Based on a book by Omri Assenheim; Written by Motti Lerner; Adapted and directed by Hanan Snir; Set design: Eran Atzmon; Costumes: Ruth Miller; Lighting design: Meir Alon; Music: Yossi Ben-Nun

The play is based on Catching a Killer by Omri Assenheim, an investigative journalist for “Uvda”, the leading investigative and current affairs program on Israeli television.

Cause of Death: Unknown is a remarkable personal documentation of a jolting seven-year investigative journey. It exposes the secrets and lies in married life, provides a glimpse into the recesses of the legal systems in which fates are sealed, but more than anything, it is a tribute to investigative journalism that strives to discover the truth and achieve justice against all odds.
Following Assenheim’s investigation, Shimon Cooper was accused in 2010 of murdering two of his wives, and is serving a life sentence. This is the story of lonely women who were willing to do anything for love, and paid with their lives when they met Mr. Wrong.


The fact that the play is based on a true story makes it powerful, meaningful, and no less important – enjoyable… (David Rosenthal, Walla!)

On behalf of all living and dead women, I take my hat off. Cause of Death: Unknown manages to move and shock. It is not self-evident that men can create a work together that is entirely empathic to women. Don’t miss it. (Nano Shabtai, Haaretz)

An impressive and disturbing drama that delves deep into the killer’s soul, and manages to give voice to the women given their tragic fate. (Dana Schumacher, Maariv)


Motti Lerner – Playwright and screenwriter. Among his plays are: Kastner, Pangs of the Messiah, Pola and Pollard, produced by the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Exile in Jerusalem, Passing The Love of Women and Doing His Will at Habima National Theatre, Autumn at the Beit Lessin Theatre, Hard Love at Haifa Theatre, The Hastening of The End in the Jerusalem Khan Theatre, The Admission in Jaffa Theater.
His plays have been performed in the US, Germany, England, Austria, Australia, Italy, Canada, South Africa, India, and other countries, including: The Murder of Isaac (Germany, US), Benedictus (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington), In The Dark (Delhi), Paulus (Chicago), The Admission (Washington, 2014), and After the War (Washington, 2016).
Films for television: Loves at Bitania, Kastner’s Trial (Winner of the Israeli Academy Award for Best TV Drama, 1995), Bus 300, Egoz, A Battle in Jerusalem, the TV series The Institute, and the feature films The Silence of the Sirens (Winner of the Israeli Academy Award for Best TV Feature Film, 2003), Spring 1941, Altalena, and Kapo in Jerusalem.)
He is a recipient of the best play award (1985), The Israeli Prime Minister Award (1994) and the Landau prize (2014).
His book According to Chekhov: Thoughts on the Writing of Uncle Vanya was published in 2011, and The Playwright’s Purpose was published in 2015. He teaches playwriting at the Kibbutzim College School of Performing Arts. He taught at Tel Aviv University from 1992 to 2007, and at Duke University in North Carolina, Knox College in Illinois, and Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.


Hanan Snir graduated from the Department of Theatre Arts at Tel Aviv University and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, where he also taught and directed.
He served as the Artistic Director of Habima National Theatre during the 1990-1991 season. In 1992-1993 he completed his MA in Counseling Psychology at Boston University. Concurrently with his theatre work, which incorporates psychodrama techniques in the rehearsal process, he holds psychodrama workshops for therapy professionals. Snir teaches theatre at Kibbutzim College, and serves as a resident director at Habima National Theatre.
His recent productions include: Black Box, an adaptation of the novel by Amos Oz; Passing the Love of Women; A Month in the Country; The Goat or Who is Sylvia?; The Spotted Tiger; Antigone (in collaboration with the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, winner of the Israel Theatre Awards for Best Play and Best Director in 2008); The Celebration (Habima Theatre and Cameri Theatre); Little Eyolf; The Same Sea, an adaptation of the novel by Amos Oz; The Master Builder (Habima Theatre and Cameri Theatre); Other Desert Cities; Mirele Efros (adaptation and directing); Our Class (Habima Theatre and Cameri Theatre); and To the End of the Land, an adaptation of the novel by David Grossman, and directing (Habima Theatre and Cameri Theatre).
Many of the productions Snir directed were invited to international festivals: Uncle Vanya (Venezuela), Ghosts (Norway), The Father (Sweden), The Spotted Tiger (Germany, Russia), Antigone (Taiwan, Japan, Cyprus), Kaddish for Naomi (Russia, US), The Turn of the Screw (Germany), and To the End of the Land (US).
In 2015, Snir won three Theatre Awards: Best Play and Best Director for Our Class, and a Life Achievement Award for his oeuvre.

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