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The Cameri Theater's production of Hamlet won five top prizes at the 10th Israeli Theater Academy Awards on April 7. Hamlet pocketed honors for Best Production, Best Director (Omri Nitzan), Best Actor (Itay Tiran), Best Translation (T. Carmi and Dan Almagor) and Best Lighting (Keren Granek).
Hamlet had 10 nominations, the most of any production, and as such its haul was expected. Other contenders for best play were Momik by the Gesher Theater; the Acre Theater Center's Wishuponastar and Beit Lessin's Thrill.
Tiran dedicated his prize to his drama teacher, Gary Bilu, who won a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony. He also thanked the audience, who helped the play break the 300 performance mark. "You have proved that Shakespeare can still be a hit today," Tiran told the crowd. "There's nothing better than to hear today's youth saying after they see the play that Hamlet is the coolest."
Best Musical went to Habima Theater's King Solomon and Shalmai the Cobbler. Ruth Dar won Best Costume honors for the production as well. The national theater also won Best Comedy (The Merry Widows Club) beating out Hazameret Kerahat Yoter (The Khan), Filomena (Beit Lessin) and Isabella (Be'er Sheva).
Most Promising Newcomer (Woman) went to Anya Buchstein for her role in Milchamah (War).
Reshef Levi was the surprise winner of the Best Playwright award, for his first repertory play, The Indian Patient. Levi's production was staged at Beit Lessin. He triumphed over Hillel Mittelpunkt, Yael Ronen, Yevgeny Arye and Yelena Laskin.
Beit Lessin also won honors for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Dafna Rechter, Thrill); Most Promising Newcomer (Man) went to Oshri Cohen for his role in The Indian Patient; and Best Supporting Actress to Naomi Promovich for her role in Thrill.
The Gesher Theater snagged three prizes including Best Entertainment Show for its Variations for Theater and Orchestra.
Haifa theater won Best Revival for its version of The Rubber Merchants beating out The Glass Menagerie (Cameri), Medea (Gesher), and Three Sisters (Rina Yerushalmi).
Altogether 37 plays, chosen by the 119 members of the Academy, competed in 19 categories.
The ceremony took place at Beit Lessin, which marked 25 years since the theater's creation. The Gesher Theater, meanwhile, celebrated 15 since its founding. Program hosts were actors Moni Moshonov and Maya Dagan.