A new theater trend comes to Jerusalem

Mystorin Ensemble brings the magic of immersive theater to Jerusalem.

Mystorin Ensemble (photo credit: OMER MESSINGER)
Mystorin Ensemble
(photo credit: OMER MESSINGER)
In a world full of thrills and visual triggers that are constantly emerging and moving, we find it increasingly hard to be moved by watching a play on stage, sitting slumped in a padded chair in the dark. We want to move, feel, taste and touch. Immersive theater seeks to fulfill this need. The Jerusalem-based Mystorin Theater Ensemble has been performing immersive theater productions across the country that have gained growing audiences.
Following the enthusiastic reviews and media coverage of the production Who Killed Arlozoroff? The Musical! performed at the old town hall on Bialik Street in Tel Aviv, this year Mistorin comes to the Kedma School, located at the Katamonim neighborhood of Jerusalem, where they are offering their new show, Shkola.
“This show presented us with a new level of complexity,” says Yulia Ginis, the group’s artistic director.
More than 30 artists – musicians, choreographers, video artists and set and costume designers – joined forces to create a fascinating fantastical world inside an ordinary Israeli school. As darkness falls, like a spell cast in a Grimm Brothers fairy tale, the classrooms are transformed beyond recognition to the point where they seem entirely foreign even to staff and teachers who work at the school every day. Through a collaboration between Mistorin’s ensemble and creative crew, and the young theater pupils of the Kedma School, a mesmerizing and poetic world emerges, charged with magic, longing and beauty. The show allows spectators to wander through equally dark and beautiful halls, and to open doors into worlds of memory.
As the school year comes to an end, Shkola will run for three last shows this July at the Kedma School in Katamonim.
“It all started with the show Seven that we created inside the new Central Station in Tel Aviv,” says Ginis. “To begin with, our theater created site-specific shows inspired by classical Jewish texts. We created a show inside a deserted synagogue based on Talmud texts. We performed at the central square of Krakow singing hassidic poems. We presented the story of the Exodus out of Egypt to audiences in Russia and Eastern Europe. When we were approached about creating a show at the new Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, I recognized an opportunity to embed the existing reality of the station in a show where seven actors take the audience on a journey inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, texts from the Zohar and Talmud and poems of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, all across the seven levels of the station.”
Mistorin’s show Seven at the Central Station has been running for close to four years now, each month attracting spectators who look for a titillating and surprising experience - to witness spectacular scenes full of magic and poetic beauty that rise out of the dark and deserted corridors of the bowels of the huge station.
“Once we started working on Seven, there was no going back,” says Raz Weiner, dramaturge and co-director at Mistorin. “We wanted to deepen our relationship with the audience and to create worlds where the audience is an integral part of the performance.”
What is the next stage? Whether it is a virtual reality-based show at the Natural Museum next year, or a periodic fantasy at the Botanical Garden, at Mistorin they run no risk of boredom. Until then, Seven and Shkola will run through the summer, reconfiguring everything we have known about the art of theater.
Tickets available at mystorin.com or by calling 054-460-1551.