Jerusalem’s Khan Theater recently launched a new promotional campaign ahead of its 2018-2019 season, and one of its posters, featuring a same-sex couple, has social networks all aflutter.
The theater chose six different couples who regularly buy annual subscriptions to the Khan to promote their “Two Loves in One Membership” campaign, emphasizing the benefits of couples’ mutual appreciation for theater.
Some of the couples are older, and have bought seats for 40 years, while others are younger. There are religious pairs and secular mates, and there is also Daniel Jonas and Uri Erman, a local couple featured on one of the posters. The married pair have been buying a subscription at the Khan for the last four years.
“I know, everyone’s talking about it,” said Orit Harel, the spokesperson for the Khan Theater. “They’re just one of the couples we chose to feature.”
Elisheva Mazia, the theater’s new general director, appeared with Jonas on Channel 13 to discuss the campaign.
“It didn’t seem so strange to me,” said Mazia.
Jonas, the chairperson at Havruta, a Jerusalem organization supporting religious LGBTQ people, commented that while it is a bit unusual to see a gay couple in a public forum in Jerusalem, that was why he and his husband, Erman, agreed to participate.
“It was amazing,” he said. “We’re not the point of the campaign, we’re just another couple in it, and that’s what made it so different.”
While there are six different couples, all photographed for posters placed throughout the city, the theater could not choose where each couple would be displayed. That left the possibility that the same-sex couple could be displayed in one of the city’s more religious neighborhoods, where residents have sometimes rioted over bus advertisements featuring women.
“We’re not trying to provoke anything,” said Mazia.
The theater is looking to expand its audience to a younger crowd, as well as to more religious audiences, and to English speakers. It is trying out a pilot project of plays for English speakers with several based on S.Y. Agnon stories, as well as some with English subtitles.
There will also be a young playwrights project, with an incubator for short plays written by lesser known playwrights, featured once a month.