Comedy. By Ernest Joselovitz and Harry Michael Bagdasian. Adapted from the Jewish folktales of Chelm.
Cast: 4m., 2w. (4 of which may play multiple roles.) Capture the Moon, a lighthearted play for 4- to 11-year-olds, is based on the traditional Yiddish tales of Chelm, portrayed as a mythical Eastern European shtetl, its people being awfully poor, very devout, thoroughly democratic (just about anything could justify a town meeting), and of a uniquely innocent way of thinking and acting. The play spotlights this poor village's humorous attempt to solve a streetlighting problem by capturing the moon and harnessing moonlight. The failure of the first attempt (to capture and store the moonlight in a barrel of water) forces them to seek the help of the neighboring Christian village to climb their church steeple (almost) up to the moon. With their neighbors' cooperation, the Chelmites then must journey through the surrounding Christian countryside in search of the moon at its lowest point on the horizon. On this journey, they become aware of their "differentness," and they are finally appreciated for it. Capture the Moon offers, in children's terms, interesting elements of Jewish history. More than that, though, it is a play about a common devoutness that encourages mutual respect, respect for different ways of thinking and imagining. Unit set. Approximate running time: 50 minutes.