Bare Theatre of a bare life: A community-based project in Jaffa

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In this article Shulamith Lev-Aladgem focuses on The Bride from the Sea, a community performance by three young Israeli-Palestinian mothers, presented in a sand box in a multi-functional kindergarten in Jaffa in 2008. From the beginning of the creative process, the Jewish facilitator and the performers had to struggle to overcome the various barriers erected by the intricate, oppressive daily life of the young Palestinian women. They eventually managed to perform a 'short, thin performance', which, despite resembling a misperformance, had an emotional and even exceptional effect on the audience. This performance is examined as a special kind of women-based community theatre, termed here 'the bare theatre', to indicate a form that articulates the bare daily life of women trapped between internal and external oppressive power regimes. Shulamith Lev-Aladgem is chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Tel Aviv University, a trained actress, and a community-based theatre practitioner. Her recent publications include Theatre in Co-Communities: Articulating Power (2010) and Standing Front Stage: Resistance, Celebration, and Subversion in Israeli Community-Based Theatre (2010), as well as articles in Research in Drama Education and Israeli Sociology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-124
Number of pages12
JournalNew Theatre Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2017


  • Borderline
  • Feminine morphology
  • Israeli-Palestinian women
  • Misperformance


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