Storyteller & Artistic Director
Maya Blank was born in Israel where she completed her theater studies at the prestigious Thelma Yellin School of the Arts. She was seen in leading roles in several films and stage productions, among them at the National Habimah Theater.
Upon completing her military service as a film producer in the Israeli Defense Force Film Unit Maya went on to design and direct theater and storytelling workshops for children ages 3-13 in Israel.
She moved to New York where she earned a Bachelor’s degree focusing on Psychology and Media Studies from Hunter College and a Master’sdegree in Special Education with a concentration inautism from Columbia University ’s Teachers College.
In New York, Maya also appeared in the TV series "Flight of the Conchords," in the recent theater production of A Clear Midnight, as well as in student films for theTisch School of the Arts at NYU. In addition, she recently directed a theater - dance performance that premiered at the renowned Suzannne Dellal Center in Israel.
After working for several years as a teacher delivering special education services to children and their families at home and at school, Maya became the head teacher and designer of a unique Jewish tradition program for children with autism at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.
Recently, Maya established Play Me a Story, a musical storytelling workshop for children, in collaboration with the multi-instrumentalist and composer Uri Sharlin. Together they engage all participants in an experiential exploration of favorite stories through the Arts.
Musician & Artistic Director
Uri Sharlin was born in Tel Aviv, Israel where he completed his musical studies at the prestigious Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts. As a young jazz pianist Uri played in various clubs in Israel. He served in the Israeli Army as musical director and a pianist for the Army’s Jazz band.
In 1998, he moved to New York where he earned a BFA degree in music performance from the City college of New York.
After graduating from school, Uri collaborated with various renowned musicians, among which are Antony and the Johnsons, Natalie Merchant, Roberto Rodriguez, and Pharaoh’s Daughter, to mention a few. Uri also appeared in the HBO series "Flight of the Conchords."
While being based in New York he traveled numerous times to Brazil where he studied Brazilian music on piano, accordion and percussion. Uri is leading several groups of his own, among them are The Cardamon Quartet, with which he recorded his first album Reflections of the Road (Folk Dune 2005) and DogCat and Other Animals. He appeared both as a performer and as a writer on numerous albums of many different musical styles such as Rock, Jazz, Brazilian, Cuban, Egyptian, and Moroccan.
During his years in New York, Uri conducted school bands for different age groups (10-17), and accompanied religious services for both adults and children. Since 2005, he has been a resident musician at CongregationB’nai Jeshurun.
Recently, Uri joined Maya Blank in establishing Play Me a Story, a musical storytelling workshop for children. Together they engage all participants in an experiential exploration of favorite stories through the Arts.