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Israeli Theatre

Show case on Israeli Theatre in collaboration with The Israeli Ministry of Cuture

Interviews with Israeli Theatre Directors:

We are happy to introduce a series of interviews with distinguished Israeli theatre directors and stage artists, that will be published on our website throughout the year. The next interview will be with Noam Sheriff, a world-renowned composer, music director of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and initiator of the new Haifa Opera. The interviews are written by our Israeli correspondent Ayelet Dekel, editor of Midnight East, an online magazine of Israeli culture (www.midnighteast.com).

Shmulik Ifrach, Director of the Beer-Sheva Theatre, is the first director since the founding of the theatre in 1973 who truly belongs to the Negev and resides locally. The theatre has enjoyed considerable success in the past year, receiving four awards in the 2009 Theatre Prizes, including Best Play in Translation/Adaptation and Best Actress. The Beer-Sheva Theatre is currently the only theatre in Israel to have an acting school under its wing - as one of the founders of the Goodman Theatre and Acting School of the Negev. Read more

Miki Gurevitch, Artistic Director of The Jerusalem Khan Theatre, is adamant about the Khan’s uncompromising approach to theatre, saying, “What makes the Khan special is the ensemble and choices that are 100% artistic. The Khan does not need plays that will bring in money and will not produce a play because it will bring in profits. A play for us is an end in itself and not the means to an end.” Read more 

New Projects on Israeli Stage

A lot is happening on Israeli stages, and as always, we would like you to stay informed about interesting and innovative projects.

Taking on a Titan is never easy, especially one of such mythic proportions as the story of the Titanic, where it would seem that every conceivable angle has already been explored, but Daniela Michaeli triumphs over clichés and skepticism with “KesheHaOnia Shoka’at” (When the Boat Sinks), a fun musical frolic that is entertaining, moving, and will even give a slight nudge to your social conscience as you smile. Read more

The Laughter of Tears, performed at the Shlomi Centre for Alternative Theatre, deals with the pain of helplessness. We live, hope, despair, encounter, disregard, acknowledge and deny. Inhaling the outside air, but strangled from within. In this play, pain has the main role. Read more 

The second annual Midrash Bama Theatre Festival, taking place at The Jerusalem Theatre, featured a selection of vibrant and exciting plays based on Jewish sources with an innovative concept. Read more

In "Job, The Story of A Simple Man", performed now by Malenki Theatre, the actors work with large-scale fabric puppets to adapt Joseph Roth's novel. It is a terrific show that speaks in a multiplicity of voices and languages: verbal, visual, physical and musical. Read more  

Dance-Movement-Prayer was launched in The Lab centre for performing arts in Jerusalem. It is a joint project of The Lab, the Israel Choreographers Association, and Beit Avi Chai. The project blends contemporary dance with tradition, religion, and prayer, focusing on prayer in the language of movement. Read more 

"Leshem Yichud" ("On the Unity of the Name") by “Ka-Heref Ayin” Ensemble brings together eight characters seeking an answer through midrashim and legends, Halachic (Rabbinic law) rulings, songs and contemporary texts. “Ka-Heref Ayin” is the first creators’ ensemble of religiously observant Jewish men and women together onstage. Read more

Theatre in Spotlight

The New Israeli Opera, The only Israeli and Jewish opera house in the world which presents Jewish-Biblical repertoire, Jewish artists and new original Israeli operas . The history of opera in Israel could have become the plot of one of the most exciting operas ever written. It is a story about pioneers who relentlessly fought to maintain their artistic dreams in a nation yet to be born. It is a story of struggle and love, of faith and despair, a story that eventually, 85 years later, puts Israel very proudly on the international opera map.  Read more

Yiddishpiel Theatre Tel Aviv, was founded with the mission of preserving the Yiddish language, which almost disappeared from the world, as an important language with a significant culture that is a foundation stone in the history of the Jewish nation. On our stage, Yiddish lives again, full of the wisdom of those who are no longer with us. Read more

Nephesh Theatre , Nephesh Theatre was founded in 1978 in Toronto where it operated as the only professional Jewish theatre in Canada during that time. After mounting over 30 theatre and television productions and touring throughout Canada and the United States, Nephesh moved its base to Israel. Read more

The Room Theatre , The Room Theatre – Theatre Laboratory (Stage & Screen Arts & The Orian Method – The Open Circle) was established in Tel-Aviv in 1985, in order to research, study and perform, an alternative to performer’s behavior within the environment of the artistic event. Read more

Tair Theatre, Tair was established in 2000 by a group of actors who had completed Theater studies in Jerusalem at the Ma'ale School of Television, Film and the Arts. (The theatre department was headed by the actor Shuli Rand.) Tair began by working with educational institutions in Israel, but over the course of time it developed in the direction of a repertoire theatre as well, Read more

Eskesta Dance Theatre ,Eskesta (shoulder dancing in Amharic) draws its inspiration from the different components of the culture of the Ethiopian Jews (Falasha of Beta-Israel). The troupe focuses on a number of channels: preserving the community`s ancient Jewish prayers, authentic folklore (shoulder dancing) and creating contemporary artistic dance based on the culture of the Ethiopian Jews. Read more

The Jerusalem Khan Theatre , The Khan Theatre Company is the only permanent repertory company operating in Jerusalem.
The theatre produces 4 new plays each theatre season. The repertoire is carefully chosen by the artistic director, and includes original Israeli plays, some written especially for the company, as well as both classical and modern European and American plays. Read more

The Acco Fringe Theater Festival  celebrating 30 The crusader castles of Acco have been home to original, avant-garde and revolutionary theater every Succot holiday since 1980. Showcasing a large collection of Israeli theatrical productions, both traditional and alternative, thirty years of activity have turned the festival into one of the leading fringe theater events in the world. Read More

The Short Theatre Festival Shalom Shmuelov, festival founder and artistic director explained that for him the selection process is very much a process: “The reading period is very interesting. I see myself as a dramaturg. The plays as submitted are not quite fully baked, not quite ready for the stage. We begin working on more plays than what will eventually be produced onstage.” Read more

An Israeli Love Story, The monodrama  based on a personal story of hers from the tumultuous times that led to the founding of the Jewish state. Read more

Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt in 'talking heads' play by Savyon Liebrecht ,The play's protagonists at Beit Lessin Theatre are two philosophers of sharp intellect, but Liebrecht writes, based on the published correspondence between the two (to no small extent thanks to Arendt's passion for documentation), about the heart and passion. Those are the things over which, with all their sophistication, these two had very little control. Read more

Israel Festival 2008: Possessed by Dybbuks The Dybbuk, which remains the symbol of Habimah to this day, performed by Polish theatre TR Warszawa, as well as three international premiers of Israeli Dybbuk productions.
Read more

First General Assembly of Theatre Directors Union in Israel.  Introduction by Oded Kottler, the Chairman of Theatre Directors Union in Israel .First and foremost, I would like to greet all who came to the conference in the name of the founding and initiating team. On the face of things this looks like the realization of an important wish of so many of the Israeli theatre people who work in directing in all its forms, which I will describe and speak about. Read more

Solo Performance Online Catalogue

Razia Israely in The Dentist :This monodrama deals with the complex and emotionally charged relationship between Rosi, a lonely, divorced physician, and her father, a Holocaust survivor from Salonika, Greece Read more

Howard Rypp in Gimpel the Fool : A treasure from the Yiddish literature, I. B. Singer's courage to deal with sexual betrayal and grapple with good and evil make his very specific world of pre-Holocaust Europe to be both accessible and universal. Read more

Oren Yadgar in Orpheus in the Metro: We explore man's fear of life, his absolute solitude, and a refusal to accept happiness even as it lands at his feet. The hero's obsession with the game he had invented conceals his incapability to live a real life. Read more

Adi Bilsky - An Israeli Love Story : In Summer 1942, Margalit meets Avi by chance on a bus. She is a young woman from a moshav in the Jezreel Valley, he is a Palmach militiaman and a kibbutz member Read more
Victor Attar - EINSTEIN: The play is set in Princeton, before and after Albert Einstein goes to receive an award at a dinner for the Hebrew University, It is the eve of his 70th birthday and he takes an accounting of his life with the audience.Read more 

Born in Baghdad Shosha Goren : With Sadam's fall, the new government of Iraq announces that “Israeli Jews born in Iraq can apply for passports to visit their Homeland.” Renowned Israeli performer, Shosha Goren, born in Baghdad, decides to meet the challenge Read more

NESSIM ZOHAR -MY MOTHER'S SOUP :On his mother’s commemoration anniversary, her son prepares for the family get-together, “Molocheya”, an Egyptian national dish, which was the deceased mother’s favorite. While preparing the meal Read more

Robbie Gringras -About the Oranges (The Situation Comedy) : A man arrives late for a job interview. Very late. 35 days late. Why? Read more 

Yossi Vassa -It Sounds Better in Amharic : ”It Sounds Better in Amharic” is a moving, personal account of a 700 kilometer journey by foot from Ethiopia to a refugee camp in Sudan, and then finally flying to the Holy land.Read more 

Tahel Ran -I Am Ossi Dahari : A woman, abused by her violent husband, find safety in a shelter for battered women. In a monologue, she talks with intense courage and even occasional humour of her broken life Read more

Introduction to Israeli Theatre

Theatre in Israel: A Culmination of Foreign and Native Influences by Prof Shimon Levy
The emergence of Hebrew theatre predates the state of Israel by nearly 50 years. The first amateur Hebrew theatre group, called The Lovers of the Hebrew Stage, was active in Palestine from 1904-1914. The first professional Hebrew theatre, Habimah (The Stage), was founded in Moscow in 1917 and won worldwide acclaim with its production of The Dybbuk. Following its international success, Habimah moved to Palestine in 1931, where it became the National Theatre. Just before Habimah's arrival, actor and director Moshe Halevi founded the Ohel Theatre in 1925 as a workers' theatre dedicated to socialist issues as well as biblical themes. Read More

From The Dybbuk to Best Friends: A Short Look at Israeli Theatre  by Prof. Linda Ben-Zvi
Theatre in Israeli, and for that matter theatre involving Jews, has a relatively short history, since traditionally Jews were forbidden to participate in such activities. The Talmud Yerusalami (Berakot, 4b), has a prayer thanking the Lord for making us “frequenters of yeshivas and synagogues” and not of “theaters and circuses; for I labor and they labor, I—to inherit the garden of Eden and they—the pit of destruction” Despite Purim Spiels Read more

The Hebrew Theater: Between the War and the Holocaust by Prof. Ben-Ami Feingold
The echoes of the Nazis’ rise to power, World War II, and the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe had repercussions in the land of Israel, finding their way into the press, public opinion, and the reactions and stands of the leaders of the Jewish yishuv, as well as into Hebrew literature and the plays that were either published or staged in the theaters. The plays that were performed were mostly translated. As far as original Hebrew drama was concerned, almost the only treatment of current events was found in the various programs of Ha-Matate, the satirical cabaret theater, and especially so in Nathan Alterman’s chansons Read More

Musical Plays on the Hebrew Stage by Dan Almagor
The Hebrew term mahazemer, which originated in one of the weekly magazines during the 1950s, was created from two other Hebrew words, mahazeh ("play") and zemer ("song"). The need for a new term arose from the great popularity of this theatrical genre, familiar to Israeli audiences in those years from many Hollywood musical films. These included "On The Town," "Singing in the Rain," "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Oklahoma," "Annie Get Your Gun," and many others. A desire arose amongst Israeli theatre people to produce a Hebrew mahazemer on the British or American model. Read more


Anthology of seven plays by Motti Lerner The Hebrew anthology of seven plays by Motti Lerner written during 1999-2009 in a persistent attempt to decipher the political-social-ideological basis of life in Israel Read more

The Formation of Urban Culture and Education in Tel Aviv by Nili Aryeh-Sapir  Stories of and about Ceremonies and Celebrations in Tel-Aviv in its First Years Read more

How to Design Memory? by Nili Keren The "Yad Vashem Law" was established only in August, 1953. This law ordered the new institute to preserve the memory of the Holocaust in many ways and it became the State official memorial. Since then Yad Vashem as an institute as well as a museum has gone though major changes and developments. Read more

The Habima Israel’s National Theater By Emanuel Levy The Habima (stage in Hebrew), the first institutionalized Hebrew theater, was founded in Moscow during the 1917 Revolution by a small group of Hebrew teachers committed to Zionism. Read more

Sins of the husbands : "Women's Minyan" a play by Naomi Ragen  From its inception, through its writing, performance and recent publication, Ragen's play has been part of a dialogue between life and the stage. What roots the play is the true story on which it is based, and the heavy presence of real and shattered lives behind the dialogue and stage directions.Read more

What is going on – on the bridge? by Olga Gershenson It is how Olga Gershenson begins her book. At once, she introduces us into the atmosphere of being ‘in-between’. The further we move through her narrative, the more we understand that such a beginning is not only meaningful as to the book’s context, but the only possible one. Even though the title Gesher (Hebrew for bridge) Read more

The "Jew" in Cinema: From The Golem to Don't Touch My Holocaust By Omer Bartov Jewish film festivals have in the last decades sprung up from Romania to Los Angeles and the variety of "Jewish topics" in films, both by Jewish and non-Jewish film-makers, is staggering. This interest in the representation of Jewish experiences is matched by the popularity of university courses on films that explore various aspects of Jewishness Read more

The Holy Tongue, Comedy`s Version  by  Yair Lipshitz This book focuses on A Comedy of Betrothal (Tzahut Bedihuta DeQiddushin), the earliest known Hebrew play. The study of this Renaissance comedy, dated to the mid-16th century, and attributed to Leone de` Sommi (Yehudah Sommo), a multi-talented Jewish theatre artist presents a new reading that explores the ways in which quotations from Jewish canonical texts are embodied on stage Read More

Here, There and Everywhere:Notions of Comparative Space in Canadian and Israeli Drama By Shimon Levy

The Labor of Life-Selected Plays By Hanoch Levin Israeli playwright and director Hanoch Levin was one of the most original and innovative writers of his generation. Although Levin is familiar within the Israeli cultural context—and despite the steadily growing stream of literary and theatrical research on his oeuvre—there are few resources on his work available outside of Israel Read more

Between Pjojy and Shchouchy and between Tel Aviv and Ohio- Space and Place in Hanoch Levin's plays by Omri Yavin Read more

Drama and Ideology in Modern Israel By Glenda Abramson A large number of political plays have been written in Israel over the past fifty years, and they are perceived, by audiences and critics alike, as major interventions in the country’s ongoing political debates; the result is that Israeli drama is at the centre of many public controversies Read more

Israeli Holocaust Drama By Michael Taub This first English anthology of Israeli Holocaust drama makes available five important dramatic works, focusing on the more controversial productions of the last two decades. Although it once relied on a repertoire drawn largely from other countries, the fledgling Israeli stage is coming into its own, and a hearty generation of native writers makes this volume a welcome tradition to what has been a dearth of contemporary Hebrew drama available in English.  Read more

Jewish and Israeli Theatre By Sara Strassberg-Dayan The Zionist Idea is the central subject of these three plays that take place in three different parts of the world: Argentina, Warsaw and Israel at different times. "Love's Covenant" deals with conflicts of Jewish identity and the relationship to Israel between young Jewish people in Argentina, facing acts of local anti-Semitism after the Six Day war. Read More

An Interactive Online Catalog :Plays of Jewish and Israeli Interest

Editors: Moti Sandak,Prof .Michael Posnick and Prof.Ellen Schiff - A collaborative project of the Foundation for Jewish Culture (FJC) and All About Jewish Theatre, the global website to promote and enhance Jewish theatre and performing arts worldwide.

What you will find in this catalog ?  Titles and authors of approximately 2000 plays and wherever available brief synopses, reviews/blurbs, genres, length, production information, length, settings, casting information, production history and contact information. The catalog also lists categories of Jewish content, e.g. historical, biblical, Holocaust drama, etc.
The repertoire is a vital organism, constantly growing and evolving .Read introduction  Go to Catalog  > Plays
For further information please contact Moti Sandak at  ncmisrael@bezeqint.net


Israel Ministry of Culture & Sport http://www.mcs.gov.il/English/Units/Culture/Theater/default.htm

The Minister Mrs Limor Livnat

General Director Ministry of Culture & Sport Mrs Orly Fruman

Head of Culture Mr.Shimon Alkabetz

Chairman of the National Council of Culture and Arts  Dr. Chaim Perluk

Chairman of Theatre Mr. Ori Levy

Director of Theatre department Mrs Irit Fogel

Stirring Comity on Fringe Theatre and Special projects : Dr. Chaim Perluk (Chairman) , Ori Levy,Ari Davidovitz, Sara Lisovsky,Yuval Niv, Nir Turk, Carmit Yaacobson,Irit Fogel.

Head of support ,Theatre department  Mrs. Sigal Davidyan

Israel Embassy and Consulate Directory http://www.science.co.il/embassy.asp

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  • Minister Limor Livnat ,Minister of Culture & Sport

    Oded Kottler, Chairman of Theatre Directors Union

    Shmulik Ifrach, Director of the Beer-Sheva Theatre

    Miki Gurevitch, Director The Jerusalem Khan Theatre

    Shmuel Atzmon–Wircer, Director Yiddishpiel Theatre

    Hanna Munitz, Director The New Israeli Opera

    Howard Rypp, Director Nephesh Theatre

    Gilad Alfasi, Director Tair Theatre

    Albert Ben-Shloosh,CEO and Chief Producer The Acco Fringe Theater Festival

    Smadar Ya'aron, Co- Artistic Director The Acco Fringe Theater Festival

    Moni Yosef , Co- Artistic Director The Acco Fringe Theater Festival

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