On the Agenda: A Mirror to Society

Playwright Anat Gov: "They do not understand the role of theater and culture in a democratic society."

By EETTA PRINCE-GIBSON
September 26, 2010 10:00
4 minute read.
Anat Gov

Anat Gov. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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In late August, more than 50 prominent performers, playwrights, directors and other theater professionals signed a petition declaring that they would refuse to perform in the West Bank city of Ariel (pop. 18,000), where a new cultural center is about to be completed at a cost of 40 million shekels ($10.5 million).

The petition, presented to the directors of all major theaters, caused a public furor. A special meeting of the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee voted to strongly condemn the artists’ refusal to perform in Ariel for political reasons and urged them to withdraw their letter – which they have not. Culture Minister Limor Livnat announced that she intends to revise the criteria for state funding for theaters in a way that would bar actors from refusing to perform in certain locations. Other called for cutting off funding, which covers some 10 percent of the annual budget of the theaters.

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