TheaterNetto winners for 2019

Tarin Shalfi and Amir Feter won the best actress and actor awards at the TheaterNetto 2019 festival which took place in Acre and Jaffa from April 21-24.

By HELEN KAYE
April 28, 2019 22:48
2 minute read.
TARIN SHALFI

TARIN SHALFI. (photo credit: JARAR ALON)

Tarin Shalfi and Amir Feter won the best actress and actor awards at the TheaterNetto 2019 festival which took place in Acre and Jaffa from April 21-24.

Not unexpectedly, Shalfi won Best Actress at the festival for her unsentimental, nuanced, sensitive, humor-laced self-portrait in Moving the Sun, about the actress/author’s ongoing battle with metastatic cancer. The judges also spoke of “a virtuoso, passionate performance that touched the heart.” Indeed, and one can only wish her refuah shleima, a full recovery.

Shalfi shared the Nissim Azikri NIS 10,000 award with Feter for his performance in Oasis, the story of a French soldier caught up in the Algerian battle for independence after WWII. The judges wrote of “a mature and sober, yet poetic and touching theatricality,” as well as “a precise, heart-felt performance.”

In I Was There, playwright Moti Lerner takes on that most sacred of Israel’s sacred cows – the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF. The drama concerns a young army captain who refuses to stay silent following what he terms an illegal order during the 2014 Gaza War. Lerner indicts not only what has become the norm in IDF conduct but also the indifference and acquiescence toward these policies at every level of Israeli society. His impassioned performance as Capt. Ido Biton won Yoav Donat Honorable Mention, the judges citing his “direct, heart-rending performance in a drama that is a wake-up call to the Israeli conscience.”

Yishai Golan also received Honorable Mention for his “touching and personal performance in a story about the love and separation of two people. The drama is Tahalich Tofes Makom, a Hebrew euphemism for the inexorable spread of a terminal disease, and Arik Avigdor’s lyrical, luminous tribute to his late partner, actress/singer Rama Messinger, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

The other two plays I saw were about the Jewish people’s perennial elephant in the room from opposite points of view – the Holocaust. Both mawkish, whiny, declamatory and the less said about them the better. They were Grandma Varda’s Parlor and Shrika or “Whistle.” The parlor in the former is the tattoo parlor that survivor Varda opens to counteract the Auschwitz tattoo marking her for death. And in Shrika, Holocaust horror tales are used as a bludgeon to avoid life and love.

TheaterNetto is always a theatrical challenge for playwrights and performers. Long may it endure.


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