A little culture for the kids
The three-day Children’s Theater Festival in Haifa features more than 200 performances.
Nona Reads Minds Photo: Kfir Bolotin
Zviah Huberman, artistic director of the annual Haifa International Children’s
Theater Festival, believes that “only professionals should perform for
children.” That is why the caliber at the 23rd annual festival is extremely
high, she says.
The festival takes place during Passover (March 27–29) at
the Haifa Municipal Theater Complex, whose CEO Nitza Ben-Zvi is the producer of
the event, as well as at the auditorium at the Carmel Center, an exciting new
addition this year.
Featuring more than 200 performances for children of
all ages, the three-day event will host theater troupes from all over the world,
such as Australia, Austria, France, Italy and Spain.
There will also be a
number of street theater productions, which will take place throughout the city
and are free of charge. The art direction of the street events is done by
members of the Ortho-Da theater group, Yinon Zafrir and Avi Gibson
Another highlight of the festival will be the annual playwright
competition, which will feature six plays chosen from a large selection of
entries. The contest features plays that range from “impressive large- scale
shows to small plays for little children.” The winner of the competition, who
will receive a large cash prize, is chosen by guest judges who are accomplished
theater community members but whose names are not revealed ahead of
Huberman is in charge of a new project, King Solomon’s Daughter , a
multimedia show featuring acrobatics, ballet, masquerade and more. The play,
which Huberman wrote and directed, is based on a book by Bialik. It will
premiere on the opening night of the festival. “I made it modern and brought it
to life on the stage,” she says.
The story is about the beautiful
princess Na’ama, daughter of King Solomon, and her search for
love. Na’ama rejects all potential suitors suggested by her father, only
to be locked away in a tower. She ends up finding what she is looking for in the
least likely of places.
“The tale of true love’s moral is about finding
social justice and being true to your values,” explains Huberman.
the common thread among the productions is that they are meant for children,
Huberman says there is no specific theme for the festival. “We want our artists
to be able to create freely and from the bottom of their hearts, and a theme
restricts them,” she insists, referring back to her thoughts on the
professionalism of children’s theater.
Theater is an important tool for
education, she says, and it is important for children to receive a quality
education, whether it is at school, at home or at the theater.
the festival is geared for children, the whole family will have plenty to
experience in various parts of the event.
March 27–29. For more
information, visit www.haifakids.co.il. For tickets, call (04) 860-0500.