Theater review: 25

Acre Festival 2010; September 28

theater (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Maor Zagorri’s 25 is a coming-of-age story told through three youngsters’ memories of the deaths that occurred in the moshav where they are growing up.
In words, games, song and movement, with wit and passion, on a bare black oblong with three boxes as furniture and props, Noga Shachar, Lior Hasson and Daniel Sabag recreate memories of those past deaths as they struggle with their own lives, thoughts and feelings in the real world.
Without judging it, Zagorri eviscerates to public scrutiny our obsession with death. The three young actors richly deserved the standing ovation they got. When the awards were handed out at the festival, Zagorri received a prize for the play and for his direction of it.
“Two never dream again, and one to dream of the two,” sings, in English, the middle sister, the only survivor.
Simply, honestly, quietly, The House on the Lakeshore by Yael Rassouli tells the story of three Jewish sisters whose mother attempts to save their lives by hiding them in an attic. They study ballet, dream of Mama and of Prince Charming, practice their languages and their music – until the music stops. Rinat Sternberg, Edna Balilius and Rassouli herself use dolls, their bodies and objects to create a powerful and moving parable.
The judges gave them an honorable mention for their use of light, costumes and props.
Tahel Ran wrote, directed and acts in Mme Borochov, together with Anat Zonnenfeld, who plays the title role.
Both actresses received a welldeserved honorable mention for their bravura performances.
Mme B. is a Holocaust survivor, locked in the prison of her memories, which she recites (presumably again and again) in an expressionless monotone. Ran, equally immured in memory – the memory of an abused childhood and mental breakdown – whispers, shrieks, weeps, confronts the audience and tries to escape. What has one to do with the other? Nothing.
And yet they are joined because present and past intersect on the stage as they do here every day.
This year, five plays were slotted into what the organizers called Acre Two – plays that they felt deserved production but were not in competition.
The Israeli-German collaboration Schweige Minute (A Minute’s Silence), directed by Hila Golan, won Best Play in this category. An actual minute’s silence interrupts the flow four times in this fairly unflinching look at the uneasy relationship between Germany and Israel even after all these years. Each of the four actors passionately “does his thing,” but that thing doesn’t really communicate. A bit too much navel-gazing here.