Planning ahead

The Cameri has a lot on offer for its next two seasons.

Cameri Theater cast 311 (photo credit: Elitzur Reuveni)
Cameri Theater cast 311
(photo credit: Elitzur Reuveni)
The Cameri Theater plans two years ahead, explains general manager Noam Semel, because if one of its productions, as often happens, is a mega-hit, then plans have to be revised.
On offer over the next 24 months are eight new plays by local playwrights, four revivals, four adaptations from books by local authors, six modern world classics, four musicals, three contemporary and two Shakespeare plays, not to mention ongoing productions.
In The Aristocrats (October 2010) to be directed by artistic director Omri Nitzan, Edna Mazia (Was It a Dream, Games in the Backyard) has employed her perceptive pen on the conflicting identities in our society; Ichs Fisher (August 2010), the last un-produced play by the late Hanoch Levin, is a mad comedy about a chap who loses his penis while peeing; Redemption of the Father (September 2010), by Hanan Peled, explores greed, guilt, the past and the present in the relationship between father and son; and last of this quartet, A.B. Yehoshua, has adapted for the stage his best-selling novel The Personnel Director (January 2011) that explores our responsibility to the Other.
For the rest, Yehoshua Sobol has updated O. Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, and his seminal It’s Hard to Be a Jew is among the revivals. Anat Gov’s Happy End suggests that living well is more difficult than dying, ’Srul, a mini rock opera by Shai Lahav and Yoni Zichholtz, teaches that even here, you still gotta choose, and like Sobol’s Wilde adaptation, Shlomo Mashiah’s Ad-Lo-Yada is about corruption and the price it extorts.
AMONG THE rest, the revivals include Kiddush (September 2010), the first of Shmuel Hasfari’s Zionist trilogy and Hillel Mittelpunkt’s early Makolet. Ido Riklin is adapting and will direct Meir Shalev’s Esau; and there are two adaptations from stories by Shalom Aleichem – Stempenyu, written and directed by Mazia, and Turkish Gold, to be directed by the versatile Moshe Kepten, who’ll also direct his own version of Bialik’s Behind the Fence, not to mention directing ’Srul and the musical Zohar, on Zohar Argov, which he is creating together with the Cameri’s foster-town, Sderot, and S. Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.
The multi-talented Yael Ronen is busy fashioning An Unquiet Night, five short tales based on songs by Shlomo Artzi (June 2010), certainly cutting edge – as will be the current West End hit, Enron, by Lucy Prebble,, about love via the Internet, by Chinese playwright Nick Yu, and Franz Xaver Kroetz’s graphic Farmyard.
Among the modern classics are Brecht’s  (July 2010), Ibsen’s The Master Builder (December 2010) and Miller’s searing All My Sons, yet another play dealing with corruption; if the Cameri is trying to tell us something, that is exactly what theater should be doing.
The Shakespeares are A Winter’s Tale, and, to bedirected by young Noam Shmuel (a Nitzan discovery), a fieryRomeo and Juliet (November 2010).
Inaddition, Rina Yerushalmi’s Itim Ensemble, which has been sponsored bythe Cameri for close to two decades, addsHerzl to its repertoire.
Semel and Nitzan runthe Cameri with an iron hand and a light touch, with a hard eye toprofit – ticket sales earned a staggering NIS million last year from abudget of NIS 103 million – and uplifted antennae for new talent andnew thinking.
Newest at the Cameri is Cameri V, a new theaterspace currently being outfitted thanks to a donation of $4 million fromthe US. It’s already being used for rehearsal.