Special Screening: A Winter Funeral by Hanoch Levin

Hong Kong Repertory Theatre presents: A Winter Funeral by Hanoch Levin.
A special guest performance will be screened on Saturday, November 20, at 11:00 AM (Jerusalem time).
It is the first screening of a production based on an Israeli play from around the world.
The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama invites you, creators from all over the globe, to suggest your productions of Israeli plays. Each year, we’ll screen a new production to our guests.

Middle-aged bachelor Lajcek is beholden to his mother’s final wish that all members of her family attend her funeral. Yet the funeral clashes with his cousin’s wedding, resulting in his aunt and her family doing everything they can to avoid the others: climbing up on their roof, dashing across a beach, even climbing the Himalayas to escape from Lajcek’s hot pursuit.  How does a simple matter of clashing schedules escalate to an exodus?  This fantasy of a story outlines how two families repay madness with madness.  Is this about death’s affront on a joyful occasion or human willfulness and egoism?

This 1978 classic by Israeli master Hanoch Levin has been translated into many languages and staged around the world.  In this rendition by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre performed in lively Cantonese, award-winning directors Weigo Lee and Fung Wai-hang team up with an outstanding cast to bring the drama to life, revealing for the audience the cross-cultural charm and artistic finesse of this classic play.

Hong Kong Repertory Theatre is the longest standing and largest professional theatre company in Hong Kong, established in 1977 and incorporated in 2001. Financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre operates under the guidance of its Governing Council, and employs a team of over 80 full-time professionals including the artistic director, assistant artistic director, resident director, actors, technical and stage management staff as well as administrators. Since its establishment 44 years ago, it has presented more than 400 productions, many of which have become classics of the local theatre canon.

Israeli Plays Currently on international stages around the world

Moderators:
Shimrit Ron,
Director, The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama
Dr. Roy Horovitz, Chair of the Artistic Committee – Isra-Drama – International exposure of Israeli Theatre

Participants:

Joshua Sobol, Playwright, “Ghetto” – Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, London – Best Play.

Hadar Galron,  Theatre director, playwright and actress, “Jewish Enough for Hitler”, Czech Republic.

Maya Arad Yasur, Playwright, “Amsterdam”: Winner of the Theatertreffen Stückemarkt prize (Berlin), the play “Amsterdam” had more than 12 productions and publications worldwide in 10 languages.

Laurent Brethome, Theatre director, France. Amsterdam by Maya Arad-Yasur, plays by Hanoch Levin, among them: Labor of Life, The Sorrow of Job, Speed Leving.

Taru Mäkelä, Film and theatre director, Oh God ! by Anat Gov.
Espoo City Theater & Tampere City Theatre, Finland & Tour in Riksteater, Sweden, 2022.

Iva Milošević, Theatre director, Serbia. Amsterdam by Maya Arad Yasur, Atelje 212 Theatre.  Belgrad. “I am obsessed with human nature, light and dark side of it and  how certain circumstances can affect one’s soul. In my theatre directing, I try to explore vulnerability, cruelty, weaknesses and strength in people, roots of evil and good doings”.

Markus Trabusch, Artistic Director, Theater Würzburg, Germany: Ulysses on Bottles by Gilad Evron, 5 Kgs of Sugar by Gur Koren, Borders by Nimrod Danishman.

Fung Wai Hang, Director, playwright, actress and programme curator. Co-directed “A Winter Funeral” by Hanoch Levin, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre.

ABILITY BEYOND DISABILITY- SPOTLIGHT on TRAUMA

 Moderator: James Inverne

Participants: 

Daphna Silberg – Director (“Kaban”)

Howard Rypp – Nephesh Theatre (“without an Evil Eye”)

Yael Rasooly – Visual Theatre Creator and Performer (“Silence Makes Perfect”)

Aya Elia – Director of Nava Semel’s Estate (“The Child Behind the Eyes”)

Maayan Kilchevsky – playwright and performer (“That’s (not) How You Walk on Stage”)

GENDER BLENDER- WE WON’T SURRENDER!!!

Moderator: Hadar Galron 

 

Participants: 

Noga Ashkenazi is a dramaturge, playwright, and filmmaker. adapted Sholem Aleichem’s Marienbad, and wrote the original play Gulliver. Her dramaturge works include To the End of the Land (Cameri and Habima), VERSACE, A Temporary Name, Spinning (Habima), and All the Rivers (Cameri Theatre).

Aya Kaplan is a stage director, playwright, and senior acting and writing teacher at the Performing Arts Studio Founded by Yoram Lowenstein. Her works are regularly performed in theatres in Israel, including The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Habima National Theatre, The Jerusalem Khan Theatre, and Beer Sheva Theatre, where she served as a member of the artistic committee. 

Shirili Deshe specializes in physical theatre. For the past twenty years she has been acting, directing, and writing for the stage and for TV. Her acting credits include the monodrama Small Drama, winner of the Theatronetto Festival; Comedy in Freestyle at the Israel Festival; and To All the Devils (Bashevis Singer stories) at The Cameri Theatre.

Hisham Suleiman is a writer, director, and actor working in film, theatre, and television. He is artistic director of the Nazareth Fringe Theater and the Nazareth School of Drama, and directed the short film, The Book. Suleiman’s extensive acting work in film and television includes roles in Fauda, Baghdad Central, Al Medinah, Bethlehem, Your Honor, A Night in Haifa, and Victory Picture.

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.

Oren Ailam is a multidisciplinary artist (graduated in Industrial Design from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design), director, and performer, whose work deals with masculinity, and how its fears and phobias control men, and shape the way they act in society.

Opening Event – TRANS-FORMANCE

Moderators: 

Noam Semel – Chair, The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama

Dr. Roy Horovitz – Chair, Artistic Committee

 

Greetings: 

Mr. Yair Lapid – Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs 

Mrs. Galit Wahaba Shasho – Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport

 

Participants: 

A. B. Yehoshua is an Israeli novelist, essayist, and playwright. His works have been translated and published in 28 countries; many have been adapted for film, television, theatre, and opera The New York Times called him the “Israeli Faulkner”.

Philippe Besson, 54, is a French  leading author, a screenwriter and a playwright.
He published his first novel  in 2001. “En l’absence des hommes” or “In the Absence of Men” – was awarded the Emmanuel-Roblès Prize.
Philippe Besson’s works are highly acclaimed for their remarkable coherence, written in a sober and mostly refined style, applauded all over the world.  His books have being translated  into more than 20 languages and among his long list of number one best-sellers, his novel  “Son frère” – “His Brother” – became a film adapted by Patrice Chéreau.
In 2017, Philippe Besson plunged into a self-fictional trilogy with “Arrête avec tes mensonges” or “Lie With Me”, who sold more than 120,000 copies in France and has been translated into more than 20 languages. It has also been adapted to the Hebrew theater stage (Nir Frankel & Tali Hecht) and is in process of becoming a movie.
“Un tango en bord de mer”, his first play as a playwright, has been performed in Paris nearly 200 times!
His autobiography “Enough with your lies” was translated from French to Hebrew  by Dorit Daliot and adapted to stage by Nir Frankel and Tali Hecht. He also co-directed the documentary “Homos, la haine”.

Noa Yedlin is an acclaimed Israeli author. She is the recipient of the notable Sapir Prize (the Israeli Man Booker), playwright of House Arrest and Stockholm.

David Sebba is a musical Director winner of  first prize in the Academy’s voice competition. He has composed theatre music, written many arrangements and orchestration. 

Sebba is the Composer and Conductor of Mothers at the Israeli Opera which was selected to participate in 2021 Isra-Drama – International Exposure programme. 

Professor Gad Kaynar Kissinger is President of the Israeli Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), and of ITI’s International Playwrights’ Forum (IPF).

Yair Sherman is a Theatre Director. Among his previous works: Winter Funeral,  by Hanoch Levin for Bee’r Sheba Theatre, Requiem  by Hanoch Levin for Poly Theatre in China, the Butterfly Hunter by Nissim Aloni, for Gesher Theatre, has been selected to participate in 2021 Isra-Drama: International Exposure of Israeli Theatre programme.

Nir Frankel  is a Theatre Director, his co creation with Tali Hecht, of  Enough With Your Lies’ was selected to participate in 2021 Isra-Drama – International Exposure programme.

Rotem Volk is a Multidisciplinary Theatre and Performance. Her  15-minute site-specific work, ‘Comfort Object’ which was created together with Dana Etgar will be screened during the opening event.

Comfort Object

Premiered at The Day After Festival-Striving for Touch, Habait Theatre, Jaffa, June 2020.

Comfort Object is a participatory sound performance for three audience members.
The term “Comfort Object” was coined in 1951 by the famous psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. Winnicott used this term to describe an object that can give a baby a sense of security when separating from its parent.

Now, after being deprived of touch on demand due to Covid-19, the piece offers a reunion with our childhood teddy bear, that asks us simply: Hug me.

8 minutes excerpts from the full length creation:

Dana Etgar is an Israeli theatre director, performer, and teacher. She is a founding member of the multinational Sun Apparatus Theatre Company. She holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, and a BA in Theatre Directing and Teaching from Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, Tel Aviv. Dana is dedicated to creating new performance work that tackles the personal and the political. Her work includes Unprescribed, performed in London and at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival with The Sun Apparatus Theatre Company (2013); The Me, Garage Theatre in Norwich and at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2015); Raise Your Hand, a site-specific performance (performed in various locations and schools in Israel) performer and dramaturge; The Head Comes Last, Almacén Gallery, Jaffa Theatre, Hanut 31 Theatre, Tel Aviv; and Terra Incognita, Tmu-na Festival, Tel Aviv (2020)

Rotem Volk is a multidisciplinary theatre and performance artist and educator based in Tel Aviv, Israel. She holds a BEd in Theatre Directing and Teaching from Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, Tel Aviv (2010), and graduated with distinction from the MA Performance Making Program at Goldsmiths University of London (2013). Rotem creates both for the stage and outdoors, mainly focusing on site-specific performances. Her works are often immersive, engaging with the urban environment, and offering alternative intimate tours in the city, blurring the boundaries between private and public. Rotem has presented her work locally and internationally on various platforms, including Art Night London, Tate Modern, Israel Festival, Vadim Sidur Museum, Moscow, Tmu-na Theatre, Tel Aviv, and others. She is a lecturer in the Community Theatre and Artivism Program at Tel Aviv University, and holds independent performance workshops for children, adults, and young professionals.

WITHOUT THE EVIL EYE

“It is sometimes said that problems with your eyes are the result of seeing something you shouldn’t have in your childhood.”

The show relates the amazing story of Asaf Ben Shimon, his inspiring handling of his loss of vision, as we follow his journey to fulfilling his dream of becoming an actor. This is a hilarious and moving monodrama about faith, dreams, and recognition of the goodness all around.

Asaf’s genetic disease, known as RP, presents a slow and gradual loss of vision. His daily challenge to solve and overcome obstacles results in infinite solutions: How to get through a first date in darkness, how to get home by bus, how to dare and audition for acting school. The stigma of considering a blind person as a victim is broken by allowing the spectator to experience things from Asaf’s perspective. Emphasis is on the human soul with its dreams, aspirations, and abilities, rather than on the physical handicap. In order to achieve one’s goals, one must live in the present and continually battle with negative feelings from the past and fears for the future.

The show incorporates theatrical elements from Assaf’s roots: the culture of North Africa, symbols, music, songs, and set design. His wonderful stories meet the wisdom and words of Shakespeare, the world’s greatest playwright. The combination of these opposing worlds will provide a magical theatrical experience accessible to all.

Sarel Piterman is known for his leading role in the acclaimed TV series Shtisel, which is also playing on Netflix. His credits as a screenwriter for TV and film include Why Who Died? and Douze Points (TV series), and The Electrifiers (feature film).

Asaf Ben Shimon is a TV and film actor. He received the Award for Best Actor for his role in Dover Kosashvili’s feature film Infiltration. He also starred in the American feature World War Z.

A WEDDING IN TIMES OF PLAGUE

Night falls, and the former leper asylum comes to life. The nurses, the director-general, and the patients invite the public to a mysterious journey around the premises, the disinfection rooms, the attic, and the darkened garden. To overcome their loneliness and fear, the lepers perform a play for their guests, based on a short story by I. L. Peretz, In Times of Plague.

This is a nighttime event produced in the spirit of the successful New York City play Sleep No More. The audience splits into four groups, crosses the wall surrounding the isolated building, and enters a strange, eerie world, following the lepers into scenes playing out in different spaces around the building. All the while, social distancing and hygiene rules are enforced – in keeping with strict leprosy protocols.

Live music played by four musicians will accompany the event.

This is a unique and novel coproduction between two Jerusalemite institutions: The Hansen House Center for Design, Media and Technology, and The Jerusalem Khan Theatre. It is supported by the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Jerusalem Foundation.

Excerpts from the play will be screened during the panel discussion on November 18th 2021

Aya Kaplan is a stage director, playwright, and senior acting and writing teacher at the Performing Arts Studio Founded by Yoram Lowenstein. Her works are regularly performed in theatres in Israel, including The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Habima National Theatre, The 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 writing and directing the stage version of Lost Relatives by Nava Semel, Habima National Theatre (2020); co-writing (with Shahar Pinkas) and directing Rosa’s Apartment, Beer Sheva Theatre (2020); writing and directing The Return, Cameri Theatre (2019); directing The Nether by Jennifer Haley, Jerusalem Khan Theatre (2018); director and dramaturge of Doing His Will by Motti Lerner, Habima National Theatre (2017); co-writing (with Joshua Sobol) and directing Wandering Stars, based on the novel by Shalom Aleichem, Yiddishpiel Theatre (2016); and director and dramaturge of Between Friends by Hagit Rehavi-Nikolayevsky, based on the novel by Amos Oz, Beer Sheva Theatre (2015).

VOICES

The play documents the stories of women who are victims of murder. This is a collection of stories and situations from the lives of women, girls, and youth, describing relationships, the cycle of violence they experience, culminating in murder. We hear the voices of women recounting what led to their killing. The show uses figures to dramatize the status of women in Arab society, in which there is a constant attempt to cover up the horrific cases of violence and murder that can no longer be silenced. The voices of the victims now rise up and break the silence; they are telling their story in order to prevent the next disaster.

Hisham Suleiman is a writer, director, and actor working in film, theatre, and television. He studied acting at the Performing Arts Studio Founded by Yoram Lowenstein. He is artistic director of the Nazareth Fringe Theater and the Nazareth School of Drama, and directed the short film, The Book. Suleiman’s extensive acting work in film and television includes roles in Fauda, Baghdad Central, Al Medinah, Bethlehem, Your Honor, A Night in Haifa, and Victory Picture. He has worked as an acting coach for Oscar-winning films and films featured at festivals around the world including Omar, Deeb, Villa Toma, 3000 Nights, Zaytoun, and Ajami.

THAT’S (NOT) HOW YOU WALK ON STAGE

The show won the Tarin Shalfi Audience Favorite Award and an honorable mention at Theatronetto Festival 2021.

“Unfortunately, there’s nothing more we can do. The diagnosis is cerebral palsy; she’ll walk until she can’t walk anymore. And then – a wheelchair”. This prophecy is the starting point of my story.

Behind the scenes of the theatre, between performing mandatory physiotherapy exercises, my struggles of coping with cerebral palsy will be exposed.

This is an account of battles – against my body, against an environment of hostile glances, against the men in my life; and then there’s the dream to be exactly as I am, walk the way I know how to, stand on my own two feet, be an actress and, more than anything else, have no one telling me that “this is not how you walk on stage”.

Maayan Kilchevsky is a triplet who was born prematurely and diagnosed with motor cerebral palsy. She graduated from Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts, and holds a BA in Theatre Directing and Teaching from Kibbutzim College of Education. She is an actress in both theatre and film, as well as a director, playwright, acting teacher, and a student of Therapeutic Movement. Maayan has performed in numerous theatre productions including The Disabled (Beit Lessin), Beginners (Tmu-na), See Under Love (Ha-Sifria), Caress and Bilora (Ha-Simta), As You Like It (Thespis Ensemble), and Children of A Lesser God. She also played a role in the feature film Then She Arrived.

Itai Plaut is a director, teacher, and musician. He holds a BA in Theatre Directing and Teaching from Kibbutzim College of Education. His productions include The Diary (Theatronetto Festival 2016) which continues to be part of Tmu-na Theatre’s repertoire, Jacob Jacob and Good Parents as part of the Playwrights’ Project (Tzavta), and The Celebration is Over (Tzavta). He also adapted and directed Roberto Zucco by Bernard-Marie Koltès (Shiva).

**In loving memory of Micha Lewensohn RIP

TEIBELE AND HER DEMON

Who is the mysterious demon that shows up in Teibele’s room twice a week, making her heart flutter?
Is it fear she feels, or is it a devil she knows?
Teibele is a cheerful young woman, a salesclerk in a fabric store, whose husband disappears one day, leaving her a stranded, agunah, unable to remarry.
Alchonon, a poor melamed’s assistant, knows he stands no chance with her; posing as a demon, though, earns him some wild nights of passionate fantasy.
Will fantasy prevail, or is reality nothing like we thought it would be?
Teibele and Her Demon is considered one of the high points of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s oeuvre. It is presented here in a modern, up-to-date version.

Roni Sinai is a playwright, director, and translator. He was born in Jerusalem, and is a graduate of Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. His writing and directing credits include Stephen, winner of four prizes at the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre; Oil on Cloth, winner of the Israeli Fringe Theatre Award; Wool Dog, third-year project at Nissan Nativ, which was then performed in independent theatres; Freeing Bin Laden, graduation project at Nissan Nativ; The Big Win at Beer Sheva Theatre, based on Sholem Aleichem; and Sweet Potatoes, The Incubator Theater. He directed the international Indian musical Baharati in collaboration with Shirili Deshe and Jojo Kahan. Other writing credits include Israel Journal and Boomerang, Haifa Theatre; monologues for the international production of Baharati 2; She’s a Robot (collaboration with Uzi Weil), Habima National Theatre; and Fatso (collaboration with Etgar Keret), Cameri Theatre. He translated and directed The Prisoner of Second Avenue by Neil Simon at Beer Sheva Theatre, and adapted Carlo Goldoni’s The Coffee Shop.

Shirili Deshe specializes in physical theatre. For the past twenty years she has been acting, directing, and writing for the stage and for TV. She is a graduate of the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, and the Jacques Lecoq Physical Theatre School, Paris. Her acting credits include the monodrama Small Drama, winner of the Theatronetto Festival; Comedy in Freestyle at the Israel Festival; and To All the Devils (Bashevis Singer stories) at The Cameri Theatre. She was a member of the Young Ensemble at Habima National Theatre. In Haifa Municipal Theatre she created the show Goodbye and Not Au Revoir, and was co-writer of the musical Billy Schwartz. Directing credits also include Little Shop of Horrors, Zaza’s Friends (Best Director Award at the Haifa Festival), and Fatso at The Cameri Theatre (recipient of the Millo Prize). She co-directed the successful international Indian show Bharati and Bharati 2. For Orna Porat Children’s Theatre she wrote and co-directed The Seven Dwarfs, A Sour Face, and Two Are Better (winner of the ASSITEJ Award), among others. Her TV work includes a documentary series about her father, Pasha; a comic series she wrote, A Cool Place to Live; and series she directed, Golden Girls and Children of the Tree House (winner of the Israeli Academy Awards for Writing and Directing).

THE STRAY DONKEYS SEARCH GUIDE

A collage of masculine Israeli characters – post traumatic, desperate for reassurance, castration-anxiety strugglers, professional weakness hiders, hurt and hurtful prisoners and wardens. The play follows three men along the main stations in their lives, discovering sexuality, examining their place in the peer group, and attempting to hide their wounds using humor and cruelty. This is not an educational play, nor is it meant to exempt from responsibility. It is mainly a confession.

The title is derived from the biblical story of King Saul, who went looking for his father’s stray donkeys and unintentionally became king. Anointed to an unfitting position, he lost his mind, and realized that if only he had found the donkeys he wouldn’t have been forced into all the violence, jealousy, and replication of hereditary models of masculinity that the role of king requires.

Oren Ailam is a multidisciplinary artist (graduated in Industrial Design from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design), director, and performer, whose work deals with masculinity, and how its fears and phobias control men, and shape the way they act in society. Oren uses objects he designs and produces in factories around the world, employing industrial methods to build objects with dramatic values. Oren combines performance with interactive objects he builds in his studio. He implants objects in the public space in a way that disguises them as everyday objects in order to disrupt public order and push viewers to react.

SILENCE MAKES PERFECT

Requiem for a naïve world stolen from a little girl, concerto for a woman re-claiming her voice and her life’s flame – these are the chapters of this visual theatre and musical performance that begins in the aftermath of violence, and transforms into a force and truth that cannot be silenced any longer.

A collaboration between director, puppeteer, and singer, Yael Rasooly, and pianist and artistic director of Meitar Ensemble, Amit Dolberg. The visual-theatrical language is composed of puppets created from broken musical instruments, 3D printed masks, and object-theatre, all fused together to create a daring form of storytelling. The performance challenges the known relationship between the singer-performer and the “accompanist”, as roles are reversed and interwoven into one another, to create a powerful and immersive experience.

Full length video of the play to be added shortly.

Yael Rasooly is a visual-theatre director, actress, singer, and puppeteer. Born in Jerusalem in 1983, Yael is one of Israel’s leading independent theatre artists. Yael’s signature theatrical language is based on a multidisciplinary approach, bringing life to voices that lie beneath the surface, and inviting her audiences on a journey to society’s silenced narratives. Alongside her prolific theatrical career, she also performs as a singer with several ensembles and orchestras in Europe and North America. Her performances have been presented in hundreds of festivals and venues in over thirty countries, and have received numerous awards and critical acclaim from The New York Times, Télérama, The Guardian, and others. Yael is also a guest professor, and gives masterclasses and workshops around the globe. Her classes focus on directing for the independent theatre maker, object-theatre, puppetry, and vocal work. Institutions include Trinity College, University of Connecticut, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center CT, UQAM (Montréal), NYU, and Wroclaw Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Amit Dolberg is the founder and director of Meitar Ensemble, the Matan Givol Composers Competition, and the CEME international festival for new music. He has performed and recorded with conductors such as Matthias Pintscher, Ilan Volkov, Pierre-André Valade, Zsolt Nagy, and Fabian Panisello, and with orchestras and ensembles in Israel, Asia, and Europe, including the Israel Camerata Orchestra (Jerusalem), the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Tel Aviv Soloists, the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra Tel Aviv, Plural Ensemble, and others.

The production has been supported by Meitar Ensemble, Dancing Ram Theater,
Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, Mifal Hapayis, and Festival of New, Snape Maltings, UK.

MOTHERS

Mothers, an original Israeli opera written for four female singers and four female actors, brings the mothers of the Book of Genesis to the stage. The mythological discrimination against women and children appears from the beginning of the Book of Genesis. Our Holy Bible tells the story of the men, the deciders, those who determine the policies, and win glory and honor, those who decide the future and destiny of their silent women and children. The mothers of the Bible have a dual mission – to get pregnant and give birth in a continuous ongoing cycle. Nothing less, nothing more. However, these women undoubtedly had feelings. What happened to Lot’s wife when she heard that her husband had invited the men of Sodom to rape their two daughters? Why did Rivka prefer one son over the other? What did Leah feel when she cheated on Yaakov?

In this opera, David Sebba returns to the stories we all grew up on, but this time from the perspective of the women, the mothers, some of whom do not even have a name in the Bible. Sebba expresses the inner feelings and thoughts of these mothers, and gives them a voice through which we encounter their sorrows and painful confessions. Their stories are connected through the perspective of the biblical God, here performed by a soprano singer who uses the original biblical texts to narrate the history from which these female characters emerge.

David Sebba holds an MMus with honors in Composition and Singing from Tel Aviv University Academy of Music. He won first prize in the Academy’s voice competition. He has composed theatre music, written arrangements and orchestrations, and sung solo roles with most of the orchestras and choirs in Israel. He participated in many Israeli Opera productions as a singer, pianist, and conductor, and translated more than ten operas into Hebrew, as well as surtitles and translations for singing in performances. He won scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the MOST Foundation, the Israeli Opera, and the Israel Vocal Arts Institute. He was a member of the staff of the School for Choral Singing and the Alon School Acting Class. He was a vocal coach at the Ticino Musica Festival’s annual summer courses in Switzerland, and performed in many concert tours abroad as a pianist, singer, and conductor. In 2003, he established the operatic ensemble OddOpera. He is currently the conductor in residence of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, and serves as the music director of three choirs. He is also in charge of the opera class at the Jerusalem Music Academy, participates in choral festivals in Europe, and in recordings for radio and television, and performs in operas and concerts as a conductor, singer, and accompanist. He wrote Alice in Wonderland, an opera commissioned by the Israeli Opera, which has also been performed in Lithuania.

Shirit Lee Weiss is an opera director, whose credits include The Medium (Menotti); What about the Deer? Die Zauberflöte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart), Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (Bartok); Opera Fairytales at the Israeli Opera; Die Zauberflöte (Mozart); Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein); and The Telephone (Menotti) for the Haifa Symphony Orchestra; Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) and Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss) for the Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva; Die lustige Witwe (Lehar) and Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss) at the Buchman-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University; La finta giardiniera (Mozart) and Giulio Sabino (Sarti) at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance; Ba-ta-clan (Offenbach), and the world premiere of Mothers (David Sebba) for the Fringe Opera in Tel Aviv; and Pierrot Lunaire (Schoenberg) for the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. In the USA, she directed Don Pasquale (Donizetti), Down in the Valley (Weill), and Comedy on the Bridge (Martinu). She has directed many productions for the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio, including Hansel und Gretel (Humperdinck); Don Pasquale (Donizetti); Werther (Massenet); The Medium and The Telephone (Menotti); Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss); The Story of Romeo and Juliet and Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro and The Impresario (Mozart). She also directed two musicals at the Music Festival Bat Yam, both of which won first prize: Greta and the Space Race (Yonatan Cnaan and Valeria Zabelotsky) in 2014, and Goldi’s Bra (Aviv Koren) in 2015.

KABAN

Eli, a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder, comes to Yehuda’s clinic. Yehuda is a psychologist and mental-health officer (KABAN) on army reserve duty. During their meeting, it comes to light that Eli was a platoon commander in Gaza four years ago, in the same operation in which Yehuda served as a mental-health officer and treated a shell-shocked soldier from Eli’s platoon. Eli feels guilty about the soldier’s death, and asks Yehuda to tell the story from his perspective. Reluctantly, Yehuda revisits his past and tells the story of how he refused to send the soldier back to the home front, insisting instead on a daring and controversial treatment method: to send the wounded soldier back into the battlefield, forcing him to face his trauma and achieve true healing. Yehuda stubbornly defended his innovative treatment approach to his commander and the soldier’s mother; he was sure he was doing the best thing for the soldier and saving him from a lifetime of PTSD. But war is war, and things don’t always go as planned…

A play about the psychological wounds that war leaves behind, and the impact they have on anyone who is exposed to them – soldiers, mental-health officers, and family members.

Inspired by real events during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Nevo Ziv (playwright) also works as a journalist and assistant editor for the daily Yedioth Ahronoth. He holds a BA from the School of Film and Television and from the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel Aviv University. His works include Euphoria – The Happiest City in the World, Haifa International Children’s Theatre Festival 2016, produced by Haifa Theatre (the rights to the play were bought, and the adapted script is currently produced by Tedy Productions and Pie Productions); I’d Like To Be…, a children’s book, Am Oved Publishers (with Yonatan Yavin); Grandpa Hides Everything with his Back, children’s book, Yediot Sfarim Publishing; Arieh Ben Naim the XIV, children’s book, Yediot Sfarim Publishing. His screenwriting includes Sesame Street (Hop Channel), A Wonderful Divorce (drama series), and various other projects for children’s channels. He serves as the creative director for Yehoshua/TBWA and Gitam BBDO advertising agencies.

Daphna Silberg (director) graduated with honors from the MFA Theatre Directing Program (Department of Theatre Arts) and the BFA Screenwriting Program (Film and Television Department) at Tel Aviv University. She is a member of the 2014 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and teaches documentary theatre at The Goodman Acting School of the Negev. She won the Award for Best Director for Demonstrate (2018). Her works include Whose Afraid of Hana Laslo, Comedy Theatre (2021); The Cherry Orchard, third-year students at TAU (2019); Bertod & Agnes by Noa Lazar Keinan, Habima National Theatre (2018); Mother in Love, Comedy Theatre (2018); Oedipus Shmedipus, Yiddishpiel Theatre (2017); Demonstrate, director and playwright, documentary theatre work, Tel Aviv Museum (2017); The Hunt by Martin Sperr, Goodman Acting School of the Negev (2016); Euphoria – The Happiest City in the World, by Nevo Ziv, Haifa Theatre (2016); Baby by Amanda Whittington, SELA – Performing Arts Studio Founded by Yoram Lowenstein (2016); playwright and director of Ticket to the Circus (Tmu-na Theatre, 2015); The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfenning (Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, 2014); playwright and director of Spermology (Tmu-na Theatre, 2014); Scenes from an Execution by Howard Barker (Goodman Acting School of the Negev, 2013); director and translator, Tales from Vienna Woods by Odon Von Horvath (graduate work at TAU, 2013); director and translator of Whose Life Is It Anyway? (hosted at Habima National Theatre, 2012-13); playwright and director of Mother Needed, Bat Yam International Festival of Street Theatre (2010).

IT MIGHT BE GENETIC

A collage of emotions in the language of movement, poetry, and live music, in which seven actors-creators embark on an exploratory journey influenced by their parents. The work examines the struggle of identities between us and our parents regarding our future – with and without them – as well as questions over the performers’ own future parenting.

The show emerges from a series of poignant personal questions, and from a deep fundamental understanding: our parents are the people closest to us and, at the same time, the most alienated. Is our future known in advance, or do we still have time to escape? And after we escape, where shall we return to? Is our parents’ destiny our natural inheritance? How much influence do our parents have over our identity and our life? Will we eventually turn into our parents? And do we even want to be parents? Do we have a chance to escape the fate dictated by our parents, or might it be genetic?

Rom Sheratzky has been an actor since childhood, and has performed in several theatres and festivals all over Israel, and also in movies. He studied opera singing for many years, as well as acting at Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, he created the performance Patient No. 65 at Habait Theatre. The performance was held in a small windowless room, and included a recovered coronavirus patient, a few future patients (the audience) and Rom. His next show, MAGA – Mom I Love You Please Touch Me, is about the screen as a memory, the body, and the touch in between. It Might Be Genetic is his first full-length play, written in collaboration with the cast.

Marina Beltov Grass is an Israeli director, choreographer, and movement teacher. Marina was born in Ryazan, Russia (former USSR), and is a graduate of the Faculty of Literature and English History at Ryazan State Pedagogical University. In 1981, Marina started studying in the Faculty of Choreography at the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS). In 1984, she started working as a choreographer in Moscow’s leading theatres.
In 1990, Marina came to Israel and started working as a teacher and choreographer at Nissan Nativ Acting Studio, and in other leading schools, theatres, and performing arts centers in the country. She is a three-time winner of the Israeli Theatre Award for Choreography for her work at Beit Lessin Theatre and Gesher Theatre. Meanwhile, Marina started directing her own shows, always collaborating with the freshest, youngest, most daring minds around her. When Habait Theatre was founded five years ago, Marina started working as the theatre’s artistic director. Habait Theatre is a home for fringe dance, theatre, and performance. In this short period of time, the theatre has already been marked as a significant actor in the scene of independent, modern, pioneering creation in Israel.

HOUSE ARREST

This family drama/thriller depicts the deep frustration of the liberal left in Israel, confronted by the New Right.

Noa Yedlin’s House Arrest is imposed on Prof. Elisheva Fogel, a liberal leftist intellectual. An activist and vice-president of an international foundation for peace in the Middle East, Fogel raises funds and helps Palestinians in humanitarian cases: she builds schools, and shortens queues for life-saving surgeries. She is about to receive a lifetime achievement award in New York, when, all of a sudden, the police accuse her of theft and financial mismanagement. Her family initially stands by her, but as numerous doubts arise, her three children must accept her possible guilt. Each family member adopts a different interpretation of the situation, and the conflict threatens to tear the family apart.

Noa Yedlin is the recipient of the notable Sapir Prize (the Israeli Man Booker), and author of the bestselling House Arrest and Stockholm. She is also the creator of the TV series based on Stockholm, for which she won the Israeli Award for Best Mini-Series. Amazon Studios will adapt Stockholm for the American market.

Shlomit Arnon Bar-Lev and Liat Fishman-Lenny adapted the novel for the stage. They are actresses, writers, and directors.

Ido Rosenberg is an actor and director. His production of the film adaptation of Zero Motivation was highly acclaimed by the Israeli media, and became a must-see hit at Beit Lessin Theater.

ENOUGH WITH YOUR LIES

“The journalist in front of me is asking me a few more questions: Why do you write? What’s real and what’s fiction? I don’t remember my answer, because at that moment I see him. And that is a picture that cannot exist, and yet I shout out his name – Thomas!”

A chance encounter in the train station brings the author Philippe Besson to confront fragments of painful memories from a secret love story between two teenage boys in a small and conservative town in France in the 1980s. It is a poetic and honest drama about life after abandonment, from the perspectives of three men who are connected to each other through tangled bonds of betrayal, regret, and perhaps love.

Tali Hecht is a lecturer on drama and theatre, a stage director, and a dramaturge. She has developed educational and professional pedagogy courses for teachers and holds a BA in directing and dramaturgy and an MA in theatre from Tel Aviv University, of which she is also a former faculty member. She served as a member of the artistic management of SmallBama Festival. She is the winner of the Excellence Scholarship on behalf of the Rector of Tel Aviv University, a recipient of the VERA Excellence Scholarship and the Schutlander Scholarship for Master’s Students. Her works include Disgrace (an adaptation of Taming of the Shrew, Tzavta); Salt (SmallBama), Trainspotting (Hama’abada), Romeo and Juliet (University Theatre), and Hebron Haggadah (Cameri Theatre). She is currently working on her first album as a singer-songwriter.

Nir Frankel is a graduate of Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts. He holds a BEd in theatre directing from Kibbutzim College of Education, where he also studied visual literacy with a focus on theatre. Acting credits include The Crucifixion (Bat Yam International Festival); and Under the Shed (Jaffa Theatre). Directing credits: Blood Wedding and HiStoryHairStory, a performance about the politics of hair (Jaffa Theatre); Butterflies Are Free and The Lover (Kibbutzim College); and I am Shulamit (SmallBama Festival).

THE BRIDE AND THE BUTTERFLY HUNTER

A runaway bride named Who (Me) meets an insurance company clerk named Getz in a city park, where he hunts for butterflies once a week (Wednesdays, from four to six), trying to catch the ghostly illusion of happiness. A drawing by the artist Yosl Bergner inspired Aloni to write the play, which won the Award for Best Original Play, and was first performed at Bimot Theatre in 1967, with sets and costumes by Yosl Bergner himself.

Nissim Aloni (1926-1998) was one of Israel’s iconic playwrights. His plays include Most Cruel the King, The King’s Clothes, The American Princess, The Bride and the Butterfly Hunter, Eddie King, Napoleon Dead or Alive, Aunt Liza, The Gypsies of Jaffa, The Revolution and the Chicken, Lucas the Coward, and The Raucous Dying. He was a journalist, wrote skits for the legendary comedy trio HaGashash HaHiver, and also published a collection of prose, Notes of an Alley Cat.

Yair Sherman grew up in Jerusalem and moved to New York in 2003, where he studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Sherman works in a number of Israeli and international theatres, and teaches acting in prominent acting schools in Israel. In 2019, he directed Hanoch Levin’s Requiem in Beijing. In 2016, Sherman won the Fringe Academy Award for Best Director for Blessings (Tmu-na Theatre), and the Awards for Best Director and Best Production for Hanoch Levin’s Endlessly Mourning (International Theatre Festival, Minsk). Other credits include An Indecent Tale (Cameri Theatre), Winter Funeral (Beer Sheva Theatre), and Prayers (Tmu-na).

ALL THE RIVERS

At the end of the Second Intifada, in snowy New York, two young Middle Easterners meet: Liat Binyamini, an Israeli translator who is in New York on a scholarship, and Hilmi Nasser, a Hebron-born Palestinian painter living in Brooklyn. The two quickly develop a meaningful relationship, but their love can only be when they are away from their homes, and its end is near and inevitable. Hilmi and Liat imagine themselves free and isolated in their intimate New York bubble, but the voices that haunt them across the ocean, from both sides of the fence, are a constant reminder that even far away from it all, they are not alone.

Ilan Ronen (director) was the artistic director of The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Habima National Theatre, and The Jerusalem Khan Theatre. He was the founder of the satiric stage at Tzavta Theatre. In 2011 and 2013 he was elected President of the Union of Theatres of Europe (UTE). Many of his Israeli productions have been performed in theatres around the globe.

Dorit Rabinyan is the bestselling author of Persian Brides, Our Weddings, and All the Rivers, which caused a political storm, and which have been translated into dozens of languages. Her numerous literary awards include the Prime Minister’s Prize and the Bernstein Prize. Her screenplay for the TV film Shuli’s Fiancé won the Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Drama.

Noga Ashkenazi is a dramaturge, playwright, and filmmaker. She holds a BA in theatre from Grinnell College, USA, and from Sorbonne University, France. She was a creative development manager at Paramount Studios, and directed two full-length features. In Israeli theatre she adapted Sholem Aleichem’s Marienbad, and wrote the original play Gulliver. Her dramaturge works include To the End of the Land (Cameri and Habima), VERSACE, A Temporary Name, and Spinning (Habima).