About me

“I experience my choosing the theatrical media as an experience of “celebrating death”; time and again I create and revive a theatrical creation and time and again I put it to death. Theater, in contrast with other types of media, is a one-time artistic experience that happens totally in the contemporary present..”


 My entrance to the world of theater was made relatively late; I was 22 at the time, serving as an officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, after almost five years of military service.

Following a personal loss, I felt the need to create a world, as an answer to the world that was lost. During my military service, I started learning acting. While I was studying acting and theater, I discovered the artistic abilities that were hidden in me.


I grew up in a Jewish-orthodox house, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. These two components, Judaism and the Holocaust, deeply influenced my identity and who I am as a human being and a creator.


The combination between the world of Judaism, which is laden with texts and beliefs and has unique limits, and the memory of the Holocaust and its influence on the house I grew up in had dramatic weight, which deeply affected me and generated the need, already as a child, for a private, alternative space in which I could express and process feelings and emotions that had no place at home. This world is reconstructed and receives artistic expression in my theatrical creations.


The religious Jewish world, with all its commandments and prohibitions, hadn’t enabled me to be officially involved in theatrical work. The religious Jewish world, however, is in itself a theatrical world, full of texts and rituals, through which I engaged in the experience of performance.


During my theater studies, I decided to leave the army and focus on art. Performing alone did not satisfy me and I started learning theater-direction. I wanted to create an artistic world in which I could deal with issues that interest me and find an artistic language that is unique to me. At this initial stage of direction studies, I felt I was on a high-way, driving back and forth between the religious and military world which I came from and the world of art. I started combining classic theatric materials with materials from my own private and social world. Thus, for example, during my second year of studies I directed a play named “Warlike Collage” based on Greek plays (“Antigone” by Sophocles and “Iphigenia in Aulis” by Aristophanes) together with my own personal texts speaking about the evacuation of Gush Qatif in theGazastrip which had taken place that year (2005). The play was performed on the roof of a building at the center of Tel-Aviv on an urban background, which is totally different from the landscape mentioned in the play or inGaza. This play puts to the test the Zionist ideals on which I grew as well as the relationship between the individual, the State and the Gods.


Continuing my creative work, I chose to put the emphasis on the theatrical experience and the role of the audience by writing an adaptation to the mythological play “The Dybbuk” (spirit) by S. Ansky. In a dark bomb-shelter we formed a synagogue in which the audience sits together with the actors and takes an active part in the play – eats, drinks, and even acts. Here as well, I continued to process issues that had bothered me such as the relationship between the world of the dead and of the living, the mysterious world of Jewish texts and more, by means of a classic work of art.


At the end of my studies, I abandoned the fixed structure of an existing play and wrote a play based on my own biographic story named “Twenty Two Pictures” about the relationships between three generations in one family – the first, second and third generation to the Holocaust. I wrote the play in a segmented and broken manner, which is based on the way I perceive human memory. In this play, I also took part as an actress. I think that here began a new phase in my artistic development. I began to break and combine my various roles as a creator. I am not only a writer, a director or an actress; rather, I allow myself to blur the boundaries and create in an intuitive structure, taking an instinctive place in my creation.


After this play, in which I dealt with private and local materials closely related to my private identity and Jewish and Israeli identities, I felt it was time to leave the local space and be released from the local ideals with which I corresponded continuously. I began dancing the sacred dances of Gurdjieff and even travelled toIndiato professionally learn these dances. I also experienced various types of meditation. I felt it was time for the body to be my central tool for expression. I returned toIsraeland created a dance-theater named “Cheruta” (freedom) inspired by meditations and Dervish dances and based on two Talmudic stories about the universal fear of intimacy.


Later, I was asked by one of the avant-garde theaters inIsraelto write a play about child abuse. I received much documentary material about child abuse inIsrael. Again, I felt I had no interest in the local story and wrote a play named “Grace” inspired by the absurd theater, telling about a human encounter between two characters during one night, an encounter involving much violence and existential need, which are, I believe, the sources of the abuse. The play takes place at night, in a hangar that had once been a warehouse of the army. Here as well I searched for a way of breaking the boundaries of the institutionalized theater and creating within a different, rough space, which will enable the audience to experience the characters’ state of mind.


I mainly create alternative and experimental theater at various fringe centers inIsrael, which meets my needs.


The borderlines between my various roles in the play, the playwright, the director or the actress, are obscured. Every time, I choose the precise position that is right for me and for the play.


I see the uniqueness of the theatrical media in the live and intimate meeting with the audience and the artistic experience it enables. Subsequently, I wish to create at the place where such a direct meeting occurs.


For me, the theater is an arena where the most intimate sides of my identity are intertwined with the social and political components of my personality. More than once, these sides conflict and struggle one with the other. The theatrical creation enables me to contain the conflicts and refine them.


Ruthie, January 2012.