Daughter of Sheila Schwid and Jay Milder
Lived at Westbeth from 1970 to 1980
I can remember running around the endless labyrinth that was the basement playing Zombies with Stephanie Wales and Carla Hollander, my two best friends. Zombies consisted of hiding in dank, dark corners of mysterious rooms along the continuous corridor. A couple of your best friends scattered to the far reaches of the basement and then crept along trying not to find you. As one neared, you suddenly jumped out screeching so as to scare her as much as possible, thereby scaring yourself at the same time. It was great fun.
I remember crowded Christmas parties in the community room–not where the community room is now, but in the building that forms the west wall of the outer courtyard. I also worked in the fast falafel place, Amy’s, which, for a short time, was in that same building.
I remember drawing a huge pentacle in white chalk on the floor of a very large, completely empty room in the basement. This was in preparation of a witch’s ritual, which never took place. I was a Westbeth witch. There were three of us. This was top secret, of course.
I remember acting in Medea as part of the Westbeth Playwrights Feminist Collective. “Gods and Goddesses under the sun, do the deeds that man wants done. If the Gods can’t answer man, then we’ll see what women can” was chanted over and over, while I stirred a cauldron as one of Medea’s two young handmaidens. (The other was a little girl named Nadji Dajani, who grew up to be an actual actress.)
I remember directing (bossing?) my two siblings, Rifka and Josh, and the three Silva kids (or maybe just Rondi) in a play based on a story series my father made up called Hotchkyvovo and the Three Bags of Flies. The Green Slime was one of the characters. Someone wore overalls and a green beard. I believe Rondi played Jet the dog. The cement ring in the inner courtyard was our interestingly shaped stage.
I remember leaping between the cement cylinders that, like giant stepping stones, ring what used to be a fountain in the center of the outer courtyard. I didn’t miss. I didn’t fall. I was a witch!