Kind of – a way to talk but say nothing.
The project deals with the Theme of languages and speech, as an instrument to communicate and deliver thoughts and feelings, but also as an instrument to reject the “other” language. As a political instrument mixed with manipulation that creates a lexicon that is pointed to the ultimate victim – but also as an action which floods the yearning to the simple and understood language, the forgotten language.
The context is the education system in school and the story is about a group of pupils and teachers, in the 60th and 70th decades – after the 1967 War. Each one of them has his-her own narrative, but when they are called to assemble, they get the power of obedient mass.
The project is based and inspired by different forms of writing, including: prose and poem (Claudel, Abramowitch, Von Horvath), theory (Canetti, Chomsky, Boll, Ophir), philosophy (Socrates) and new writing.
Performed in: Arabic, Hebrew, English, Yiddish and German
With German and English surtitles
In cooperation with Schaubuehne, Berlin.
Supported by Rosa Luxemburg foundation and Goethe Institute
- F.I.N.D Festival Schaubuehne Berlin, April 2018 – World Premiere
- Concept and Direction | Ofira Henig
- Visual Concept | Roni Toren
- Costume | Annie Atedgy
- Sound | Ido Manor
- Light | Rafael Ovadia
- With (in order of appearance) | Khalifa Natour, Dana Sorin, Maya Omaya Keesh, Yiftach Mizrahi, Yossi Zabari, Sheeri Chen, Lani Shahaf, Salwa Nakkara, Yussef Abu Warda, Ulrich Hoppe
- Arabic Translation | Khalifa Natour
- Hebrew Translation | Simon Bouzaglo, Hannan Elstein
- German Translation | Lukas Czech
- English translation: | Ellen Gallagher, Leonard
- Assistant Director | Matan Amsulum
- Surtitles editing & operating | Murad Abu Elheja
manmaRo Project - The Bees' Road
I look, therefore I see.
ManmaRo Project explores different perspectives on immigration and on the position of the refugee, by giving a voice to the landscapes through which the Syrian refugees have travelled on their way to Europe: the animals and trees which have involuntarily and unconsciously borne witness to their journeys. These otherwise mute observers speak out and open our eyes to stories of flight and displacement.
- Written by Khalifa Natour
- Concept & director | Ofira Henig
- Stage | Ashraf Hanna
- Lighting | Muaz Jubeh
- Performed by Khalifa Natour
- Translation from Arabic to German | Idriss Al-Jay
- Translation from Arabic to English | Ahmed Saleh
Natour, a Palestinian actor, was born in Qalansawa. He graduated Beit Zvi School of Acting in 1991, and has worked in various repertory theatres (roles playd by him include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Herodus in Salome, Ulysses in Ulysses on Bottles and more).
Since 2000 he decided to perform in his mother tongue, Arabic, and moved to Ramallah where he adapted and performed Stories Under Occupation, produced by Al Kasabe Theater, and Jidariyya (mural), based on Mahmoud Darwish poems, produced by Al Hakawatti Theatre. Both productions were directed by Nizar Zuabi and were invited to perform in venues such as Theatre Des Bouffes Du Nord, Young Vic, Royal Court, Edinburgh Festival and more.
Natour has won the first prize for best actor in the Jaffa Festival (2006) for the one-man show In Spitting Distance, directed by Ofira Henig. The production performed in The Barbican, Romaeropa Festival, Theaterspektakel, Sydney Opera, Schaubuhne Theater, Theatre Des Bouffes Du Nord and more. He performed in Peter Brook’s productions Fragments (based on texts by Samuel Beckett), and 11&12 (based on a text by Amadou Hampâté Bâ), and more. Films in which Natour performed include Tikkun (directed by Avishai Sivan, 2015); Le Fils de l’autre (directed by Lorraine Levy, 2012); The Band’s Visit (directed by Eran Kolirin, 2007), and many more.
Three Dog Night
- Concept, Writing and Directing | Ofira Henig
- Dramaturgy | Ulrich Beck
- Actors | Rivka Neumann, Salwa Nakkara, Almut Zilcher Gotscheff, Tjark Bernau
- Translation from Hebrew to German | Adina Stern
- Translation from Hebrew to Arabic | Salwa Nakkara
- Translation from English and Greek to Hebrew | Simon Bouzaglo
- Translation of Documents from German to Hebrew | Hanan Elstein
- Translation of testimony from English to German | Lukas Czech
- Visual concept | Amit Drori
- Costumes | Annie Atedgy-Yellin
- Assistant to director | Naama Berman
- Sound | Ido Manor
- Lighting | Raphael Ovadia
- Production | as is presenting arts
Co-produced by Deutsches Theater, Berlin and Hellerau – European Center for the Arts Dresden; With the support of Goethe Institut Tel-Aviv; The Israeli Society to Live and Die with DignityMifal Hapais (NPO); Mifal Hapais
A story about three women and one absent man
Three women, from three different cultures, speaking three different languages meet at the bedside of a dying man.
A journey following the decision of actively ending life. A wild and associative contemplation presented from different perspectives ranging between personal and general, past and present. A story about the legitimacy of “Mercy Killing” as one of the fundamental human rights versus the personal and social risk in taking such an action, within the political and historical context.
Through coping with the sickness, the pain and the duties caused by it, the issue of freedom of choice of a person regarding his life and death is raised. Each of the women bring their unique cultural and personal baggage influencing their relationships and their ways of coping.
The project combines original personal texts with documents and poetic texts.
״As eager as we are to escape limiting definitions of identities, the harder we kick expectations set for us, the further away we wish to get from prejudices – comes the politics and swallows us whole, the history reappears and dictates our biography.״
Yes, Stand Out of My Sunlight!
- Concept and directing by Ofira Henig
- Written by Gilad Evron, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Ofira Henig
- Translation from Hebrew to German | Adina Stern
- Translation from Arabic to German | Hamid Lechab
- Translation from German to Hebrew | Hanan Elstein
- Translation from English to Hebrew | Simon Bouzaglo
- Visual images | Amit Drori
- Photos and video | Gerard Alon
- Costume design | Miriam Guretzki- Bilu
- Sound | Ido Manor
- Performers | Yussuf Abu-Warda, Nimrod Bergman, Sylwia Trzesniowska Drori / Shalom Shmuelov, Salwa Nakkara, Rivka Neumann, Doron Tavori, Amitay Yaish- Benouzilou, Yossi Zabari
- Assistant to director | Lukas Czech
- Production manager | Riva Goldberg
- International tours | as is presenting arts
Yes, Stand Out of My Sunlight! is a theatrical project dealing with artists’ encounters with the society in which they live and create and in the convergence of an artwork with its cultural, political and historical context.
The process began in 2011 and lasted over one year, during which research work was carried out by the director and creators, alongside workshops and rehearsals with the group of actors.
The work brings together written or oral texts by artists who created during times of political crises in the 19th and 20th centuries, with original texts by the actors and creators, comprising documented autobiographical material as well as fiction.
The connection between the artist and the historical circumstances, as expressed in the various texts, was examined through the lens of the theatrical medium.
Setting a dialogue between the historical figures and the personal present-time point of view raised questions concerning the relationship between the actor and the role played on stage, and emphasized the power and responsibility invested in theatrical representation.
These questions guided the process and confronted the creators with the need to turn a critical eye toward their own contemporary reality, and to sharpen artistic and political means in order to define the mutual endeavor toward freedom of thought and expression.
“… A unique project that moves further away from standard dramatic conventions… The essence of this project and its importance is that while offering great humor, it delivers a piercing message of the fire burning in all those who wish to tell their audiences the truth, and find themselves pushed away from society, rejected by audiences and institutions, and even, sometimes, standing in front of a firing squad, real, virtual or governmental.”
Tzvi Goren, Habama (March 2013)
Ofira began her career at 1989 as the resident director of the Habima Theatre. In 1995 she was appointed the Khan Theatre’s artistic director and maintained the position until 2001, when she was appointed artistic director of the Israel International Festival. In 2004 Ofira left the position and became artistic director of The Lab, a new experimental theatre. In 2007 she presented her production In Spitting Distance in Theatre Des Bouffes Du Nord and worked together with director Peter Brook in a politically oriented group of actors. Later that year she was invited by the Herzliya Municipality to establish a new theatre house in the city. Together with her ensemble, Ofira formed the Herzliya Ensemble in 2007. She served as its artistic director for five years, during which she created and produced more than 20 productions including many multi-cultural collaborations with artists from different fields and different countries. In July 2011, Ofira was dismissed from this position for having taken a leading part with other artists in the protest against Israeli government and against performing in the occupied territories.
Since 2011, Ofira is creating her projects as independent productions and has co-written and directed the independent projects Yes, Stand out of my Sunlight (co-produced with Theater Spektakel) and Three Dog Night (co-produced with the DT-Berlin and Hellerau-Dresden).
Ofira Henig lives in Tel Aviv. She is a Professor and the head of Directing Studying in the Department of Theatre Arts at The David and Yolanda katz Faculty of the Arts at the Tel Aviv University.
Grants and Awards
2011 Best Performance award for Ulysses on Bottles; 2010 Rosenblum award for her creation; 2007 Landau award for her creation; 2006 Best Performance for In Spitting Distance; 2000 Director of the Year for Back to the Desert; 1995 Grant by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for opera directing in New York.
“Arriving to a performance created by Ofira Henig is accompanied by a sense of excitement. Kind of tension mixed with awe, and that is because with Henig, you know you’re coming to work. That is to say – to think.”
Ron Schwartz, Globes (March 2013) on Yes, Stand out of my Sunlight
- The Herzliya Ensemble: Both Upon a Time, based on folk stories from Arabic countries, by Taher Najib, Yosefa Eben Shoshan, Simon Bouzaglo, Khalifa Natour (co production of Haifa Theatre, Theaterspektakel – Zurich, Kaserne – Basel, TAK – Leichtenstein); Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov; Iram, based on short stories by Sholem Aleichem (performed in Heidelberg, Lodz, New York and London); The Claim of Don Quixote by Gilad Evron; Yerma by Federico García Lorca (performed in the Golem Festival in Budapest, Hungary); Black Rain, co-written with Simon Bouzaglo (co-production with the Haifa Theatre, performed in NY).
- Independent projects: Yes, Stand out of my Sunlight (2012), co-produced by TAK Theater, Liechtenstein; Kurtheater, Baden; Spielart Festival, Munich; and Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich; The Rukab Project In Spitting Distance by Taher Najib, (performed by Khalifa Natour in The Barbican, London; Theatre Des Bouffe Du Nord, Paris; Romaeuropa Festival, Schaubuhne, Berlin; New York; Sydney Opera House, Theaterspektakel, Zurich; and more).
- Haifa Theatre: Sea Breeze (2013), a stage adaptation by Ofira and actor Khalifa Natour of the short stories collection “My Affair with Carla Bruni”‘ by the Palestinian author Ala Hlehel; Ulysses on Bottles by Gilad Evron.
- The Lab: Salome by Oscar Wilde.
- Khan Theatre: Back to the Desert by Bernard-Marie Koltes, The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (judged Best Classical Text Production of the Year), Sky by Gilad Evron, Ivona, Princess of Burgundia by Witold Gombrowicz, Scenes from an Execution by Howard Barker (performed at the International Festival in Brussels), The Wedding by Bertolt Brecht.
- Habima National Theatre: Alice in Wonderland, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s novel, by Yosefa Even-Shoshan, The Screens by Jean Genet (co-production with Berliner Festspiele), Punktchen und Anton based on Erich Kestner, Hypolite by Euripides, Low Depth by Maxim Gorky, The Night of the Twenties by Joshua Sobol.
- The Young Opera of Moscow: The Prodigal Son by Claude Debussy.
- Theater Augsburg: In the Jungle of Cities by Bertolt Brech.