Yoga and animal adoptions merge in a special event on Saturday

Cats and yoga
TAVARES — How do you combine our love for exercising, healthy living and physical fitness … with a love for cats?

That’s easy. It’s call “Meowga”!

Or, as Elisha Pappacoda, the public information officer for the Lake County government noted, “You bring the yoga mats, we bring the shelter cats!”

This event is being held on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. at the Lake County Extension Center, 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares, as a way to have fun with a certified yoga instructor leading the class, but also as a way to raise awareness of the need to find homes for the cats and dogs now in the Lake County Animal Shelter.

It was the Animal Shelter and LEASH Inc. – an organization that works to ensure that feral cats are spayed and neutered – organized Meowga as a way for residents to get together and relax, stretch and unwind – surrounded, of course, by carefree felines from the shelter. Who knows, maybe one of the participants will decide they want to adopt one of the cats, too. Continue reading

Review: Teens presenting a superb version of “The Diary of Anne Frank”

Diary of Anne Frank Hagerty High

The Hagerty High School Purebred Productions just did a superb production of the Holocaust drama “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

OVIEDO — There’s a tendency among us “serious” community theater folks to shun high school productions, perhaps with the mistaken impression that it’s going to be something quaint, thoroughly unprofessional, and valued mainly by parents cheering on their teens. You know how us highbrow types don’t have time for that.

High school theater departments would no doubt beg to differ, and insist that with dedicated drama teachers and students who have developed a passion for acting and delivering a powerful story to the audience, they’re just as capable as any professional theater company of doing extraordinarily good work.

Hey, and guess what — they’re right.

A striking example of that goes to the theater department at Hagerty High School, where their PureBred Productions team of director Trevor Southworth and his very gifted student performers spent this weekend delivering a searing production of the Holocaust drama “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Performed in the Hagerty High auditorium, the vast stage lent itself quite well to the set design of the Amsterdam attic where Anne Frank and her family hid with other fleeing Jews from the Nazis. The set included multiple rooms and even the stairs leading to the roof, where the kids could spend some time away from the adults. Continue reading

Holocaust Center will host production of opera performed in a concentration camp

In recognition of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center is hosting a special presentation of an opera once performed in a concentration camp.

MAITLAND – It started on Nov. 9 1938. In a night of unspeakable horror, violence, and destruction, Germany carried out a pogrom against its Jewish residents, where Jews were beaten, buildings were destroyed by sledgehammers, and Synagogues were set on fire.

It came to be known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, after the haunting images of the shards of broken glass that littered the streets from the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues that got smashed.

This horrifying night is also seen by many historians as the start of the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler’s campaign to murder Europe’s Jewish population.

Every year in November, the Holocaust Memorial and Resource Education Center in Maitland holds a community commemoration of Kristallnacht at the Rosen Jewish Community Center, during which the community remembers the violent pogroms against the Jewish communities in Germany and Austria on Nov. 9-10 1938, in the hope that by always remembering, the world will never forget, or repeat, this tragedy.

This year, noted Pam Kancher, the Center’s executive director, there is a unique program being planned. Continue reading

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