This panel is dedicated to the fascinating processing of traumas (national, sexual, and others…) into theatrical works, and discusses both the artistic and therapeutic potential of weaving TRAuma into ART.
“Actions speak louder than words!” This panel deals with plays and performances that are not text-based (although some do use text and, of course, story). A collection of multidisciplinary works, in which narrative is created and inspired by images, casting, perception of space and objects, and more…
Moderator: Hadar Galron
Maybe it is because we are a melting pot, or maybe because in Israel we live in “survival” mode, that compels artists to create as if there may be no tomorrow… Maybe we just have great PR with all the boycotts and bans against us (there is no such thing as bad publicity).
Whatever the reason, in recent years, we have seen a significant rise in the number of international productions based on Israeli texts – dramas, comedies, political plays, and even musicals, have attained enormous success in Europe, the US, China, you name it…
Don’t miss our conversation with some of Israel’s most prolific playwrights and performers, get to know their work, and find out more about our “greatest hits”!
Moderators: Roy Horovitz; Noam Semel
Maya Arad Yasur
“Going abroad was a waste of time, mum! I earned no money, I didn’t get engaged and I made no friends. There’s nothing in my suitcase except dirty underwear.”
So begins ‘Krum’. The eponymous anti-hero returns home after a long time away. Home to where his best friend Tugati is still desperate to get married before, as he puts it, his imminent death, which he likes to advertise. And where the woman he loves, Truda is now established in the drudgery of everyday life with the man she settled for. With Beckett-esque humour and Jewish wit, all of them are wrestling with the notions of love and happiness. Trapped by their own inertia, they are all haunted by the same question: Why do we constantly miss out on what was meant for us, our better life? Why does everything feel like a lame party that has started too early? But where you would still prefer to get stuck than face up to tomorrow.
Special Screening / 18.11 10:00 / Tmu-Na theatre
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.
Four actors and an actress entered the rehearsal room and breathed new theatrical life into their grandmothers through a unique creative process. The result is a group of grandmothers sharing an assisted living facility with a registered nurse who accompanies them in song and dance.
Thus was born a play that is a tribute to seniors and to long lives of passions, fears and stories.
The play offers a glimpse into the world of our grandfathers and grandmothers, who have recently experienced social distancing and isolation, and sheds new light – painful, heartwarming, funny, and above all full of longing – on our relationships with them.
Finally, the theater curtain opens. Two friends are sitting on a park bench, when one confesses about a vision he has: Sometimes he can see through the eye sockets of a stranger. As they talk, the same stranger is hiding nearby, lurking behind the bushes, peeking at the two.
The Water Boy and the Water is a journey within the depths of the theater. A miniature spectacle without any highlights. A tiny puppet theater without any puppets. What begins as a promise for a story and a plot, collapses into a haunted, lonely and anxious space, where the search for human warmth stretches to infinity into the black cube’s abyss.
Ariel Sereni Brown (b. New York, 1994) is a theater maker based in Tel Aviv. His works have been commissioned and shown in Germany, Greenland, Denmark, Lithuania, Serbia and Israel.
Brown’s body of work re-examines the way in which cultural, geographical and political environments intertwine into the imaginary space of the theater stage and produces an interplay between the fantastic and the concrete, glorious stage traditions and subcultures, post dramatic strategies, and post internet imagery.
Brown’s works are based on a well written drama, derived from unique formats of “Theater,” designed for an impossible performance: a tiny theater built in a bank’s abandoned vault, a nomadic tent pitched in suburban parking lots, a good for nothing fringe metal festival based in a junkyard at the outskirts of a theater festival.
His written plays are threatened by loud images that draw a mind-triggering line between the uncanny and the cringy. Brown’s collaborators often come from different practices, creating a supergroup within the show, offering a dystopic hang of an ad-hoc possible theater troupe.
I want you to know that my mother and I have the exact same hands, feminine, but rough, with dry skin, and nails that grow long and strong. My Grandma had them too, and my daughter got also them. I want you to know that with our hands we can do many things: cut vegetables, braid a quick braid, stroke, scrape, pinch really hard, and also do theater show. We can inspire characters in them and travel to different places.
With the help of ten fingers, facial expressions, and a few small objects, Meital introduces us to her world. She recreates a world full of humor and emotion with scenes from her life related especially to her mother and daughter.
Meital Raz is a Director, performer and puppeteer. She graduated from the School of visual theater in 2010 and since then has been working as an independent artist in the contemporary visual theater scene, creating her own work as well as directing and participating in creations of others. Her works have been presented in more than twenty countries. Among her stage works: The Adventurer Guide (director) for the Train theater; Play Dead (creator and performer, in collaboration with serigrapher Lee Meir); Domingo Gonzales – the Man in the Moon (creator and performer); Of Course – A Horse! (creator and performer, in collaboration with designer Keren Dembinsky); The Story of Dummi & Dumma (creator and performer, in collaboration with designer Keren Dembinsky); Elizabeth (creator and performer, in collaboration with director Itay Weiser and designer Keren Dembinsky); Zebra (creator and performer). Her TV work, as puppeteer or performer, include: Aviram Kats, Nice butterfly 2, Ely the Cat, Nice butterfly 1, The big nothing, Little monsters. She created, wrote, and performed Michael 01 and Michael 02.
Who was the hero who stopped the Syrian tank at the gates of Degania, thus determining the fate of the War of Independence of Israel? The true story of five people claiming to be that hero, each of them is convinced that they are the ones who stopped the tank. The fight for credit between the five candidates, who come from five different areas of Israeli society, turns to a bigger battle over the myth on which Israel was founded.
But twenty-five years later, in the Yom Kippur War, the myth shatters. The personal-national rift leads the five protagonists to do some soul-searching, ranging from the tragic to the comic, between that which tears your heart out to the ridiculous, and between the pathetic and the sublime.
We wish to clarify that alongside the historical truth, the production incorporates characters, dialogues and events, which are a figment of our imagination.
Assaf Inbari (Author), Winner of the Agnon Prize for prose, was born in Kibbutz Afikim. He studied Comparative literature at Tel Aviv University and Hebrew literature at Bar-Ilan University, where he wrote a PhD dissertation on Bialik.
Yoav Shutan-Goshen (Playwright), Has a BA in Law and Humanities from Tel Aviv University and completed a screenwriters program at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. Shutan-Goshen has worked as a journalist for Yedioth Ahronoth, as well as writing a comic column for The Marker. He is now a playwright for Gesher Theatre, Beit Lessin, and Beer Sheva Theatre, and he also wrote a drama series for Channel 2 TV.
Irad Rubinstain (Director and Playwright) A writer, actor, drama teacher, and the director in residence of the Cameri theatre. Two times Israeli Theatre Award for Best Director, for his work on Romeo and Juliette and King of dogs; The Israeli Fringe Theatre Award for Best Adaptation for his work on Ward no.6; Yosef milo award winner for directing Othello. He graduated Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts and the Ruth Dyches cinema acting course. At The Cameri Theatre he directed: Othello, Misery, The Grandson, Love and Pandemic.
The adaptation of the Russian classic Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov raises the question: Does a person have the right to live his life without leaving a mark? To be and then not to be. Is the departure from the continuum and the retirement from the circle of work, from reality, and from social life legitimate in a world that is entirely a temple of aspirations and fulfillments?
Mitcha Figa is a new cultural venture under the artistic direction of Yehezkel Lazarov, inviting the audience to experience the depth of the creative process and dive into the realms of inspiration, questions, and cultural contexts that go into the production of a theater play. Mitcha Figa offers a six-months “theater season,” consisting of a series of multidisciplinary events and a play – from plastic art, literature, music, philosophy, science, dance, and architecture to video-art cinema, sound installation, and performance. The entire theater season will reveal the thought process, the realization of the work and outline the map of contexts that illuminates theatrical work in a new light. Mitcha Figa’s approach preserves the theatrical charm, expands the boundaries of the show and creates layers of context that are revealed throughout the entire season. The guiding principle is that an involved audience is a satisfied audience. When travelling, the stage of The Superfluous Man consists of one chandelier, six actors wearing costumes and several props. As a guideline, we choose to work with local artists to create the full interdisciplinary experience Mitcha Figa brings. Therefore, we travel light.
Yehezkel Lazarov, Head of the Performing Arts Department at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, is a multidisciplinary artist, a graduate of theater studies in London Actors Center, and a former dancer in the Batsheva Dance Company. A director, actor, and choreographer at the GesherHabima and Cameri Theater. A winner of the Actor, Director, and Choreographer Award at the Theater Awards. In all theatrical works directed by Lazrov, he is also the arranger/playwright, the set designer, and the movement designer. Co-founder and artistic director of Middle School and High School for Creative Thinking and Entrepreneurship “Ankori Studio.” An active curator and entrepreneur in the field of visual arts. His film and television credits during the last three decades include approximately forty leading roles.
A documentary performance of the Malenky Theatre follows and records the experiences of the children and youngsters who made aliyah from the former Soviet Union countries (the emigration of Jews to Israel is called aliyah). The generation of those who were born there, but had to grow up and to integrate into a new society in Israel, is the so-called Generation 1.5, and their stories tell of the pain of assimilation into the Israeli society. The material is purely documentary, based on stories from diaries kept in the years of the first aliya, recent posts from social networks, and private conversations and interviews. Only now, thirty years later, people are processing and analyzing the events of the past.
“In every situation of our life, we are a part of a triangle: THE VICTIM, THE OFFENDER, and THE BYSTANDER”
Michael Teplitsky,Director and Playwright, is the Artistic Director of Malenky Theatre since its inception in 2015. He was born in Azerbaijan and moved to Israel in 1990. Following his studies in St. Petersburg at the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts, he joined Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts in Israel.
Teplitsky was one of the founders of Malenky Theatre. His recent productions there include The Bastard’s Story (2015), The Chairs (2016), Zemach, a collaboration with Habima National Theatre (2018), Free Fall, A Warsaw Melody (2019), Amok (2021), Othello (2022).
Throughout his years in Israel Michael directed in many theatres, among them Habima National Theatre and the Yiddishpiel Theatre. He also collaborated with numerous theaters abroad. He directing credits, to name a few: Just remembered! (TakoyTeatr, St. Petersburg, Russia), which received four nominations for Golden Mask (Russia’s national theater award); Tevye (2015) at the Volkov Drama National Theatre, Yaroslavl, Russia.
Teplitsky received many awards for directing, among them the Yuri Shtern Award (2014) and an award for outstanding immigrant-artists in Israel. In 2011 he was nominated for Best Director of the year at the Golden Mask National Theatre Award of Russia.
In 2009, a masked man entered an LGBTQ youth community center in Tel Aviv (Bar Noar) and fired indiscriminately, murdering Nir Katz and Liz Trobishi and wounding more than a dozen others. The play was written following the tragic massacre.
Late one night, Dvori Baum is summoned to a hospital in central Israel. In the hospital lies her son, seriously wounded in the savage shooting at Bar Noar (Youth Bar). The son is unconscious, and no one can explain to Dvori what happened and what her only son was doing in a bar for gays and lesbians. Thus begins a poignant family drama at the center of which is a religious 17-year-old boy, unexpectedly forced to come out to his family just hours after his life is miraculously saved. He soon finds himself forced by his family to undergo conversion therapy. The play explores relevant and volatile issues, such as conversion therapy, homophobia, and hate crimes.
Moshe Kepten (Director) is one of the most renowned directors in Israel, currently the Artistic Director of the Habima National Theatre. He previously held the position of Artistic Director of the “Israel Festival – Jerusalem” for three consecutive years, an interdisciplinary celebration of art from all around the world.
Graduated with honors from Tel Aviv University’s Theatre Master’s program, Kepten has directed numerous plays and musicals for all commercial and repertoire (public) Israeli theater companies, including Spring Awakening, Bent, Behind the Fence, Shakespeare in Love, Les Misérables, Love LoveLove, Fleischer, Evita, Taken at Midnight, My Fair Lady, Fatal Attraction, Birthmark, Beaufort, The Dinner Game, and many others. He has won numerous awards for his work.
Itai Segal (Playwright) is an Israeli journalist, screenwriter, and playwright. Itai has been a writer for Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper for the past fifteen years where he was responsible for exclusive interviews and in-depth articles with various public and cultural figures. In addition to his work in journalism, Itai wrote the script for Yossi (2012) and Sublet (2021). Both films were selected to appear in the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Itai also created the TV show A Good Family (2014), which aired on Israel’s Public Broadcasting Network.
A playwright wakes from a nightmare predicting his last show will be taken off stage. Dazed, confused, and dressed in black, he stands before a cashier who looks frighteningly similar to his wife; before a waiter who reminds him of his very own self; and before a cruel audience with an elusive memory, while he tries to take advantage of every moment to ensure that he is not forgotten and that his legacy is not diminished before he dies.
The newest production by Yoav and Abigail, a couple on stage and in life, explores concepts of memory and forgetfulness. It extracts fear and hatred from the public sphere and places them into their own relationship as well as into their confusing encounter with everyday life and the audience.
Yoav Bartel and Abigail Rubin – directors, writers, choreographers – founded the theater group Homemade ensemble in 2010. The group’s performances combine theater and dance and are characterized by a blurring of boundaries between reality and fiction, stage and audience.
Throughout the last decade, they have directed no less than ten different productions, such as Shall We Dance (winner of best show, writer, performer, 2010), Yabalek (winner of best show, choreography, set and customs, 2015), Ambush (a site-specific performance), Drop Dead, 13 Fragments. In addition to performing and producing, Abigail and Yoav both teach in various institutions, training the next generation of choreographers, theatre producers and consumers of culture. Abigail coordinates the dance program at KiryatHinuchDror Highschool and is set to establish an interdisciplinary major there in performing arts. Yoav, a prominent improvisation instructor, teaches theater at Muzot High School in Jaffa and improvisation at the Israel Improv Theater. As of 2020, Yoav and Abigail have been teaching a composition course together in the dance track at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology, and the Arts.
Deep wounds of memory arise when a Holocaust guide is summoned to a hearing in front of the chairman of Yad VaShem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. In the concentration camps, which have become a part of his day-to-day routine, he faces many characters and moral conflicts that awaken the Monster of Memory. Being unable to stop, he sinks deeply into himself and finds out that inside each and every one of us exists the uncomfortable truth: In order to survive – you need to be A LITTLE BIT OF A NAZI.
Winner of Best Show – Teatronetto Festival for Monodramas, 2021
“To survive in this world, you need to be A LITTLE BIT OF A NAZI”
Ariel N. Wolf (Director) is an award-winning director, movement designer, and actor. Artistic Director of Arampa – theatre group of Beer Sheva theatre, 2019-2021. He was an actor in the The Jerusalem Khan Theatre, 2010-2019, as well as a director and teacher at the Goodman acting school in Beer Sheva, a teacher and dancer in the Arthur Murray dance studio for ballroom dancing. He worked in all the leading theatres in Israel. Among his works as a director or as a movement designer: Kafka’s The Trial, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, and more.
Ben Yosipovich (Playwright and Actor), a third generation of Holocaust survivors, is an award-winning actor. He is a member of the cast of the Habima National Theatre since 2015. These days, he plays the title role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the leading role in Hanoch Levin’s Vibrate My Heart. Playwright, Actor and Producer of BiraveNazkira (Beer and Remember), a show aiming to remember the Holocaust through theater and satire. Television series include On the Spectrum (HBO max), Rehearsals (Hulu), KupaRashit, Menaiek, and more. He was also the host of the iconic TV series for kids ParparNechmad.
A group of performers is thrown into a sequence of extreme physical encounters with wooden logs. Governed by strict yet hidden regularities, they carry out various activities: dragging or knocking the logs, rubbing against them, experimenting with balance exercises, or trying to escape the risks of their own games. Through their reciprocal dynamic, the body and the logs return to their basic modalities as raw materials defined by their volume, weight, or texture.
The piece oscillates between subtlety and rawness, poetry and aggression, consideration and maliciousness, egoism and collaboration.
This is a brutal world, but not necessarily cruel. The hovering danger all around is caused by the performers’ proclivity to risks. Danger manifests itself also as an artistic offering. It suggests a new interpretation to the notions of vitality and somatic existence, and to their role in our disruptive era.
Kazuyo Shionoiri (Tokyo) and Dror Lieberman (Beer Sheva) are a couple in life and on stage, creating together since 2016, in various genres of performing arts.
They were both educated at Clipa Theater (Israel), where they remain active members.
Their performances appeared in numerous Israeli venues (Certain up, Intimadance, Tel Aviv Dance, Machol Shalem Showcase, International Exposure, etc.) and around the world (Germany, Japan, Croatia, Bulgaria, Albania, Norway, Switzerland, Spain, the Czech republic, among others).
Their works demonstrate a wide scale of skills and abilities. It is hard to associate their works with one style or with one specific genre, as they strive to create a new language for every new piece, referring to existential questions appearing in daily life.
Noam Ben Israel (Malkishua, 1998) is a dancer and creator, works with choreographers such a Sharon Fridamn, Vertigo Dance company, and a fresh member in Clipa theater collective, his piece “BARZEL 6” presented in Suzzan Dallal center last summer.
An original theatrical work comprising a series of scenes inspired by the experiences and identities of the actors themselves, with each scene performed by either a group or an individual actor. Combining different elements such as movement and video, the show portrays the diversity of each performer’s inner world – both as a deaf and/or blind person and as an individual with a wealth of identities related to culture, gender, social life, and more. In addition, the work addresses the experience of the theater and its interpretation.
Here is a rare opportunity to glimpse the inner lives of: Tayyeb, a student from Kfar Kassem, who was born deaf; Yaroslav, a dancer from Russia, where, as a child, he attended a school for the deaf; Mordy, a deafblind actor who made aliya from the US over a decade ago; Ariella, mother of five, almost totally blind; and Sol Gabriel, still adjusting to life with vision impairment following the deterioration of an eye disease.
Emanuella Amichai is a theater director, choreographer, and lecturer. Her works combine theater, dance, and video, involving both performers and nonperformers. Amichai studied at the high school of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theater in New York, and the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in Tel Aviv, and received a scholarship from the Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts. She is a graduate of the Multidisciplinary Program in the Arts at Tel Aviv University, and an MA student in the Folklore & Folk Culture Studies Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Amichai lectures at the Hebrew University’s Department of Theater Studies, and has taught at several other schools and institutions, including: the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, the Western Galilee Academic College, and private workshops.
Her theater and video works have been presented at many festivals in Israel, Europe, and the USA, including: the Israel Festival, Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, the Waves Festival in Denmark, the Crossroads Music Festival in Belgium, the Stockholm Fringe Festival – Stoff, and the A Part Festival in Poland. She is a recipient of the Acco Festival award for Best Choreography and Costume Design.
A Post-documentary show of the reopening of a case that in our opinion should not have been closed: The killing of Muhammad Qudaih, a 70-year-old Palestinian resident who was holding a white flag.
In the summer of 2014, I was a criminal investigator in the Israeli Defense Forces, and I was sent to a team set up to investigate the events of the Operation in Gaza. After I was discharged from the service, that case was closed by the Military Prosecutor’s Office without any legal proceedings being taken. A few years later, I saw him in front of me at a café: The soldier who shot the old man. At that moment, I realized that I had not finished investigating this case.
About thirty more cases were closed that same way. The military materials are confidential, for now, and will likely remain so forever. Our investigation uses all those documents that were not defined as such: drawings, phone calls, Facebook correspondences, dreams dreamt at night, a cafe menu, and more.
We must ask the question: What allows these cases to be closed time and again without any legal proceedings being taken?
Roee Joseph is an emerging independent theater creator who is inspired by space and believes in marginality. He is an M.A Student in the Program for Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies in Bar-Ilan university and an alumni of the Outstanding Program in Theatre Directing and Teaching at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts (B.Ed.FA). He is also a Hebrew teacher in an elementary school. His production Good morning Hedgehogin TMU-NA theatre (2019) is a poetic documentary drama about a relationship that develops and crumbles, about the difficulty of speaking, about two ordinary people.
Noa Nassie is an independent creator and poet. Her work deals with the tension between visual language and literal one. Noa is an alumni of the Performing Arts School at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, with a major in Design. She is currently enrolled in the college’s Theater Teaching and Direction Program for academics, while completing her psychology studies towards her MA in bibliotherapy.
The play takes place in a world that has survived ten years of a deadly plague. One third of humanity was wiped out and a new regime called “The Gospel” has taken over the world, promising peace and serenity to all mankind for the price of uniform thinking.
M and A, a celebrated former director and her loyal assistant who are fleeing The Gospel, reach a desolate junction and decide to rest there. They are surprised by a traveling theater wagon and soon discover that the junction is the only place where the culture is re-examined in accordance with the messages of The Gospel. The worthy wagons will continue to travel from one settlement to another and perform, while others will be thrown into the abyss. When The Gospel offers M and A to fulfill the role of critics and choose which works to save, M agrees, believing she is the suitable person for the job. A, who’s memory is lost and is completely dependent on M, finds himself cooperating with the killing of innocent artists.
Ori Vidislavski and Naama Shapira, a married couple, are veteran and well-known artists in the field of theater, Vidislavski as a musician who composed music for more than three hundrer and fifty plays, dance, music performances, and films, and Shapira as an actress in leading roles in the repertory theater. Over the past ten years, Vidislavski began directing and creating shows and plays, and Shapira focuses on content writing and works as a dramaturg. Six years ago, Vidislavski took on the role of Artistic Director of the Dimona Theater, and they have since been working there together as writers, directors, musicians, playwrights, and content editors. They created the adaptation of The Little Prince for children and parents and an adaptation of a short story called Sleeping Bag. Vidislavskiadditionally created and directed other productions with Shapira accompanying him as a playwright. Shapira wrote the comedy Fifty FiftyFifty for the theater. The Gospel is their first work as co-writers, with Vidislavsky helming the idea and development and Shapira actively writing.
A group of teenage boys invite a teenage girl to a series of “forbidden games.” The group dynamic turns the seemingly innocent encounter to an arena of humiliation and gang rape.
At the center of this Israeli classic is the criminal trial, in which the victim becomes the prosecutor and the boys their own defense attorneys. The crucial day, in which they became criminals and she a victim, is being re-enacted, and a second rape is being committed through questioning and interrogation.
The play is based on a true story that shocked the country and completely changed the criminal and moral patterns of legal proceedings concerning rape trials. With its innovative updated version, the play is as relevant today as it was when it premiered thirty years ago, evoking a discussion about society’s morals and attitude towards sex crimes.
Edna Mazya is a playwright, director, screenwriter, and author. She holds an MA in Philosophy and Theatre Studies from Tel Aviv University. Mazya wrote Vienna by the Sea, The Rebels, Aristocrats, A Couple, and Pregnancy, inspired by Lorca’s Yerma.
She wrote and directed Herod, Bad Kids, Stempenyu – an adaptation of a novel by Shalom Aleichem, A Family Romance, The Nouveau Criminals, The Back Room.
She directed numerous plays by the highly esteemed playwright, the late Anat Gov: Oh, God!,Best Friends, Happy Ending and others.
Mazya’s award-winning plays have been repeatedly produced and performed in Israel (mostly at the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv) and around the world.
Mazya wrote screenplays for Amos Gutman’s films: Afflicted, Bar 51 and Himmo King of Jerusalem. She published two novels and four children’s books.
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 ZviKlir 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, House Arrest, Through The Wall; 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.
Six characters, six chess pieces: King, Queen, Bishop, Rook, Knight, and Pawn. In the final critical stage of the game, an unseen opponent is closing in. It is a world of lost characters, without past or future; the only goal is survival. The illusion that war can be won is dominant. The personification of the chess pieces highlights the grotesque elements of war. The bishop’s job is to analyze the state of play and bring information to the king. Serving as the victimized messenger, he suggests resignation as a realistic option, yielding to fate, giving up and accepting the loss, and thus, regaining life. The bishop is also the unwilling prophet, telling of the divine revelation announcing the abandonment of the Divine Spirit and the approaching destruction of the Temple.
The language is in freeform, which allows the actors to exaggerate their actions and intentions without depending on the internal logic of language. It liberates their emotions and the internal intensity of their words. This special acting technique highlights the tension between the mechanical and the human, and between freedom of choice and its absence.
Noam Ben Azar is a graduate of Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts. He was an original member of Rina Yerushalmi’s Itim Ensemble (Israel Prize winner) that has performed with great success at over twenty important theater festivals worldwide. He played several prominent roles in the ensemble productions of Hamlet, Woyzeck, Romeo and Juliet, Three Sisters, The Bible Project (Parts I and II), End of the Game, among others. In 2016 he was names Actor of the Yeara at the Israeli Fringe Awards for his portrayal of the suitor in Peer Gynt, directed by Yerushalmi; in 2013 he was nominated for that category for the role of the doctor in the ensemble’s performance of The King is About to Die. Noam has directed many fringe plays, including Absalom, Spoonful of Ocean, The Thousand and Sixth Song, Macbeth, The Game, and others. He teaches acting at the School of Performing Arts of Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, as well as at the Multi-Disciplinary Department of the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. Over the years, Noam has developed a unique method that uses text with full body involvement, thus creating a close link between speech, movement, and thought.
Bodystreet is a dance-earpiece work that takes place in the public space. We started the project by approaching women and men, young and old people, Arabs and Jews, refugees and newcomers, all living in South Tel Aviv, and asking them to share their private experiences walking down the street. These confessions were adapted and performed by Can Ensemble actors and are accompanied by an original score.
The audience, equipped with earpieces, goes on a tour of Florentin neighborhood. Along the way, they are joined by two performers who, through movement, emphasize the connection between the location and the person inhabiting it. In addition, the dance intensifies the experience of being ‘the other,’ the ‘odd one out’ that arises from the soundtrack. Thus the audience is granted a ‘conscious stroll’ that turns the threatened, crowded, wide-open, loud and militant Israeli space into poetry, a street poem.
Bodystreet invites us on a loitering tour of South Tel Aviv, similar to the downtown area of every big city. It’s that same municipally neglected yet gentrified bohemian section of town. We wander without a guide, not knowing where it may lead us. Listening to the monologues puts us in an inquisitive, reflective mood. The people we listen to give voice to the silenced ‘others,’ those on the fringe of society, that for most of us are often transparent. We learn of the suffering one experiences merely for being foreign, ousted, those of different ethnicity, nationality, race or skin color than the hegemonic social group. The show’s texts and physical images produced by the dancers provide a glimpse into the bowels of Israeli culture, yes still relevant to every metropolis dealing with immigration, refuge and otherness within the public sphere.
Bodystreet acquaints us with humans on a very personal level, making us feel like we’re in a “face-to-face” encounter. Hence, it seems as if the work acts in response to philosopher Emmanuel Levinas’s plea to consider the other an infinity and so undefinable, narrowed down to a stereotype. The person will forever be “more” than we can possibly imagine. Simultaneously vulnerable and fragile, but also a “teacher,” someone from whom we can always learn something new about ourselves, about the world.
Ido Bornstein (Director)Playwright, director, writing teacher and dramaturg at Can ensemble, which he founded with director ShlomoPlessner. Graduate of Tel Aviv University’s Film and TV School’s writing program, where he later taught. Writer of the ensemble’s Sex Project, Sunrise (The New York Theater Workshop requested the play for a staged reading), Dogs (the production was invited to take part in the New York Fringe Festival), Hunger (Winner of ‘Best Fringe Show,’ the play was selected to represent Israel at FIND – the new playwriting international festival at Berlin’s Schaubühne Theater), Lice, a new adaptation of Medea, and more. He wrote and directed the ensemble’s Operation Silk Gloves (commissioned by the Israel Museum and premiered at the Israel Festival) and Body-Street. Head writer of the TV show Florentin. Other TV writing credentials include Sesame Street, Twenty Plus, and others. He developed a collaborative method of writing with actors, resulting in plays based on personal materials. Awarded Best Teacher by the British Consulate’s BI ARTS program and the Scriptwriting School.
Uri Shafir (Choreographer, Dancer) A Performance artist, Dancer and choreographer, Uri Shafir is a graduate of MASPA (kibbutz Ga’aton Dance Workshop), Kelim Choreography Center (Israel), and the MA choreography program MASTER EXERCE in Montpellier France, at ICI-CCN (artistic director – Christian Rizzo). He has been creating works since 2009 and presenting them on different platforms in Israel and abroad. He received the Israeli Ministry of Culture’s Award for young choreographers in 2017. As a dancer, he worked in Batsheva Dance Company, and in dance works by Yasmeen Godder, Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor, and many other Israeli artists. Uri is also a Gaga teacher, and he holds classes and workshops in Israel and abroad.
Can ensemble is a theater group formed in 2000 to explore theatrical and performative formats and to formulate a singular stage language. Connecting documentary with the poetic, Can ensemble delves into local materials in order to illuminate the unique and hidden aspects of Israeli reality while creating theater that reflects the vibrance, scents, stings and laughs of this country. Can ensemble performances feature original plays written especially for the group; theme performances created in the theatre lab and meetings between the creators and performers in a rehearsal room; location-oriented performances; and contemporary adaptations of classical texts. Can ensemble productions include:Sex Project, a trilogy focusing on the sexual event and the way we encourage our body, exploring how the Israeli identity shapes our passion and ability for intimacy; Dogs, an all-male Arab-Israeli Romeo and Juliet musical; Operation Silk Gloves, written especially for the Israel Museum and premiered at the Israel Festival, exploring how the establishment uses art to establish identity.
Birth Preparation Course is an intergalactic, interactive lesson on human reproduction taught by a future species in deep space. Drawing on materials taught by midwives and doulas in birth preparation courses around the world, the performance employs text, movement, music, props, and audience participation to convey information about how each and every human came into being. The class places emphasis on the placenta, a mysterious, often hidden and essential organ. The class is held in English.
The show premiered at the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, 2021.
Ori J. Lenkinski is a choreographer, dancer and journalist. Her work, be it on stage, the Internet, or on paper, is devoted to exploring the connection between words and movement. Ori was born in Canada, raised in the USA and has been living in Israel since 2007. As a dancer, she worked with choreographers in the USA, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Israel. Ori has been engaged in a longterm collaboration with choreographer Rachel Erdos, a union that has produced many stage and screen works. Ori’s writing has been published in The Jerusalem Post, The Huffington Post, Dance Magazine, and various other publications. She is the author of the Parental Choreography blog published by Haaretz. Ori’s body of works includes The Painting, Portrait #2, The Suit, Meet Me in the Market, Birth Preparation Course, Help Desk and the dance films Carriage and Expecting.