Theater Review: He Who Says Yes. He Who Says No

The Ruth Kanner Theater Group doing Brecht - this is a show to run to.

He Who Says Yes. He Who Says No
By Bertolt Brecht
Translated by Aharon Shabtai
Staging by Ruth Kanner & Theater Group
Watching a performance by the Ruth Kanner Theater Group is a privilege because it is visually beautiful; because the execution is uniformly excellent; because it has an uncompromising integrity; because it is intelligent; and because, above all, it communicates.
This piece is no exception. Drawing its material from Brecht’s operaplay (c. 1929-30 and itself taken from a Japanese Noh play), from alocal folk tale and from personal archives, Yes/No explores conformity, consensus and the collective set against independent thinking and the individual.
Both plays have almost the same text, but because one answer is ‘yes’and the other, ‘no,’ the outcome is different. A teacher and somepupils plan a risky trip up a mountain. On the climb, the youngest ladis faint. Must they go back for his sake, or will he be sacrificed forthe common good.
The set is a bare stage with a line of colorful backpacks across therear. The music, played on the piano, is by Ronen Shapira. Actors RonenBabloky, Dafna Karkabi, Tali Krik and Guy Salman convey the text insong, movement and gesture. The ‘Yes’ half is mannered, stylized almostlike the Noh itself (but not). The ‘No’ half more anarchic –spontaneous, as it were. Delicacy, wit and humor inform both.
This is a show to run to.