The Haifa Children’s Theater Festival

The opening show, for all the family, is Ballona, a musical fantasy by Shira Gefen with music by Nadav Vikinsky.

"The Seven Ravens." (photo credit: DOR AHARON)
"The Seven Ravens."
(photo credit: DOR AHARON)
The festival, the 28th of its kind, takes place as ever in and around the Haifa Theater from April 1 to April 3, during the intermediate days of Passover. The theme this year is children’s authors from around the world. The festival comprises the competition, an opening event, guest plays and a positive cornucopia of free-to-the-public street theater from here and around the world.
From the hundreds of scripts submitted, five were chosen for the competition. They include Kaytek the Wizard by Eytan Moshkovsky, adapted from the book by Polish educator, author and hero Janusz Korczak (1878-1942), who chose to accompany his Jewish orphans to their death at Treblinka. Kaytek is a story about a little boy, great power and the responsibility to use it wisely.
Tzruya Lahav adapted The Seven Ravens from a story by the Brothers Grimm in which a girl, by her courage and consistency, redeems her brothers from the curse that has turned them into ravens.
Dot and the Kangaroo was adapted by Tamar Levin from the Australian classic by Ethel Pedley about a little girl who gets lost in the outback and is saved by a kangaroo.
The opening show, for all the family, is Ballona, a musical fantasy by Shira Gefen with music by Nadav Vikinsky about a little boy who loses his balloon and must travel over the rainbow to a distant land to find it.
There’s also a new play for youth from ages 10-17 called Shaming, by Heli Kenizo-Shahar and Benny Yizrael, based on a true story of Internet thuggery. Maya is exposed to humiliation, sarcasm and shame when an intimate picture of her goes viral. How can she deal with all this and emerge the stronger for it?
There are 18 street theater events, around half of them from overseas, including PadiDapiFish from Lithuania, a dance theater fantasy about the importance of love in a child’s life; from Spain comes Zero Conductal which tells us that everything in life has a destiny, like garbage to the bin – but what happens if the garbage has a different dream?; This Round Thing comes from Israel’s Davai Group and sends a couple of buddies to look for the sun they think they’ve tumbled into the sea; from Italy and Argentina comes Feet Theater, in which the actors’ nimble feet play all the parts; and as they have every year of the festival, Israel’s ORTO-da is coming with Terminal 1, a nutty comedy without words about an airport where the sky ain’t the limit.
There are shows for teeny tots, shows in Arabic, shows for the kindergarten brigade and much more. Take the kids and the grandkids.