Josh and Rachael Silverbauer, spouses and co-creators of entertainment collective Very Awesome Arts, are on a bid to infuse humor and media into Jewish cultural traditions like Purim and Passover.
Josh Silverbauer describes the lack of creativity in the Passover seder tradition of reading from “boring” Haggadahs — the text that recounts the blessings, rituals and overall story of Passover:
“You have to sit there for like four hours reading and saying prayers, and everyone’s just waiting for the eating to begin,” said the creative, who also heads digital media company Grue & Bleen and co-creates a longstanding, themed musical Purim show, “A Very Awesome Purim” with his wife and others.
In 2012, the group took some, er, creative liberties with the tale and wrote their own Haggadah to read among family and friends. Then a Mad Libs-style Haggadah game took form. This year, the group went full digital with “Mad Liberation: Let My People LOL,” a web app that lets groups create their own wacky versions of Haggadah.
“Very Awesome Arts decided to develop something that people could play around their own tables, anywhere in the world, to help spice up their seders and connect with their family and friends over Passover traditions in a whole new way,” he said. “We are currently in beta, but hope to get people to try it out this year and let us know how we can make it even more awesome. If all goes well, we’d love to do an interactive dinner event next year.”
Here’s a quick explainer from Rachel Silverbauer:
Does the group worry that their humor-driven approach might offend purists?
“We feel there is no wrong way to do religion,” Josh Silverbauer said. “It’s whatever engages you. Just like there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.”-30-
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