An abundance at Acre

The Acre Festival of Alternative Israeli Theater abounds with plays, productions and a plethora of special performances.

ROLAND SCHIMMELPFENIG’S ‘Golden Dragon’ (photo credit: YOHAN SEGEV)
(photo credit: YOHAN SEGEV)
The 35th Acre Festival of Alternative Theater takes place during Hol Hamoed Succot from October 11-14 in and around the Old City of Acre.
This year there are 11 plays in competition, a special guest from the Czech Republic and, as always, many free street-theater events that include a ton of stuff.
In his second year as artistic director veteran experimental theater artist Gil Alon says, “It’s always exciting to discover new talents. This year both veteran and young creators have worked together to bring you what’s currently stirring and bubbling in theater.”
The 11 competition plays include Paradise Lost by Lilach Dekel-Avneri and her nine-member company.
Based on the Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound attributed to Aeschylus (c.525-456 BCE), the festival play takes Prometheus (unbound) and the audience on a journey that examines the links between power and knowledge, between liberty and responsibility.
Why Prometheus? He was the Titan who brought fire to mankind and whom Zeus punished by having him chained to a rock where an eagle daily feasted on his liver.
Other competition plays are Golden Dragon, a frenetic comedy by Roland Schimmelpfenig that addresses alienation and may forever put you off Asian food; Ofel-ya by Amit Zarka that looks at the perilous lives of street children; Mona Lisa Has a Moustache by Yael Selor and Ya’ara Reshef-Naor on a young women struggling with gender identity; Amsterdam Blog by Reuven Kalinski on connections and solitude, and Home Is what Separates on the nature of love.
The Voice of Anne Frank, an award-winning production by the Spitfire Company of Prague, combines theater, music and dance to present Anne’s life through her eyes as she was writing her diary.
Altogether there are 37 free shows encompassing street theater of all kinds, parades and living statues.
There are two firsts this year. One is a floating play for kids at Acre Port called The Treasure by Norman Issa.
The other is the Audience Favorite prize. You vote for your street theater event of choice via SMS.
Let’s hope the weather stays fine.