About the play
Four concentration camp inmates, chosen to serve as court jesters of the camp commander, survive due to their theatrical prowess. “The Court Jesters” tells the story of Judge Cohen, Adam Wahn, the juggler, Max Himmelfarb, the astrologer, and Leo Rosenberg, the acrobat-dwarf. The play is set during the Holocaust, but the drama travels back in time to pre-war Europe, and follows the survivors to Jerusalem, after the war. Focusing on the relationship between the jesters, the play depicts their bond with acute sensitivity, and shadows the protagonists all the way from their joint experiences in the camp commander's court to their individual dream-like realities following liberation. The play finally culminates in a poignant reunion, years later on King David Street, just below Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate. The characters’ instinctive passion to survive makes the play all the more relevant to contemporary Israeli dilemmas, as well as to the Jewish experience in the Diaspora today.
The importance of the project
Psik Theater chose to produce this play because of its commitment to the goal of commemorating the Holocaust through art and education. As Israelis, as human beings, and as artists, we at Psik Theater cannot remain aloof to that barbaric chapter in the history of our people. As the younger generation in Israel has increasingly come to view the Holocaust as a distant historical occurrence, we seek ways to create contemporary interpretations that will be viewed and experienced by Holocaust survivors, fourth generation Israelis, and audiences around the world.
Based on a novel by Avigdor Dagan, one of Israel’s pioneering artists, the play allows the stories of the court jesters to become a personal, existential experience for all audiences, in Israel and abroad. With "The Court Jesters", Psik Theater transforms a distant historical event into an abiding memory.
About The Theatre
Psik Theatre was founded in Jerusalem in 1997 by a group of three young actors, just out of acting school: Assi Shimony, Shmulik Hadjes and Uzi Bitton. The company creates original art stemming from current themes in Israeli culture. In addition to its adult, teen, and child repertoires, Psik engages in community-based activities, including projects aimed for under-privileged youth communities.
Psik Theater Company sees in theatre a means towards social enhancement and empowerment. Therefore, alongside professional theatre activities, we have founded the "Psik Theatre School" in which 8 amateur groups participate in acting workshops. These include a handicapped person's group, a group of new immigrants (olim chadashim), and a group of youth in crisis.
Last year, over 50,000 children, teens, grown-ups and elderly people enjoyed Psik productions in Jerusalem alone. Among other venues, the company performed in the Israel Festival, the Acco Fringe Festival, the Haifa Children's Theatre Festival, the Bat-Yam Street Theatre festival, the Andria Festival in Italy, and more.
Currently, Psik is actively engaged in a campaign to open a venue of its own in the center of Jerusalem. Psik Theatre Company is supported by the Israeli Department of Education and Culture, and by the Municipality of Jerusalem.
A play based on the book by Avigdor Dagan Adaptation: Uri Nitzan Director: Shmulik Hadjes
Psik Theatre Company
Kiryat Menachem, Jerusalem
Tel:+972-2- 6513663, Fax:+972-2- 6513736 -
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