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Isra-Drama, annual meetup for theater folk, goes live

Theater event focused on Israeli stage brings together directors, writers and actors from 60 countries

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

As Israel’s theater world struggles to find action and meaning during the ongoing pandemic, Isra-Drama, a digital three-day event will bring together theater directors and festivals from Israel and around the globe.

Isra-Drama takes place every year, with 60 artistic directors and theater professionals from 25 countries coming to Tel Aviv to see performances, meet fellow Israeli theater professionals and soak in the local atmosphere.

This year, the event is being live-streamed online starting November 26, with 17 plays, as well as panels and conversations among actors, writers and translators and one-on-one Zoom meetings with artists.

Participants include writer and Golden Globe winner Ari Folman, novelist David Grossman, actors Hisham Suliman and Joshua Sobol and Man Booker winner, translator Jessica Cohen.

“Isra-Drama” is organized by The Hanoch Levin Institute of Israeli Drama and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Sport.

Roy Horovitz, chair of the Isra-Drama committee, advised viewers to kick off their slippers, put on their best pajama pants, pour a beer and “start planning for the day after COVID-19.”

“May the next time we meet [be] in person and in Israel,” wrote Horovitz, “when the only masks we see are (where they truly belong) on stage rather than on the audience.”

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