Art–whether it be dancing, painting, drawing, film–creates a space for self-examination, helping us to envision possible futures, and better versions of ourselves. And the Jewish month of Elul is traditionally an opportunity for introspection before the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Recognizing the power of art to be transformative, Lilith is highlighting Black Jewish women artists in this time leading up to and through Elul. On Lilith’s platforms you’ll have a chance to experience, share, and celebrate their work.
You can also participate by letting us know (at info@Lilith.org) Black Jewish women creators we should include!
This week Lilith is featuring Tatiana Wechsler (@tatiwex on Instagram and Twitter).
Tatiana Wechsler is a New York City based performing artist and songwriter who has performed at theaters and in many venues regionally and on and off-Broadway, including the Paper Mill Playhouse, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, The Theatre at St. Clement’s, Two River Theatre, The O’Neill Theater Center, Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Yankee Stadium, Birdland, The Beacon Theatre, Madison Square Garden, Town Hall, The Minskoff Theatre, Lincoln Center, The Delacorte Theater, and Radio City Music Hall. She was the first woman to play Curly in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (Oregon Shakespeare Festival).
Her TV/Film credits include the short film Netuser, starring Denis O’Hare. Wechsler’s original music, as well as covers, can be viewed online. Tatiana is a fierce advocate for equity, justice, joy, and love and is honored to be able to pursue her passions!
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I feel most grateful for all the wonderful, beautiful, amazing people in my life! Despite this being a time when I haven’t been able to see most of the people I love, I have continually been reminded of how fortunate I am to know such brilliant people, both friends and family. The people in my life are supportive, caring, loving, and fun, and their lights have kept me afloat. And I’m grateful for the technology that has allowed me to remain in contact with folks all over the world. I really do marvel at how lucky I am to know my loved ones, and I can’t wait to be able to see everyone!
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
The past few months have been fruitful for me in terms of songwriting and creative pursuits. I put together a solo concert for The Acting Company in July that featured mostly original songs, and I’m currently preparing a Sukkot themed concert for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. I’ve been writing songs, playing instruments, recording and mixing the music, and filming and editing videos. It’s been very fun to start learning these new skills, and I’ve found that having this creative outlet has kept me motivated and fulfilled during these times. So I’ve been singing a lot to myself! And have been sharing with others.
What is one question that you found yourself asking over and over again this year? What version of an answer are you living your way into?
I keep wondering – when will this end? When will we emerge out of this? When will we be healed? When will there be justice? When, when, when. Many of the issues we are facing have been around for so long, and it can be incredibly overwhelming and disheartening. There are times when I think the solutions are impossible. I try to appreciate every day. I try to keep busy and also rest. I try not to hear the clock ticking so loudly. I’m trying to figure out how best to be of service. I try to remember that true healing and change will take time. I try to release myself of the expectation of knowing what’s to come while also striving to create a better tomorrow for everyone. Ultimately, I am trying and I will keep trying.