The Bible and the avant-garde: The search for a classical tradition in the Israeli theatre

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Abstract

The Israeli theatre has frequently employed the Hebrew Bible as a source for theatrical performances. Analysing three such performances, this article shows that the Bible, with its charged ideological implications for the establishment of the state of Israel, has perhaps somewhat unexpectedly inspired avant-garde productions that have frequently criticized the accepted ideological and aesthetic norms. The first of the three performances analysed is Hanoch Levin's play based on the book of Job called ‘The Torments of Job’ (Yisorei Iov), which Levin directed at the Cameri theatre in 1981. The second is the play ‘Jehu’ by Gilead Evron, directed by Hanan Snir at the Habima National Theatre in 1992, and the third is the ‘Bible Project’ directed by Rina Yerushalmi, which consists of two independent, but interrelated productions: ‘And He Said And He Was Walking’ (Va Yomer Va Yelech), which premiered in 1996, and ‘And They Bowed. And He Feared’ (Va Yishtachu. Va Yerra) which premiered in 1998.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-317
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Review
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2001

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