Jerusalem Report

Spirit of the theater

The acclaimed Gesher troupe tackles ‘The Dybbuk,’ the most celebrated play in the history of both Yiddish and Hebrew theater.

Efrat Ben-Tzur is possessed in a Gesher rehearsal
Photo by: COURTESY GESHER THEATER / DANIEL KAMINSKY
Just 14 days remain before the premier of “The Dybbuk”, and Gesher Theater’s artistic director, Yevgeny Arye, is a man possessed. It’s the second day of rehearsals on the big stage, the cast having moved there from a nearby hangar, and Israel “Sasha” Damidov, the lead actor, still needs a prompter for some of his lines. To make matters worse, the sound technicians are missing their cues, the music is too loud and is drowning out lines of text, and a curtain doesn’t go up fast enough – and this is only the first scene.

Arye chain-smokes, curses in Russian (something about one’s mother) and shouts a rapid-fire “Stop!Stop!” into a microphone when things go wrong, which is just about every other minute. He slams down the box of cigarettes on the table and frantically runs to the stage to demonstrate how he wants things done. He speaks in Russian and someone translates his words into Hebrew for the benefit of the Israeli-born actors. For Arye, schooled in the lofty and highly disciplined traditions of Russian theater, every moment on stage is significant. The award-winning director can sometimes spend hours on a single gesture or a line of text. Rehearsals, emotionally charged affairs in high decibels, can last all night.



Read More...
   
Jpost.com, the online edition of the Jerusalem Post Newspaper - the most read and best-selling English-language newspaper in Israel. For analysis and opinion from Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East. Jpost.com offers expert and in-depth reporting from Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East, including diplomacy and defense, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Arab Spring, the Mideast peace process, politics in Israel, life in Jerusalem, Israel's international affairs, Iran and its nuclear program, Syria and the Syrian civil war, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's world of business and finance, and Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora.

All rights reserved © The Jerusalem Post 1995 - 2014