Sara Martin-Henak wrote a Disney spiel | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Sara Martin-Henak wrote a Disney spiel 

It was a change of pace for Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun. 

Congregant Sara Martin-Henak wrote the Purim spiel that was performed at Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun last month. While other synagogues or groups have written original spiels, CEEBJ typically used scripts from outside sources, so this was a new development for the shul. 

Martin-Henak works as a paralegal and is attracted to hobbies that allow her to pursue the theatrical side of her personality. 

“So things like appearing in the Purum spiel last year, or one of my hobbies is competing in costume contests at the anime conventions,” she said. She writes and performs these song parodies for costumed skit competitions at anime conventions around the Midwest. It’s an endeavor not terribly dissimilar from a Purim spiel. 

Martin-Henak wrote the spiel with parodies of Disney songs. King Achashverosh hosts a big banquet and sings a parody of “Be Our Guest,” from Beauty and the Beast. “Let It Go,” from Frozen, was also parodied. “Mother Knows Best” from Tangled became “Haman Knows Best.”  

The Fox Point resident teaches at the CEEBJ religious school. Her spiel writing got started when Martin-Henak mentioned to Cantor David Barash that she has a theater degree and could write a spiel. Barash loved the idea. “Things kind of spiraled from there,” Martin-Henak said. 

“She’s always wanted to do something like this and really rose to the occasion,” Barash said. 

Martin-Henak said she has always loved Purim. “It is the holiday of the theater kids: Dress up in costume. Try and get a laugh out of everybody,” Martin-Henak said. 

In her teenage years, she used to dress up as famous women from both the Tanakh and history, to bring more attention to women in Judaism. 

Among her roles were Deborah, Judith, and Hana Rochel Verbermacher (the “Maiden of Ludmir”), who in the 1800s practiced male ritual Hasidic observances.