Theater in Israel

Linda Ben-Zvi, Editor
The first book-length investigation of theater and drama in Israel


The first volume of its kind in English or Hebrew, Theater in Israel gathers original essays, interviews, and commentaries by leading international theater practitioners and critics. The book explores the rich history and diversity of Israel's theater and illustrates the ways in which this politically committed theater mirrors the historical and cultural forces that have shaped Israeli-Arab relations, the events in the Middle East, and the post-Holocaust Jewish experience.

The collection provides a thorough and engaging survey of the playwrights, directors, actors, and productions that comprise this dynamic theater, a theater whose evolution and ideology diverges from Anglo-American models. The book's early essays trace the development of Hebrew drama from its inception in Moscow in 1918 to the establishment of a national theater and the emergence of a national repertoire.

Succeeding essays explore the personalities and themes that have dominated the Israeli stage, featuring interviews with leading Israeli playwrights, actors, directors, and dramaturgs. The book also provides highlights from the first Palestinian and Israeli Arab Theater Symposium, focusing on the history, themes, and future of Arab theater.

The contributors include Karen Alkalay-Gut, Shosh Avigal, Linda Ben-Zvi, Erella Brown, Joseph Chaikin, Scott Cummings, Ben-Ami Feingold, Gad Kaynar, Shimon Lev- Ari, Shimon Levy, Gabriella Moscati-Steindler, Freddie Rokem, Eli Rozik, Gershon Shaked, Chaim Shoham, Michael Taub, Dan Urian, Shoshana Weitz, and Nurit Yaari.

Linda Ben-Zvi is Professor of English and Theater, Colorado State University, and Professor of Theater, Tel Aviv University.

Praise / Awards

  • "Impressive historical, critical, and theoretical depth . . . a sophisticated introduction to theater in Israel."
    —Anne Golomb Hoffman, Fordham University
  • "Linda Ben-Zvi's collection of studies in English on Israeli theatre has long been awaited, both in Israel and abroad. The book should prove to be a landmark for research and for theatre criticism in general. Theater in Israel us a model of interdisciplinary reportage and analysis in depth--historical, ideological, political, sociological, cultural and aesthetic. . . . Reading the interviews is like being at a high voltage party. . . ."
    —Joyce Miller, Ariel: The Israel Review of Arts and Letters, Volume 111, 1999
  • "This valuable and extensive collection aims at providing an insight into culture through an examination of theatrical practice and performance. . . . Recommended for anyone interested in cultural studies, ethnic studies, and social and political theatrical practice."
  • "This important book is the first collection of material written in English concerning Israeli (as opposed to Jewish) theatre. . . . "
    JTD: Journal of Theatre and Drama
  • "This book provides a useful introduction to theater in Israel and will, no doubt, achieve its editor's purpose of introducing the foreign reader into what has up to not been largely hidden from his view by linguistic and cultural barriers."
    —Hanna Scolnicov, Modern Drama
  • "Theater in Israel is a highly informative, scholarly anthology of essays written by many eminent scholars and critics of the the theatre in Israel. It is a unique book from which the reader learns not only about the theatre scene, but also about the country, the people, and its myriad problems. . . . It is also a treasure of facts, thoughts, and insights about culture, theatre, and life in the state of Israel."
    Theatre Research International

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 480pp.
  • 13 photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1996
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10607-3

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.