From Hollywood to the Holy Land

The legendary Ben Bard Drama School was for decades one of Hollywood’s most prominent and respected acting academies.

By YAKIR FELDMAN
February 7, 2019 13:55
1 minute read.
From Hollywood to the Holy Land

Ben Bard was a talented stage and film actor whose respected theater company and acting academy made him an influential Hollywood figure.. (photo credit: BARAK BARD)

 
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‘The God of Isaac’ is the latest production of the Ben Bard Players, whose previous play, ‘The Statement,’ played to standing-room-only crowds in Jerusalem, garnering highly favorable critical acclaim.

Ben Bard Players is one of the newer theater groups in town and it has an interesting backstory.

Director Barak Bard is a documentary filmmaker who has worked internationally in video and television production for several decades. In actuality, he has been involved in entertainment all of his life, as his father is Ben Bard (1893-1974), a Vaudeville comedian, stage and Hollywood film actor and acting teacher.

The legendary Ben Bard Drama School was for decades one of Hollywood’s most prominent and respected acting academies. It also had its own theater company, renowned throughout the industry for its stage productions of classics and West Coast premieres of contemporary American plays. Illustrious alumni of the Ben Bard Drama School include Shirley Temple, Alan Ladd, Angie Dickinson, Cliff Robertson and Gig Young, among other luminaries.


One of the ways that Ben Bard’s son Barak, now living in Israel, honors and perpetuates the memory and work of his father is through the establishment of an English-language theater group in his father’s name that brings powerful crowd-pleasing, thought-provoking plays to the Jerusalem stage.

“My father’s passion for acting and entertainment and his devotion to the art were infectious,” he says. “But this was just part of his true talent, which was the way he cared about people, connected with them, helped them to develop their skills and propelled them to achieve their dreams.

"It is my honor to carry on his tradition – to channel my father here in Israel, a country that he always admired and loved.”

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