Cameri leads ITP nominations; Gesher, Habima boycott

Israel Theater Prize ceremony set to feature nominees from many of the country's leading theaters, in May.

Dvora Kedar Headshot 370 (photo credit: Gerard Alon)
Dvora Kedar Headshot 370
(photo credit: Gerard Alon)
Twenty-two plays from seven of our nine repertory theaters are competing in 18 categories for the Israel Theater Prize 2013 (ITP). The ceremony will take place at Tel Aviv’s Beit Lessin Theater on May 10.
As usual, the Cameri Theater leads the nomination pack with 35 nominations, followed by Beersheba with 15 and Haifa with 14. Two Cameri productions got the highest number of nominations: the Israeli musical Casablan has nine, including for best musical, director (Tzedi Tsarfati) and actor (Amos Tamam), and Edna Mazya’s little gem Stempenyu has eight, including for best playwright.
The production of the year will be chosen from among the 17 listed and will be announced at the ceremony. Additionally, Habima actress Dvora Kedar, nearly 90 and still on stage, will get the ITP Life Achievement Award while Uri Ofer, a former general manager of the Cameri and the founding general director of the Israel Opera and the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, will receive the ITP Special Recognition Award.
The best original play category unfairly includes two revivals. These are The Labor of Living and Difficult People by Hanoch Levine and Yosef Bar-Yosef respectively. Sara von Schwartze’s Between Two Worlds, A.B. Yehoshua’s masterly Will the Two Walk Together and Dafna Engel’s deft World Cup Wishes complete the list. Unsurprisingly, the latter three are also on the best playwright list.
The excellent and multi-talented Itay Tiran is up for best actor in the title role of Richard III, and if he gets it, many will also say he deserves it for Richard II, as does Arthur Kogan, nominated best director only for Richard III. Rami Baruch is nominated best actor for two productions, playing David Ben-Gurion in 2 Together and Arnolphe in School for Wives, the latter of which is also up for best comedy.
Shiri Golan gets a deserved nod as best actress for her icy Clytemnestra in Beersheba’s Iphigenia. Other nominees for the category include Liora Rivlin for Leviva in Labor of Living and Rama Messinger as the deluded Florence Foster Jenkins in Beersheba’s Souvenir, also up for best comedy.
For the second year in a row, the Habima National Theater has opted out of ITP, and this year is joined by the Gesher Theater.
Gesher says that because of its stated dissatisfaction with ITP regulations, and therefore its perception that Gesher productions are not accorded their due, the theater will not participate this year.
“More than once, we have submitted ideas for change to and improvement of [the regulations], but they were disregarded,” said Gesher in a statement.