Thursday, May 26, 2022
The face of community member Molly Steinsapir is part of a mural now on display at Pierson Playhouse, completed on Friday, May 13, by artist Jules Muck.
The mural, located on the wall facing Temescal Canyon Boule- vard and Palisades Charter High School, was painted in honor of Molly’s passing and involvement at Theatre Palisades.
Molly, the 12-year-old daughter of Palisadians Kaye and Jonathan Steinsapir, died after suffering brain trauma in a bike accident in February 2021.
Theatre Palisades Board of Di- rectors President Philip Bartolf said getting the mural done involved a lengthy process that began last year. He said Muck was tasked with creating a design that everybody on the board approved, then the idea was presented to the Pacific Palisades Community Council for its input and support, as well as the city of Los Angeles and its mural commission.
“We got their approval about a month ago,” Bartolf said to the Palisadian-Post. “We gave the go- ahead, and Jules Muck jumped into action.”
The mural features all three shows that Molly starred in at Theatre Palisades: “Peter Pan” (2018), “Guys and Dolls” (2019) and “The Little Mermaid” (2019). The im- age of Molly is from a picture that was taken of her while she was performing on stage during “Guys and Dolls.”
“We considered several different options, we wanted to tie it into something Molly had done at the theater,” Kaye said about the mural. “The design was inspired by ‘Peter Pan,’ one of Molly’s favorite plays that she performed in. We liked the idea of Molly being featured as Wendy with her two younger brothers because Molly was an older sister to two younger brothers, and this theme of ‘Neverland.’
“Molly passed away at the age of 12. She didn’t get to become a teenager, she didn’t get to grow up, and she has that child-like innocence and playfulness and joy- fulness forever, so we wanted to reflect that in the mural. Not just for Molly, but for all the children in the Palisades and all the children who love the performing arts like Molly did.”
Kaye said different images of “Peter Pan” are incorporated into the mural, while the windowscape emanated from the shape of the wall and the space Muck was working in.
One side of the mural features a blue butterfly—Kaye said this was a nod to Head of Theatre Palisades Youth Lara Ganz.
“The blue butterfly is for Lara, that’s Lara’s special sign, and the mural was originally Lara’s idea and she had to go out on a limb to push for it,” Kaye said. “It wasn’t easy to get everyone on board with this idea because it was something very different than what we have traditionally seen in the Palisades, and Lara was willing to push and not give up on it, even when I was. She never gave up, she’s the one who found Jules and she deserved some specific recognition there on that wall.”
In addition to Ganz’ efforts, Kaye said her friend Nicole Kuklok-Waldman also deserves credit for the completion of the mural. She said Kuklok-Waldman spearheaded the process with the city, making sure everything was properly filed.
“It was definitely a lengthy pro- cess and one that I wasn’t always sure was going to be successful, but there was a lot of desire from the community,” Kaye said. “A lot of stars had to align for it to come together ... and I feel like that’s Molly bringing everyone together in that way.
“I know Molly just loves it, I can feel it.”