‘How Are the Mighty Fallen’: Aspects of Contemporary Israeli Theatre

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Even at its most political, contemporary Israeli theatre tends to be self-referential - nowhere more so, suggests Shimon Levy, than in the theatre festivals held at Acre, where year by year over the past decade the plays selected seem to have reflected, more than coincidentally, the preoccupations of the nation, with its haunted past, its militaristic present, and a future full of uncertain or resented accommodations with neighbours for so long perceived as enemies. But Shimon Levy, who teaches in the Theatre Department at Tel Aviv University, also notes two exceptions in a generally gloomy theatrical scene: the exuberant entertainment Yanti Parazi‘-’ a metaphor for the yearning for this screwed-up Holy Land’ - and a long-unperformed play on the ‘difficult’ subject of the West Bank occupation, Ephraim Returns to the Army, with its schitzoid title-character ‘deconstructing’ the conflicting elements of Israeli hopes and beliefs, for audiences not presumed to share the play’s own progressive but unsentimentalized sympathies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-394
Number of pages13
JournalNew Theatre Quarterly
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 1990


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