street" (March 8); a reception for Israeli artist David Soussana, whose works are on exhibit at the center (March 8), and a concert called "Dance Variations on a Jewish Theme" by Choreo 18, the resident modern dance company of the center (March 14 and 15).
Also set for Marc 15 is a concert by violinist Boris Belkin. Then come the center's Symphony Orchestra performance (March 21); the film "Images Before My Eyes," about Poland before the Holocaust (March 22); a full-scale, Hebrew-language production of "The Music Man" (March 22, 25, 26 and 28), and a "Passover Seder Music Workshop"(March 25).
Filling out the month are more drop-in singing (March 26), a "Hagaddah in Papercut and Calligraphy Workshop" (March 29), an Israeli Folk Dance Festival (March 29) and Ruth Gruber Fredman discussing her book, "The Passover Seder: The Afikomen in Excile."
Times for each event and ticket information are available by calling 881-0100, ext. 47.
Joe Michilen is a gold medalist holding the record among deaf athletes for pole vaulting (14 feet 2 1/4 inches). He needs $4,000 to defray his expenses to travel to the International Olympics for the Deaf in Cologne, Germany in July. The Grrenbelt Jaycees are helping him raise the money by sponsoring a "Gong Show" with free door prizes at the Greenbelt Cultural Arts Center, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. Call 474-7763, 345-3516 or 345-7844 for details.