So today I was sent in Faber’s extra ordinary time- machine back to my school days.
OMG, it has been what, 30 years since I last attended high school?
But here I am, entering a classroom at Cor De Maria, only this time as “the teacher”.
It’s a religion lesson and some 40 students, ages 14-15, are waiting to hear what I have to say about Israel, theatre and the different approaches of Judaism and Christianity towards the idea of human presentation on stage.
First, I present myself: Roy, from Israel, a theatre director, and Jewish. Behind each of these titles there is so much to tell.
My new Finnish friend from Faber Residency, the lovely Tiina Kristoffersson, helped me to prepare a “Power-Point” slides show, and I start: locating Israel on the map, giving the class some basic figures (8.5 million habitants, two official languages and, most surprising, : the highest rate of theatre goers in the world!).
From here we continue to discuss the richness of the theatrical scene in Israel, as a counter-reaction to the long tradition of strong Jewish opposition to the sheer concept of theatre. We point out some of the arguments for and against it, and turn to look at some texts and read them together.
The first chapter of the bible and its famous parody, written by the late Chanoch Levin, Israel’s most important playwright. Having read it, we all have a much better understanding of why Orthodox Jewish authorities dislike theatre… J
Two hours fly by. The students share with me their own theatrical experiences (last year, some of them wrote and acted a play named “The Crown”, which sounds to me like a very original piece), ask me questions about my career in Israel and we part as good friends.
Thank you, kids.
Thank you, Alicia, Gemma and Servand, the lovely teachers of the class, and thank you, Faber Residency, for another great experience!
Cor de Maria School, Olot, September 26, 2017