Chair of the Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama
Seventeen years have passed since the establishment of The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama which marked a breakthrough in the exportation of Israeli drama to the world. First and foremost was Levin himself who became a household name in numerous countries including Poland, France, Germany, Russia, South America, and others; additional playwrights whose works are produced abroad and are represented by the Institute are Edna Mazya, Anat Gov, Hadar Galron, Hillel Mittelpunkt, Shmuel Hasfari, Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari, Gilad Evron, Gur Koren, Maya Arad-Yasur, Dror Keren, Ina Eisenberg, Guy Amir and Hanan Savyon, Oren Yaakobi, and others.
Israeli drama engages with the highly-charged issues unique to its society and multifaceted culture and their reflection in family life, interpersonal relationships, and attitudes towards the different and the other. The conflicts which are the fuel of the stage can be found in abundance in our society: remembrance of the Holocaust, relations between Jews and Arabs, the trauma of war and its effects on all the parties to it, relations between religious and secular Jews, and the struggle to find a personal identity at intersections of contradiction.
From all the above material the creators choose their theatrical language and find their own unique voice in Hebrew which, until about a century ago, was considered a dead language, a language of ritual and prayer, and which today is a multilayered spoken language.
Contemporary Israeli Theatre has gained immense popularity: five million tickets are sold annually by the various theatres, and relative to the size of the country’s population of some eight million, this is a most impressive achievement. Every evening throughout the country plays are performed to full houses, and at any given moment one can choose from a multitude of possibilities in various genres and artistic styles. Among audiences the success of Israeli Theatre even surpasses that of soccer!
In recent years, theatre professionals from a variety of countries have visited Israel both for the International Exposures of Israeli Theatre and for the events of IsraDrama: Spotlight on Israeli Drama. The countries represented include Germany, Poland, France, Hungary, Russia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Austria, Spain, China, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Turkey, Thailand, Cyprus, Greece, Canada, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Croatia, and the United States.
I hope that the International Exposure of Israeli Theatre 2017 will provide new experiences for you and will lead to artistic collaborations and a continued dialogue throughout the global village.
Noam Semel, Chairman
The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Dramaread more >>