acre festival 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The 31st Acre Festival of Alternative Theater is so called because “alternative”
is its purpose. It seeks to offer new theatrical languages for familiar themes
or explore a totally different take on them.
It’s characterized by daring
and sometimes by truly original thinking for which “the festival is an artistic
framework,” declare artistic directors Smadar Ya’aron and Moni
“Now more than ever, we have to ask to what extent art can
influence reality, especially our reality that is so complex,” they
This year’s Acre Festival takes place in and around the Crusader
Fortress in the Old City from September 26 – 29. There are nine plays in
competition, as well as five more called Acre 2 that didn’t quite make the
competition cut but that the artistic committee felt deserved producing. There
are productions from abroad, a slew of street theater, special projects, guest
productions/installations, music and dance.
Among the nine competition
plays, one of the top contenders is likely to be The Family Table, a three-hour
multi-layered work by the iconoclastic David (Dudu) Ma’ayan, whose 1980 winning
festival play, Arbeit Macht Frei, has entered Israeli theatrical legend. His new
play takes eight different groups of people through the alleyways of Acre’s Old
City and brings them together around a huge dining table.
when ideals and ideologies clash? An Austrian/Israeli collaboration seeks
answers in Response to a Letter My Father Never Wrote Me, written and directed
by Austria’s Markus Kupferblum, together with his Israeli cousin, Pablo
Then there’s Eran Tobol’s wacky Vlüvenbach und Züfenheim:
Re-education (hint: everybody’s wearing a funny little mustache) and
Holocaust-Lite, Roby Edelman’s cheeky and political “Don’t worry! Be happy!”
take on Israeli reality.
Acre 2 plays include Circus Y – Carabina, an
aerial tale in five acts, and Schweigeminute dedicated to the writer’s
Rachel, a survivor who “knew how to love in German, Hebrew and in her
From Switzerland comes The Bus. You ride in one for a
thriller, with an Israeli component, about religiosity and faith; clown
Herts has her One Woman Show, whose heroine is called Gladys. Gladys
again with French clown Olivier Bour for their street theater
And while we’re on street theater, there are 17
premieres, one of which is a local/Croatian collaboration called Via
There are also street theater shows from Romania, Spain, Germany,
Slovenia and Holland – and they’re all free.
Three of the Arabic language
monodrama plays from the recent Masrahid festival will be guests at
will Amun Chavo, an installation by artist Iman Abu Hamid dedicated to
grandmother, not to mention political cabaret or circus-type shows,
also free. There’s music on the lawn inside the festival complex, and
includes Arnika by Noa Dar.For more information on the festival,