Discovering Young Israeli Theatre


Valentina Marcenaro is the director of the Festival for Jewish Music & Theatre in Dresden (Germany). Her aim is to present innovative Jewish European culture and Israeli music and theatre within the festival.

I applied to a "Go Network" Micro Grant. Thanks to ROI's Grant I was able to attend the ISRA DRAMA Festival 2015 in Tel Aviv. It was a wonderful opportunity for me on different levels. First of all, I was able to see an incredible number of theatrical performances written by young Israeli authors that gave me a very good idea of the flourishing Israeli theatrical landscape, and also of the many different theatres in Tel Aviv—from the big institutional theatres like Habima, to the fringe theatres like Tmu-na Theatre

Among the performances I saw, I found two particularly interesting: The Road to Ein Harod (Salt of the Earth) by Zvi Sahar at the Nachmani Theatre. I was very impressed by the way it was performed. Using very minimalistic props, the director manage to create a genial stage setting. In the discussion after the show, Zwi Sahar explained that his wish is to try and avoid high-tech in favour of "low-tech". I think that he managed to reach an excellent result. 

The second performance that I found very interesting was Spermology directed by Daphna Silberg at the Tmu-na Theatre. This performance deals with the commercialisation of sperm-donations and the way sperm banks work. In a hilarious way, Daphna Silberg and her actresses manage to present a very serious and upsetting issue: how far can a woman or a couple go in order to decide what her/their future child is gonna look like? 

Apart from the performances themselves, I was able to connect with many Israeli and European colleagues who work in the organization of cultural events or in theatres. It was a great chance for me to enlarge my network and to create new collaborations. I am thinking of inviting one of the performances I saw to my festival next year, and I created a contact with one Italian author and an Israeli theatre director in order to see if we can realize something together in Germany.

I think the ISRA DRAMA is a very good opportunity for anyone who works in the theatre or organizes theatrical events to get to know better the Israeli theatrical production. The festival was very well organized and I found the possibility of meeting and discussing with the different directors and authors after the shows very enriching.