PANEL DISCUSSION: Welcome to Theatre-Land: Israel’s Theatrical scene

“Welcome to Theatre-Land: Israel’s Theatrical scene”- This morning session aims to shed some light on the richness and diversity of Israeli theatre today. We will discuss its multiculturalism (with plays in Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, and Amharic) and the distinctive features of the repertoire it presents. We’ll also host some leading playwrights and directors, for a special Q&A.

Participants:
Joshua Sobol – Playwright, Ghetto – Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, London – Best Play
Hadar Galron – Playwright, Mikveh, Actress, Screenwriter, and Comedienne
Michal Svironi – Creator and Performer, Carte Blanche

Panel discussion: From Page to Stage

Adapting a book into a play is like finding a needle in a haystack or, perhaps, like traveling between two different dimensions. These two art forms could not be more different and yet their combination breeds a magnificent hybrid, an almost independent genre of theatre that brings to life and gives an audience to a story intended solely for the eyes and soul of a single reader. In recent years, this phenomenon has become increasingly popular in Israel and worldwide – and the variety of sources is practically endless – Biblical texts, fantasy books, family dramas, even personal diaries get their turn in the limelight and audiences can’t seem to get enough. What is it about this distinctive brew between the page and the stage that makes it so popular?
We invited some of Israel’s top playwrights and directors to discuss this conundrum and we suggest you take a page from our book and join in the conversation.

 

Participants:
Motti Lerner – Playwright, Passing the Love of Women
Aya Kaplan – Director, Adapter, A Tale of Love and Darkness
Shahar Pinkas – Playwright and Dramaturge, Next in Line
Hanan Snir – Director, To the End of the Land, Black Box
Ilan Ronen – Director, The Yellow Wind

Panel discussion: Embodying Meaning | Let’s Play it by Gender

Here’s a fun fact: Facebook has 58 gender options for its users. We’ve come a long way since there were only two options, and with such a vast variety of possible identities, there’s no wonder so many theatre-makers turn to their craft in order to delve into and explore this fascinating, critical subject. Of course, once we touch on gender, we automatically open the door to such burning issues as sexuality, relationships, sexual harassment, trans rights and even minority representation. How is this relatively new approach to gender and gender roles affecting the theatre both on and off stage? In what ways is it promoting new stage languages, perhaps even compelling theatre-makers to rethink norms, practices and conventions that up until now have been inseparable from their work? We’ve selected a diverse group of exciting young artists whose works have courageously, unabashedly and unhesitantly address these urgent questions and we’d love for you to meet them.

 

Participants:
Or Marin and Oran Nahum – Choreographs and Creators, Raining Men – Carnival on the Battlefield
Ido Rozenberg – Director, Passing the Love of Women
Gony Paz – Creator and Performer, We Blush
Nurit Dreamer – Playwright and Director, KUSHELIRABAK – A perfect wrong night

Panel discussion: “Words are all we have Left to Play with”

*Hanoch Levin, The Lost Women of Troy

 

There is no doubt that the late Hanoch Levin was – and to a great extent still is – Israel’s most famous and prolific writer. His body of work spanned over 30 years and in that time he has written plays, sketches, songs and prose. His unique style and language, the worlds he created – that are somehow so local and yet so very universal, his brilliant ability to peer straight into the human psyche in a manner that is simultaneously ruthless and compassionate, his hilariously pathetic (or pathetically hilarious) characters – all these have earned him a one-of-a-kind stature in Israeli culture, and theatre in particular. We invite you to step inside his extraordinary world, get acquainted with an array of unparalleled characters and enjoy his razor-sharp texts.

 

Participants:
Ari Folman – Director, The Constant Mourner; Filmmaker, Golden Globe Award Winner, Waltz with Bashir
Roni Toren – Stage Designer, Requiem in China
Yair Sherman – Theatre Director, Requiem in China
Noam Semel – General Director of Habima National Theatre, Chair of The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama
Jessica Cohen – Translator, Man Booker Prize Winner

Panel discussion: Takeaway Theatre

2020 was tough on the world of theatre. Everywhere you looked theatres shut down, ensembles disassembled, and cultural funds were cut, leaving thousands of actors, directors, playwrights, designers, stage workers, producers, musicians, and many more out of work. Shows destined to travel abroad were forced to stay home, with little or no hope of ever making the trip. In the foreseeable future, so it seems, only small, “compact” productions will be able to travel due to budgetary cuts and comprehensive reorganization. How will this affect international exchanges between theatres? Will it change the way theatre-makers devise their next project? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter as, together, we contemplate the future.

 

Participants:
Michal Svironi – Creator and Performer, Carte Blanche
Moti Brecher – Creator and Performer, Painted Floor, Mediterranean View
Mica Kupfer – Creator and Performer, By Virtue of the Same Movement
Rotem Nachmany – Creator and Performer, Scrambled

Panel discussion: Israeli Theatre’s Greatest Hits

The world has discovered Israeli texts, Hallelujah! In the past few years, we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of international productions based on Israeli texts – dramas, comedies, political plays, and even musicals, have gained enormous success in Europe, the USA, China, and with many more audiences across the Globe. Don’t miss our conversation with some of Israel’s most fruitful playwrights, get to know their work, and find out more about our “greatest hits”!.

 

Participants:
Joshua Sobol – Playwright, Ghetto – Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, London – Best Play
Moshe Kepten – Artistic Director, Habima National Theatre
Hadar Galron – Playwright, Mikveh, Actress, Screenwriter, and Comedienne
Maya Arad-Yasur – Playwright, Amsterdam, Suspended
Shimrit Ron – Director, The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama

Opening Event

Recent events have shown us that peace in the Middle East might not be out of reach when the right stars align. Though politically, there’s still a (very) long way to go, theatrically, these reconciliation efforts have been taking place for a while between Arabs and Jews, be it through bi-lingual productions or various attempts to rectify the past, face the present, and perhaps even look to the future with cautious optimism – on stage. Please join us at the online screening of “The Yellow Wind“, an adaptation of David Grossman’s book, which will be immediately followed by a special panel discussion on “Theater and Peace” – what is theatre’s role in bringing nations, groups, and individuals closer together?

 

Participants:
Hili Tropper – Minister of Culture and Sports
Ziv Nevo Kulman – Head of the Cultural Diplomacy, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Thomas L. Friedman – (via video) Author and Columnist at The New York Times, Pulitzer Prize Winner
Raida Adon – Actress and Artist
Norman Issa – Actor
Hisham Suliman – Actor, Fauda, Director of the Arab Acting School in Nazareth
Professor Gad Kaynar Kissinger – President of the Israeli Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), and of ITI’s International Playwrights’ Forum (IPF)
Guy Elhanan– actor and educator

PASSING THE LOVE OF WOMEN

Zisl and Azriel are yeshiva students living in the Polish town of Frampol. While devoutly studying together, they discover their mutual attraction. As they cannot maintain a relationship in their small town, they decide to run away to the city of Lublin, but soon discover that in order to live together, one of them must disguise himself as a woman. Zisl agrees to do so despite the strict law forbidding men to wear women’s clothing.
They try living together in Lublin as man and wife. Azriel opens a small shop, and Zisl becomes a seamstress. Zisl cannot go to the yeshiva, or pray with men in the synagogue. He is willing to sacrifice everything in order to remain with his lover, but Azriel feels that his own sacrifice is unbearable; he wants to marry a woman, have a son, and live as all men do. Their relationship deteriorates, but they are unable to separate. Both men realize that their love is so profound they would rather die than live without it.
In this new visual and sensual stage version, highly acclaimed director Ido Rozenberg takes a notable distance from the shtetl-aesthetic, and updates a thrilling stage language, based on rhythm, movement, and humor. His protagonists appear to “rebel with a cause” against any coercing society.

 

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Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in 1904 in the Polish town of Leoncin. He grew up in Warsaw, and lived on Krochmalna Street – which became the setting for many of his stories and novels. As a young man, he removed his religious garb, and worked as a proofreader for a Yiddish journal. His only son, Israel Zamir, was born in 1929. In 1935, following his older brother, Singer immigrated to the US, and worked as a journalist. His success as a writer began with the publication of his first collection, Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories (1957), and The Magician of Lublin (1960). Over the next two decades, his popularity grew, most of his books were translated into English, and he began writing children’s books, and producing new stories, novels, and collections in both Yiddish and English. In 1978, Singer received the Nobel Prize for Literature, and became the only writer in Yiddish to receive this honor. Singer continued to write and translate his stories and novels throughout the 1980s. He died in July 1991, and was buried in New Jersey. His most famous novels include Satan in Goray, The Family Moskat, The Slave, Enemies, A Love Story, and Shosha.

 

Israel Zamir, the only son of Isaac Bashevis Singer, was born in 1929 in Warsaw. In the late 1930s, Zamir and his mother Runia came to Israel, and his father immigrated to the US. When he was sixteen, Zamir was sent to Kibbutz Beit Alfa in the north of Israel, and later joined the Israel Defense Forces, and fought in Israel’s War of Independence. Many years later, Zamir recalled some of his traumatic battle experiences in his book Turn Off the Sun (2004). In 1960, Zamir married Aviva, his wife of over fifty years, and they had four children and nine grandchildren. Zamir was a journalist, an author, and a translator. He wrote many articles, published eight books in Hebrew, including Agil Baozen (The Earing), and Sandal Shel Sus (The Shoe of a Horse). His book Journey to My Father, describing his reunion with his father after being apart for twenty-five years, was translated into English and other languages. Israel Zamir died in November 2014, at age 85, after being a proud kibbutz member for almost eight decades.

 

Most of Motti Lerner’s plays deal with political themes. They include: Kastner, Pangs of the Messiah, Paula, Pollard, at the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv; Exile in Jerusalem, Passing The Love of Women, and Doing His Will at Habima National Theatre; Autumn at Beit Lessin Theatre; Hard Love at Haifa Municipal Theatre; The Hastening of The End at Jerusalem Khan Theatre; and The Admission at Jaffa Theater. His productions in Europe include: Kastner, Autumn, The Murder of Isaac at Heilbronn Theater, Germany; Exile in Jerusalem in Stuttgart, Berlin, and Vienna; and Hard Love in Rome and Berlin. His American productions include: The Murder of Isaac at Centerstage Theatre in Baltimore; Passing the Love of Women at Theater J in Washington DC; Pangs of the Messiah at Theater J, Silk Road Rising in Chicago, and Theater of Ideas in New York; Benedictus at Golden Thread Theatre in San Francisco, and Theater J; Paulus at Silk Road Rising; Hard Love at TACT in New York; The Admission at Theater J; and After The War at Mosaic Theater in Washington DC. He is the recipient of the Award for Best Play (1985), and the Israeli Motion Picture Academy Award for Best Television Drama in 1995 and 2004. He won the Prime Minister of Israel Award for his creative work (1994), and the Landau Prize for Performing Arts (2014).

 

Hanan Snir is one of Israel’s most prominent directors. For the past forty years he has been an acting and psychodrama professor at Tel Aviv University, Kibbutzim College of Education, The Hebrew University, and the Open University, and he was recently appointed head of the Psychodrama Department at The Academic College of Society and the Arts.
He is a graduate of the Department of Theater Arts at Tel Aviv University, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He was a trainee director at the Royal Shakespeare Company under Peter Brook (1970), and directed at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London (1970-1972).
He was an associate director at Beer Sheva Municipal Theatre (1972-1974), Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv (1977-1982), and Habima National Theatre (1984-2018), where he also served as artistic director from 1992 to 1993. In 2007, he received the Israeli Academy Awards for Best Production, Best Director, and Best Adaptation for Sophocles’ Antigone, and won the Awards for Best Play and Best Director in 2015 for Słobodzianek’s Our Class. In 2017, he won the awards for Best Director and Best Playwright for his play To the End of the Land. Snir’s plays have been performed in numerous theater festivals around the world, including Japan, USA, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Taiwan, Venezuela, Romania, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Cyprus. In 2015, he received the Israeli Theater Award for Life Achievement.

 

Ido Rozenberg is an actor and director. He graduated with honors from Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, and Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts. Ido is a recipient of the Zvi Klir Award for Excellence in all three years of his studies there. He is also a recipient of the AICF Award for Gifted Artists. Ido was nominated for the Israeli Theater Awards in the category of Most Promising Actor, for his roles in The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia (Billy), and Antigone (Haemon), and in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his role in the musical Hair (Woof). Selected directing credits include Beit Lessin Theatre: Zero Motivation, Passing the Love of Women; Hasifriya Theatre: Perfect Wedding, Red Light Winter; Israel Philharmonic Orchestra: Israeli Native; Beit-Zvi School of the Performing Arts: Murder, Fiddler on the Roof, Village, Our Town, My Fair Lady, The Day I Stood Still, The Little Prince, Rents; The Israeli Youth Theatre: Greta, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peace To The World, Yes/No/Black/White; Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts: Chicago, Pippin, Company, The Breakfast Club.

THE YELLOW WIND

Twenty years after the Six-Day War, the weekly magazine Koteret Rashit (Headline) initiated the thought-provoking documentary piece The Yellow Wind. This was the result of seven feverish weeks of David Grossman, an Arabic speaker, wandering around the West Bank, visiting refugee camps, courts of law, settlements, towns, and villages, just before the outbreak of the first Intifada.
The testimonies from the West Bank were documented over thirty years ago, but when presented on stage today, it seems as though nothing has changed, and they are as relevant today as they were then.
The new stage version of The Yellow Wind premiered as part of the International Theatre Festival, Jaffa Fest, as a co-production of Jaffa Theatre and Tzavta Theatre.

 

This production will be streamed live on the opening night, as part of the “Panel Discussion: Theatre and Peace” on November 26, 2020 at 17:00

Trailer:

 

David Grossman was born in Jerusalem in 1954. His books have been translated into forty-five languages. He is the author of nine internationally acclaimed novels, three powerful works of non-fiction, and a short story collection, as well as nineteen children’s books, a children’s opera, and a play. Grossman has been presented with numerous awards including Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation (UK), the Buxtehuder Bulle (Germany), the Sapir Prize (Israel), the Premio per la pace e l’azione umanitaria 2006 (City of Rome/Italy), Onorificenza della stella solidarità Italiana 2007, Premio Ischia – International Award for Journalism 2007, the EMET Award 2007 (Israel), and the Albatross Prize, awarded by the Gunter Grass Foundation. Grossman was also the recipient of the prestigious Peace Prize of the German Booksellers Association in Frankfurt 2010, and France’s Prix Medicis for translated literature in 2011, as well as the Brenner Prize (Israel) in 2012. In 2013 he received the French Point award for most beloved book by readers and critics (To the End of the Land), and the Italian Fundazione Calcari for Lifetime Achievement. His new novel, A Horse Walks into a Bar, winner of Mann Booker Prize for 2017, has been published internationally in over thirty-five languages throughout 2016-17.

 

Ilan Ronen began a successful career as a director and artistic director of the Jerusalem Khan Theatre, the Cameri Theatre, and Habima National Theatre. In 1996, he established The Young Actors Group of Habima, and nurtured it until he was appointed artistic director of the theatre in 2004. During his time, Habima National Theatre became a leading theatre in the international arena as well, and he is the first artistic director in Israel to be elected President of the Union of European Theatres. During the period of his management, Ronen fostered a generation of young directors. He retired from artistic management in 2017, but continues to stage productions in Israel and abroad. His productions worldwide include: Michael Kolhaas at the Edinburgh Festival (1987); The Merchant of Venice at the Globe Theatre in London (2012); The Miser in Beijing and Saint Petersburg (2016); Alone in Berlin at ID Festival Berlin (2017); The Visit of the Old Lady at Maly Theatre in Moscow (2017); and Waiting for Godot at Manchester Festival (1994) and Cluj Festival (2018).

WHISTLE

“If you see a whistle roaming around the streets alone – it’s mine! Give it back to me! I lost it two and a half years ago in an accident…”

Tammy was the only child of two Auschwitz survivors. Her mother spent four years as Dr. Mengele’s (Jewish!) secretary. Tammy was born after the war, but her parents’ past haunted her childhood, and stole her natural right to happiness.
It is only at the age of 45 that Tammy discovers that she has never really lived or been loved. This startling revelation comes to her through a stranger, who suddenly enters her life, and opens up locked doors to her soul. But is Tammy capable of loving and being loved as she dreams, or will the black hole inside her swallow anyone who dares to come close?
Whistle is a monodrama that gives voice to the pain of second-generation Holocaust survivors, and exposes the invisible, yet deep, wounds of the Holocaust.

“As a child I was never hugged or kissed, I think my parents did not even see me. I wrote this story to stop being an invisible child” (Jacob Buchan, 75).

 

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Jacob Buchan was born in 1946 in Austria, and came to Israel with his parents when he was two. He graduated from Tel Aviv Art School. An author and painter, Buchan has published seventeen books. Along the Walls, a play based on his book Color Blind, was awarded an Honorary Citation at the 1997 Teatronetto Festival. Buchan is a two-time recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize (1993; 2001), as well as the Bernstein Prize for Hebrew Fiction (1997), and the Arik Einstein Prize (2017). His works include Jacob’s Life, Wasp Stories, Rust Blue, Levantine Fantasy, Gabriela, A Silent Scream, Endless Dream, Walking Candle, Transparent Child (translated into German).

 

Hadar Galron is a playwright, screenwriter, actress, director, songwriter, and comedienne. She studied theatre at Tel Aviv University. Her works include: Mikveh (play), The Secrets (film and play), Passion Killer (satirical stand-up cabaret), Whistle (monodrama), Harem (television series). Several of her plays have been produced internationally. Mikveh received the Play of the Year Award in 2005. Other plays have been nominated, and Hadar received several international awards for plays and screenplays. Hadar’s latest play, My First Jewish Christmas, about the identity crisis of Czech Jews, is scheduled to premiere in October 2020. This project is the fruit of a collaboration between Hadar and director Petr Svojtka, who met in 2018 at Isra-Drama: International Exposure of Israeli Theatre.

 

Hana Vazana-Grunwald is a director, creator, playwright, moderator of Israeli theatre groups, and founder of the Frechot Ensemble. Her work promotes theatrical language, questions, and content that intersect with cross-gender Sephardi identity and status. This is an artistic and political commitment to the disadvantaged and silenced voices in Israeli society and Israeli theatre. Tools come from community theatre, and plays are also committed to mutual responsibility and social solidarity practices. Her work underpins a new theatrical genre of poetic-documentary theatre, and work in artistic techniques of unwritten work without a pre-written play that emphasize her personal, social, and historical experience of performing and deconstructing images and stereotypes of Oriental femininity in front of audiences. This work includes social sensitivity and shapes the concept of her feminist Sephardic political world.
Her works include: Papag’ina, Frecha, a Beautiful Name, Pearl Paper Heart, Sof Al Hakatino (nursery rhyme), Maternity, Whistle, Tikva Quarter Cairo, Impregnate and Give Birth.

WE BLUSH

Embarrassment appears when we lose control, when the effort to cover up one thing reveals another. It blossoms in the gap between what I think of myself and what I think others think of me, and what they actually think.
When director Romeo Castellucci was asked why he doesn’t star in his own plays he said: “Being an actor is the hardest profession in the world; always standing naked at the wrong time in the wrong place, for all to see.” In We Blush, it’s the puppets who are naked, not us, and yet…
We Blush premiered at BAFF 2019 Festival Basel, and at Tmuna 2019 Festival TLV.

 

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Gony Paz is an interdisciplinary creator, performer, puppeteer, puppet director, and teacher. She graduated from the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem, and won the Jerusalem Foundation Prize for Excellence. She also graduated from Holon School of the Art of Puppetry and the School of Medical Clowning, and for the past ten years she has puppeteered and done voiceovers in a wide range of stage productions and television shows for children and adults, both independent and repertory. They include: Little Monsters, Red Band, Sesame Street, Suddenly, and a Knock on the Door. Her production of Sweetie You Ain’t Guilty premiered at Tmuna Festival in 2016, and the children’s play Night Journey with Michal Ben-Anat, produced by the Train Theatre, premiered at the 2016 Jerusalem International Puppet Theatre Festival. Both productions are shown regularly on stages across Israel and abroad.

A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS

The Jerusalem Khan Theatre.

This is a story about the Klauzner family – a family consisting of three generations, living in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kerem Avraham during the British Mandate period, the War of Independence, and the early years of the State of Israel, and consequently experiences the colossal events of the time.
Amos the writer dives into his childhood memories in Jerusalem in an attempt to understand why his mother Fanya committed suicide.
A Tale of Love and Darkness is the exemplary autobiographical book by renowned Israeli author Amos Oz, which has been translated into more than thirty languages, and is considered one of the best novels written in the Hebrew language.

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Aya Kaplan is a stage director, playwright, and senior acting and writing teacher. Her works are performed regularly in theatres in Israel, including the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Habima National Theatre, Jerusalem Khan Theatre, and Beer Sheva Theatre, where she served as a member of the artistic committee from 2011 to 2016. She has served on numerous committees for Israeli theatre festivals. She teaches acting, writing, and text analysis seminars for actors, directors, and designers in Israel and abroad. In recent years, she has been focusing on directing her own plays, as well as creating a new artistic language for original Israeli playwrighting, and bringing feminine narratives to center stage.
Her latest works include: Director and writer of the stage version, Lost Relatives by Nava Semel, Habima National Theatre (2020); co-writer (with Shahar Pinkas) and director, Rosa’s Apartment, Beer Sheva Theatre (2020); playwright and director, The Return, Cameri Theatre (2019); director, The Nether, by Jennifer Haley, Jerusalem Khan Theatre (2018); director and dramaturge, Doing as He Wishes, by Motti Lerner, Habima National Theatre (2017); co-writer (with Joshua Sobol) and director, Wandering Stars, based on the novel by Shalom Aleichem, The Yiddishpiel Theatre (2016); director and dramaturge, Between Friends, by Hagit Rehavi-Nikolayevsky, based on the novel by Amos Oz, Beer Sheva Theatre (2015).

 

Amos Oz (1939-2018) was a writer and intellectual, considered one of the most highly acclaimed writers in Israel and internationally.
His philosophy engages with Israeli and Zionist literature, touching upon political-social, peaceful, social-democratic thought. His books have been translated into many languages, more than any other Israeli writer, and he has won numerous prestigious literary prizes in Israel and internationally, including The Israel Prize on Israel’s jubilee year (1998), the prestigious European Goethe Prize (2005), and the Heinrich Heine Prize (2008).

SOMEONE LIKE ME

This new Israeli drama chronicles the lives of five teenage patients in an adolescent psychiatric institution as they put on their very own theatre play. It is a window into the lives of doctors, patients, and parents – and into their souls. But it is also our story, because these kids are just like us – a high-volume version of us.
Playwright Roy Chen wrote the play following six months of research in a psychiatric hospital. The result blends dark humor with wit and sincerity, and creates a world that is both poetic and raw.
Director Ealeal Semel chose to stage the play as a theatre in-the-round, inviting the audience into the psychiatric ward for a powerful emotional experience. Five teenage actors portray the patients alongside four professional adult actors from Gesher Theatre. A teenage pianist and cellist perform live classical music, creating a haunting effect.
Someone Like Me celebrates the healing power of theatre in the hope of raising the bar of compassion ever so slightly.

 

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Roy Chen is a writer, playwright, and translator. Since 2007, he is Chief Dramaturge of Gesher Theatre. Chen’s plays include political satires: The Dropout, Herzel Said, The Tunnel; plays for children: Spirit of the Theatre, The Odyssey; and original plays inspired by iconic texts: I Don Quixote, Alice, The Dybbuk.
Chen has published a novel and a collection of short stories. Souls, his new novel, was published in Hebrew (Keter, 2020), and is going to be published in Italian (Giuntina, Florence) and Russian (Phantom Press, Moscow). Chen translated classic fiction novels and more than forty plays from Russian, English, and French, into Hebrew. Authors include Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Bunin, Gogol, Kharms, Chekov, Moliere, Anouilh, Zeller, Bashevis Singer, Icke, and Pirandello. Chen’s plays travel around the world with Gesher Theater (USA, Canada, Russia, China).

 

Ealeal Semel is a promising young theatre director. She recently staged Murder by Hanoch Levin to great acclaim in Israel and abroad (Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Romania; Danail Chirpansky Festival, Bulgaria; Teatralny Kufar Festival, Belarus; with invitations to upcoming festivals in India, China, and Europe).
Semel is a speaker and activist of the third generation. She is the granddaughter of holocaust survivors, and the daughter of the late author Nava Semel, a pioneering voice for second-generation Holocaust survivors in Israel and worldwide.
Other notable productions: (2020) The Chalk Circle, after Bertolt Brecht, Goodman Acting School of the Negev; The Dybbuk, after S. Ansky, Tel Aviv University Theatre; (2018) Waiting for Godot, associate director, Jaffa Theatre; (2015) Schuster, by Hanoch Levin, Young Artist Week, Mozarteum Academy of Theatre, Salzburg, Austria; Camp Herzl, actress and contributor, Tel Aviv University Theatre and the Mozarteum Thomas Bernhard Institute in Salzburg, directed by Christine Umpfenbach.

SCRAMBLED

An intimate, yet unsettling, performance featuring a woman’s journey to conceive while dealing with her darkest, most feminine sides. A reality embedded in the toilet that has become a small private temple in an attempt to create life in the shadow of death. When deep in shit, poetry comes out, and when the stench is so present it becomes a fragrance in her fantasy cabaret…
Scrambled premiered at Teatronetto Theatre Festival in 2019, and performed at Stockholm Fringe Festival in 2020. It was invited to festivals in Denmark, Serbia, and Slovenia.

 

Trailer:

 

 

Rotem Nachmany holds a BEd in Theatre and Theatre directing from Kibbutzim College of Education, and is a graduate of Haderech Acting School and Persona Physical Theatre School. She has performed at Clipa Theatre and at Tmu-na Theatre, as well as Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre. In 2016, she received the Award for Best Supporting Actress at the Fringe Awards Ceremony.

 

Maya Bitan is a director, teacher, movement designer for theatre, and a dancer in Orly Portal Dance Company. She holds a BEd in Theatre and Theatre directing from Kibbutzim College of Education. She trained in Ecole Jacques Lecoq, and specialized in the Viewpoints and Suzuki methods with renowned New York-based director Anne Bogart. Her works include: AB, adapting and directing, Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre (2018) and Tmu-na Theatre; Benghazi Bergen Belsen, movement design, La Mama Theater, New York (2017); My Wife, movement design, Teatronetto Festival (2016). She teaches workshops in physical theatre and masks in Israel and abroad.

 

Maayan Dobkovsky holds a BEd in Theatre and Theatre directing from Kibbutzim College of Education, and is a graduate of Haderech Acting School and Persona Physical Theatre School. She specializes in physical theatre, masks, and bodywork. She was an
actress in Persona Theatre Ensemble from 2013 to 2015, and in the mask presentation The Secret Mask from 2009 to 2015.

SAND STORIES

Dance theatre performed without words.
Girl. Sand. Drawing.
Drawings turn into characters, characters turn into stories, a girl draws in the sand – drawings become things, things become characters, characters become stories, and are erased.
An allegory of love: a play without words, modern clowning, animation, music, and physical theatre.

 

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Moshe Malka is an actor, director, playwright, acting instructor, and Alexander Technique teacher. He began his career as an actor at Jerusalem Khan Theatre, and later performed at the Youth Theatre, Habima National Theatre, and Itim Ensemble directed by Rina Yerushalmi. He developed a method of instruction for actors, which combines Alexander Technique, actors’ tools, and Shakespearean texts. He also developed an original physical-clowning theatrical idiom called Zits. Through it he has created street theatre, modern clowning performances, and plays without words. His plays have participated in festivals in Israel and abroad, and have won prizes. In 2002, he directed Blacks by Jean Genet at Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, where it received an honorable mention. Malka also served as artistic director of the Bat-Yam International Street Theatre Festival, created Behind the Wind at Na Lagaat Deaf-Blind Theatre, and he teaches acting in various frameworks.

RAINING MEN – Carnival on the Battlefield

The work uses the masculine visuals of the three men, and tries to stretch their gender boundaries, to redefine the normative masculine/feminine in them. The piece explores the supernatural into the “ready-made” by tracing the power, violence, delicacy, sexuality, and the cravings within it. It examines our defining experience of men and their heroism, exposes androgynous creatures who do not know what role they should play, and whether they adhere to their transient purpose – heroes.
The work was made possible thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture, The Israeli Choreographers Association, RE-SEARCH Dance Center, Ha’boostan Arts School Netanya, and Rani Mediyan.
(*includes full nudity)

 

Trailer:

 

Or Marin and Oran Nahum, a couple in life and creation, have been working together since 2005. Their work is known by its visual aesthetics, use of vocal and textual work, contemporary dance, and performance. In 2015, the couple founded the RE-SEARCH Dance Center to train dancers according to this method and their perception of contemporary choreographic needs nowadays.
Or is a designer and choreographer, and Oran is a dramaturge and musician. The division of roles between the two makes the creation process whole and homogeneous, and the couple weaves textures and precise flavors needed for each and every piece: for the dancers, the theme, and its performance and physical quality.

PAINTED FLOORS, MEDITERRANEAN VIEW

Painted Floor, Mediterranean View is a play within a play. The main stage is the living room of a young Jewish couple living in Jaffa in modern-day Israel. He is a screenwriter, and she is an architect in the midst of a project: renovation of a challenging space, where a minimalist Bauhaus building was built on the ruins of an old Arab mansion. The playwright draws inspiration from his wife’s project, and writes a play that takes place in the same house she is working on. He develops the script while playing with puppets in the model of the house that’s in the middle of their living room. His play takes place in an alternate reality, in which the Arabs win the historic battle over the land. They are the majority, and the Jews live in the country as a minority. Three characters (puppets) meet inside the house: two young Arab women and a young Jewish man, who is trying to hide his Jewish identity after returning from Germany. The three spend an evening of wine and lighthearted conversation, but under the painted floors, old demons are awaking. The political and the personal intertwine, as all the characters are desperately searching for meaning and salvation.
The show was produced with the support of the Lottery Council for Culture and Arts, and was sponsored by Hanut 31 Theatre and the Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts.

 

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Moti Brecher is an artist, actor-creator, and teacher. In his works, Brecher designs puppets, and uses them to dramatize performances that combine autobiographical details with political and historical events, in a visual language that draws inspiration from various artistic genres and media.
Brecher has written and produced numerous shows and performances for adults and children. He has participated in several museum exhibitions, presented a solo exhibition, and initiated and directed community projects. He has written satirical television sketches, and performed in the television series Srugim and Shtisel. Brecher is a graduate of the Excellence Program in Teaching and Art Studies, with emphasis on digital media, at Kibbutzim College of Education, and graduated with honors from the Department of Visual Literacy (MEd). His MA thesis “Puppets, Monsters and Education” focuses on the subversive use of puppets on the television series Sesame Street.

OASIS

“In war you always lose something.
Sometimes it’s just life itself.” (Oasis)

The year is 1956. Paris, the city of lights, is still recovering from World War II. The war drums seem far away. Noël, a young painter, lives in Montmartre, paints on the banks of the River Seine, and falls in love. He served as a paratrooper, and, like many others his age, he’s been sent to fight Algerian rebels in the Sahara Desert. He isn’t a pacifist, nor a communist, but at war, far from his homeland, he will face moral dilemmas that will confront him with the question: to be or not to be. This is a story about someone who agreed to lose everything in order to save his conscience.
Oasis received the Award for Best Show at Teatronetto Festival in 2019.

 

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Amir Peter holds a BEd in Theatre and Theatre Directing from Kibbutzim College of Education. He won several awards and scholarships, including competitions for dramatic writing, directing, and performing original monologues. After his studies, he participated in a number of productions as an actor, and took part in various festivals, including Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, Netanya Festival of Clowning, and Haifa International Children’s Theatre Festival. He won the Awards for Best Actor and Best Show for Oasis at the 2019 Teatronetto Festival.

 

Hen David graduated in 2018, and holds a BEd in Theatre and Theatre Directing from Kibbutzim College of Education. She received a grant for her performance in Har from the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts in collaboration with the Leon Recanati Foundation.

THE NEO-ANDERTHALS

In an unknown future, after the destruction of the world, humankind, as we know it, ceased to exist. Out of the ruins, a new species of modern primitives was born. Meet Ooa, Ai, and Smog. They are the Neo-Anderthals.
Searching for food one evening, Ooa, the chief of the tribe, finds a mysterious American peanut. He has never seen anything like it. He eats it, and the peanut brings ancient memories of the past, setting the tribe on a journey in the footsteps of their forgotten ancestors – the modern people: technological acceleration, pop culture’s fast beat, the collapse of human relationships, and machines that are advancing rapidly in front of their eyes.
The Neo-Anderthals is a physical comedy that explores the funny and scary sides of our day and age through mime, clowning, and drama.
The Neo-Anderthals premiered with the collaboration of Hayadit Theatre.

 

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Noam Rubinstein is a writer, director, and performer. He studied at the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem, and theatre studies at Haifa University. He wrote and performed in iDoll, winning the Award for Best Actor at Teatronetto Festival in 2012. He was nominated for two categories in the Israeli Fringe Awards in 2018, where Radio Play – Patrick Kim, in which he played the lead role, won the Award for Best Show. Other credits include: Faust Traummann (2016), writing, directing, and performing – a wordless vision based on Goethe’s Faust; Alte Sachen – an original Jewish clown show (2013), co-writing and directing; Insanity – a devised play based on Lord of the Flies (2012), writing and directing; actor and co-director in Hamemo (2006) – street theatre performance, for which he received Best Actor Acknowledgement at Bat Yam Street Theatre Festival. In 2008, he co-founded Ish Theatre Group – a clown and mime theatre. The group’s main show Odysseus Chaoticus toured extensively in festivals around the world. He is a former member of Clipa Theatre. Since 2016, he is a Professor of Movement in the Theatre Department at Haifa University. He served as a medical clown in hospitals in Jerusalem from 2006 to 2014.

MIKVEH

Mikveh is the physical space in which this story unfolds, but it is also the human space deep within the souls of these women who live in a religious world of men that binds them with its laws and duties. Below the still waters of the mikveh – the Jewish ritual bath – flow the secrets and the lies in the lives of eight women – eight stories destined to be bound together by one wave of courage, truth, and understanding of the profound power of sisterhood. But not all can survive…
Inside the secretive world of the ritual bath, the women’s stories unfold in this sensitive depiction of religious observance and evolving feminist consciousness. An insightful examination of traditions and rituals, this hit play explores the ever-evolving position of women in Israeli society.
Mikveh has had thirteen international productions – some of which have been running for more than a decade. In Israel, Mikveh received the Play of the Year Award in 2005.

 

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Hadar Galron is a playwright, screenwriter, performer, actress, director, and songwriter, both in Israel and internationally. She was artistic director of the Shalom Festival at Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2016-2018), and a lecturer and teacher of dramatic writing at several universities and colleges.
Born and raised in a deeply religious society – Hadar had to cross many bridges to find her place in the world of theatre. After studying theatre at Tel Aviv University, she was first known for her controversial one-woman stand-up shows on women’s status in Jewish law. Many of her works are about women in closed worlds/societies.
Her works include: Mikveh (play), The Secrets (film and play), Passion Killer (satirical stand-up cabaret), Whistle (monodrama), Imama (play-comedy), and Harem (television series-psychological drama). Hadar performs and lectures in English and Hebrew, bringing a strong message of gender equality – a message that can also be found in Mikveh. Several of her plays have been translated and produced internationally, and she has received numerous international awards for her plays and screenplays. Hadar is currently working on a new television series, and has just completed a new play for Czech theatre on the identity crisis of Czech Jews: Jewish enough for Hitler (titled in Czech My first Jewish Christmas).

 

Rafi Niv is the former artistic director of Beer Sheva Theatre (2010-2019), and
founder and artistic-pedagogical director of Goodman Acting School of the Negev (2006-2019). He is also an acting teacher and director at Yoram Loewenstein Performing Arts Studio. Highlights from his directorial works: Beer Sheva Theatre: Upon a Violin, Company, Born Yesterday, Chapter Two, Harold and Maude, If We Only Have Love, Solika, The Birdcage. Gesher Theatre: The Twelfth Night. Haifa Theatre: The Boys Next Door. The Library Theatre: Simple Simon, The Red Balloon, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Under the Paris Skies. Yoram Loewenstein Performing Arts Studio: Merrily We Roll Along, Rashumon, Six Characters in Search of an Author. Goodman Acting School: Anne Frank, The Pajama Game, Blood Brothers. Orna Porat Theatre for Children and Youth: A Kiss in the Pocket, The Heart’s Song, Orna’s Magic (The Children and Youth Stage Award for Best Director, 2011). Kibbutz Theatre: Scapegoat, Eight Trailing One. National Youth Theatre: I was Born to Dream, Sasgonia. Mediatheque Theatre: Emil and the Detectives (The Children and Youth Stage Award for Best Director, 2009), Lottie and Lisa, The Flying Classroom, Momo, Heidi of the Mountains. Beer Sheva Theatre for Children and Youth: Snow Queen, Dot and the Kangaroo. Tel Aviv Theatre: Bilby.

KuSHeliRabaK

Three girlfriends are having a barbecue while sharing sexual fantasies and advice about masturbation. In the time they spend together, they will sing pop songs, and dance folk dances. They will have talks and fights about power and womanhood. They will use gender clichés, subvert them, and cast spells.
KuSHeliRabaK (a curse word in Hebrew-Arabic) moves smoothly, delicately, and sophisticatedly between a post-cliché world of folktales and karaoke in the forest. It develops into a surprising hybrid of female empowerment circles, and an anger management workshop. This is performance theatre, a ritual, and an event that could have quickly developed into something that one might regret later; a nightly picnic that could only take place on a stage, in a place where the movement from truth to falsehood can link together filth and holiness, and renounce them, while referring to them with absolute seriousness.

 

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Nurit Dreamer is a director, creator, and performer. She is an artist at HaZira Performance Art Arena. She graduated from the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem (2018), and received an award for excellence from the Jerusalem Foundation in 2016 and 2018. She studied and trained in various programs, including with Jan Fabre, Sharon Zuckerman Weizer, Yasmeen Godder and Itzik Giuli, and Maya Weinberg.
She created the stage works: A Show, KuSHeliRabaK, and Solo for a Bear, and the public art works Intimately at the Football Stadium and Talking with Strangers on The Bus.
Nurit has performed her works in several festivals, including Autumn Cult, Intimadance, and the Israel Festival. She has exhibited in Meshuna Gallery, The New Gallery – Artists’ Studios Teddy, and Ma’amuta Art Center in Jerusalem.
She studies cinema and history at the Open University in Israel.

THE CONSTANT MOURNER

In this play by Hanoch Levin, a king torments himself repeatedly by reenacting the rituals that accompanied his son’s death from an illness. The stage is influenced by early German films, and is styled in black and white with animated elements that change the landscape and the atmosphere, creating a unique interaction with the actors. The design of the characters also corresponds with this cinematic genre, but their acting ranges from compassion to brutal indifference. Efrat Ben Zur composed the music, which she performs with musicians on stage. The overall effect is a chilling and frightening world of wonder.
In the best of Levinic tradition – the play follows surprising paths into the depths of the soul and the illusions of imagination. It is an unmatched experience, yet so relevant to our daily lives. Hanoch Levin called the play a “whining comedy,” but perhaps it’s more appropriate to call it a tragic comedy, or maybe a human tragedy, in which Levin mixes, as he does, the tragic with the comic, the terrible with the everyday and banal.

 

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Hanoch Levin was born in Tel Aviv on 18 December 1943, and died of cancer on 18 August 1999. He wrote plays, sketches, songs, stories, and poetry, and also directed most of his own plays. In his work as a playwright and stage director, he developed a unique dramatic and theatrical language, created by combining poetic written text with images designed with the actors, the set, costume and lighting designers, the composer, and the choreographer. His plays are characterized by his ability to combine the work of different artists, and have always been a celebration of words and visual images, based on a great love for the theatre and all who take part in the performance.
Levin left a spiritual-artistic legacy, which includes 56 plays (except for his political satires, only 33 of his plays were performed in his lifetime), two books of prose, two collections of sketches and songs, a book of poems, and two books for children.

 

Ari Folman is a film and television director. Filmography (highlights): The Congress (2013), writer, director, and producer. The film opened the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, and received the European Film Academy Award for Animated Feature Film. It won ten other awards around the world; Waltz with Bashir (2008), writer, director, and producer. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, won the Golden Globe Award in that category, received the César Award, and participated in Festival de Cannes, as well as winning six Israeli Academy Awards; The Material That Love Is Made Of (2004), writer, director, and producer; Made In (2001), writer and director. The film received two Israeli Academy Awards; Saint Clara (1996), co-director and writer. The film won seven Israeli Academy Awards, including for Best Director and Best Picture. It won the jury prize at the Karlovy Vary Festival, and opened the Panorama at the Berlinale Film Festival; Comfortably Numb (1991), co-director and writer.
Television (highlights): In Treatment (2005), writer, three episodes, won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary Series (2006); On Any Saturday (2005-2009), writer, sixteen episodes, won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Television Series (2008); Saturdays and Holidays (2000-2004), writer, thirteen episodes; 20 short documentaries for Channel 2, director (1993-2000).

CARTE BLANCHE

Using brush strokes of color, Michal Svironi creates a new stage language, combining art and theatre to construct a grotesque collage of separation.
Michal raises characters from her past that have left their mark on her, each coming to life in a live artwork creation process, suitable for telling its specific story.
The resulting collage is delicate, poetic, funny, and multigenerational, inspiring us to ponder what is left of our past, and what we leave behind when we are gone. Is it possible to start over? Is there such a thing as carte blanche?

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Michal Svironi is a creator, clown, puppeteer, comedienne, and performer. She is a leading independent theatre creator. Her various works have been performed for the past eighteen years in twenty countries (Europe, the Far East, and Africa). She brings a personal, yet communicative theatrical language, using mixed genres and self-humor. A graduate of Ecole Jacques Lecoq, La Sorbonne, and a student of clown master Eric Bluet, among others, her theatre is constantly searching for innovative ways to express deep psychological processes, and transform them into theatrical events.
Her universe is poetic and abstract, absurd and kicking. Specializing in interactivity, she creates both for indoors and outdoors, mixing plastic arts, circus, and puppets.
Svironi’s main creations include: The Man Who Breathes (Not); The Woman Who Breathes Too Much!; Mein Kind – The Dictator’s Mom; The Hood; The Evolution of Love; and Head in the Clouds. Michal looks for the magic in life and on stage, with head in the clouds and feet on the ground!

 

Johnny Tal is a musician, theatre technician, and software developer. Musically trained as a jazz pianist, he graduated with honors from BPM College (sound) in 2009. In 2011, he joined Clipa Theater, where he works to this day as a technician, composer, and performer.
In 2014, he started collaborating with Michal Svironi, at first traveling as a technician, then as co-creator of Head in the Clouds and Carte Blanche, and now working on a children’s show via Zoom, and live.
Tal has composed and edited music for dozens of theatre projects, winning the Children and Youth Stage Award for Best Composer in 2013. In 2017, he began working on his solo piece Transcendence, combining performance and live music, manipulated by self-created mobile applications.
Today, Johnny works as a software developer for start-up company FunToad, where he designs mobile music applications.

Johnny has created numerous workshops using a combination of code and art for different audiences at various levels.

BY VIRTUE OF THE SAME MOVEMENT

A movement performance combining visual images and sound.
Power is a raw material, a driving force. It creates and destroys, gives and takes, expands and deflates, a vital condition for existence. New realms emerge through actions that blur the lines between body, material, beauty, violence, and humor.
Within the body’s persistent resemblance to a sculpture and its downfall, the performance journeys through construction and dismantling, reality and refutation, abstract and concrete.
The piece was developed and presented with the collaboration and support of the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem. It premiered at the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre (2019), and won the awards for Best Performance, Best Director-Creator, Best Music and Sound Design, and Best Set Design.

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Mica Kupfer was born in 1993, and is a multidisciplinary artist, director, choreographer, and performer. She graduated from the School of Visual Theatre (2019), and winner of the Mayor of Jerusalem Award for Excellence. She participated in an exchange program at Justus Liebig University Giessen Institute for Applied Theatre Studies, Germany, and in the preparatory program at Yoram Loewenstein Performing Arts Studio, as well as a Batsheva Dance Company project for outstanding dance students. She has performed and created in Hanut Theatre, Bat-Yam Street Theatre Festival, the Israel Museum, the Tower of David, and more.
Through movement, text, and games with objects and sound, she explores power relationships, existential absurdity, and the aesthetics of violence.