Haifa Theater looks forward

A graphically handsome brochure describes the 2010-11 season.

Theater.311 (photo credit: Nathan Brusovany)
(photo credit: Nathan Brusovany)
Since artistic and general directors Moshe Naor and Dror Garber joined forces two years ago, the Haifa Municipal Theater’s future has become distinctly more cheerful. This year there were some 10,000 subscribers versus a measly 3,500 for the 2007-8 season. Similarly, the NIS 23 million cumulative deficit has shrunk to NIS 15 million and the budget is balanced, with even “a wee operating surplus,” says Garber proudly.
NIS 12 million of the theater’s NIS 18.5-million budget comes from public funding, the rest is earned income.
A graphically handsome brochure describes the 2010-11 season, as well as presenting the last production of this one. It’s Tom Stoppard’s 1977 Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (“Mi Doeg Layeled” in Hebrew), a play for actors and orchestra. The title is a mnemonic for EGBDF, the notes of the five-line musical stave. The play, which opens July 15, is a political and black comedy that concerns two prisoners in a Soviet psychiatric hospital, both of whom are named Ivanov. One is a dissident, the other a genuine schizophrenic who believes he controls a symphony orchestra.
Andre Previn wrote the music. Dori Parnes did the translation.
The director is Moshe Naor and the Ra’anana Symphonette is conducted by David Zebba.
The five new Israeli plays in the season lineup include Motti (Kastner, Pollard) Lerner’s new, and probably very political, drama about the disintegration of a family during the Second Lebanon War called At the End of the Night;Morris Schimmel, an unproduced two-hander by Hanoch Levin starring Leah Kenig and Avi Kushnir (10/10). In it Kushnir is Morris, Levin’s staple loser, who’s such a schlemiel that even his aspirations are hopeless; and A Certain Man and Woman, a compilation edited and directed by the always original Ofira Henig that explores the evolution of the folk tale.
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, J.B. Priestly’s An Inspector Calls, Moliere’s hilarious Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, with Yaakov Cohen as the wannabe gentleman, Brecht’s The Caucasion Chalk Circle, directed by the prize-winning Udi Ben Moshe, and David Hare’s elegiac Skylight are among the rest of the season’s productions. See, it’s not all happening just in Tel Aviv.