Israeli Koom-Koom Theater brings the magic of puppetry and music to Serbian children

  (photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Serbia)
(photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Serbia)

What can a child do to fulfill his dream of reaching the stars despite busy parents, boring teachers and challenging classmates? The children of Subotica (Serbia) were offered an answer by the play “Up and Down Story” by Israeli Koom-Koom Theater. 

The play was performed at the International Festival of Children’s Theatres in Subotica with the support of the Israeli Embassy in Serbia in September. The event was part of the celebrations marking thirty years of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Balkan country.

  (credit: Embassy of Israel in Serbia) (credit: Embassy of Israel in Serbia)

“Cultural ties between our countries start from a young age - even if our children do not speak the same language, they share the same dreams, the same desires and the same values,” said Deputy Head of Mission in Belgrad, Alexandra Ben Ari. “We continue to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations and the cultural dialog has a very important place in these relations.”

Established over twenty years ago, the festival has become a beloved event in the fields of puppetry and theater for children, in Europe and beyond. Over the course of the years, over 500 dramatic ensembles from dozens of countries have performed in Subotica.

The project of Koom-Koom Theater started in 2002, when its founders Katya and Andrei Urbakh met at the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem and together with some friends began creating street performances incorporating clowns, live music and puppet theatre. Three years later, the group was sent on a tour abroad and that marked the formal beginning of Koom-Koom Theater. 

“Koom-Koom Theater creates performances that draw on a visual dimension,” reads the organization’s website. “Using this ‘language’, we reach the souls of children, youth, and adults around the world, bridging across cultures and languages. It is a quality, innovative theatre that emphasizes originality while incorporating a variety of performing arts.” 

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