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The Cameri Theater's production of "Hamlet" heads the list for the 2006 Israel Theater Prize with 10 nominations including Best Play, Best Director (Omri Nitzan), and Best Actor (Itai Tiran in the title role).
It's followed by "Isabella" from the Beersheva Theater with six nominations including Best Comedy and Best Director (for Yael Ronen, who's also nominated for Best Playwright for her "Plonter" at Bet Lessin).
For the first time, the Acre Theater Center is nominated for Best Play with "A Fatal Love Story," having moved from fringe to mainstream status.
Leading the nominations race is the Cameri with 16 nods, closely followed by Bet Lessin and the Habimah National Theater with 14, and Gesher is in third place with 10.
Indeed, Bet Lessin has most of the top nominations (nine), with two each in the Best and Supporting Actress categories and including Hillel Mittelpunkt's "Thrill" for Best Play and Best Playwright.
The YiddiShpiel is also very proud of its five nominations, the most it has ever had, including Best Actor for founding artistic director Shmuel Atzmon, and for Best Entertainment and Musical.
This year an unprecedented 117 of the 119 Academy members returned ballots, of which four were disqualified for various reasons. They saw 43 plays altogether.
The awards ceremony will not be televised as none of the channels were willing to underwrite the production.
The event will take place at Beit Lessin on April 7.