The purpose of the festival is to present the community with unique artistic works about Israel that pose questions of universal urgency, help us reflect about our values in new ways, and promote cross-cultural dialogue. The project is also intended to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday by educating the community about Israeli culture through theatrical works that transcend religious, gender, political, and cultural barriers and express universal concerns about the human condition.
Women's Minyan by Naomi Ragen
Played to over 500,000 people over five years, at the National Theatre of Israel, the Habima.
Based on a true story, Women's Minyan is a spellbinding exploration of religious fundamentalism in a patriarchal society. Chana flees her orthodox home in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, leaving behind her 12 children, and carrying with her a terrible secret. Two years later, armed with a court order, she returns to see her children who have now been hidden. She convenes a secular minyan, a trial of 10 women, to judge her fitness to see them.
Masked by Ilan Hatsor (the recent off-Broadway hit) Translated by Michael Taub
A fiery drama that depicts the the tragedy of three Palestinian brothers during the intifada as they wrestle with conflicts between duty and family and survival and principles.
Apples from the Desert by Savyon Liebrecht Translated by Shir Freibach
Winner of Israel's Best Play Award, 2006 A romantic comedy about Sephardi-Jewish parents from Jerusalem whose only daughter runs away from home to live on a kibbutz. With a comic, generous and hope-filled spirit, the playwright sketches the life of young Israelis under the shadow of terrifying social rifts - the ethnic rift between Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews and the religious rift between religious and secular Jews - and enables the audience to discover the possibilities embodied in a future that transcends these rifts.
Conviction by Oren Neeman, starring Ami Dayan Based on the novel Confession by Yonatan Ben-Nachum Translated and adapted by Ami Dayan and Mark Williams
Conviction is based on a true story of a beautiful love affair doomed by religious persecution in Inquisition Spain. In present day Madrid, an Israeli scholar is detained and questioned by a Spanish official for staling a confidential Inquisiton file. Together, interrogator and interrogated, are drawn by the files wrinkled yellow pages into the torrid love affair of the converted Spanish priest Andres Gonzalez and his Jewish wife, Isabel.
To Pay the Price by Peter-Adrian Cohen
In 1976 Israeli soldiers flew 2,000 miles to Entebbe, Uganda, to rescue hostages from a hi-jacked air liner. All but three hostages survived, and only one Israeli soldier was killed: Jonathan "Yoni" Netanyahu. Several plays show the difficulties of life as a Palestinian, while this play depicts the harrowing life of a young Israeli. The words are Yoni's, compiled from his letters and remembrances of friends. It is his story and that of his military brethren, the woman he loved, and the lives of generations of young Israelis who are thrust into war after war for their survival. This is the moving story of a genuine hero.
Visit the OnStageIsrael: a Festival of Israeli Play Readings website: