The Merchant of Venice: the Trial
Dramatic Reading of the protocol of the literary trial of "HaBima" theatre in 1936
In 1936, the Hebrew theatre "HaBima" had put itself on trial.
After presenting "the Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare on the stage of the Hebrew theatre "Habima", an outcry arose in the Jewish community in Israel/Palestine. In the days of building the new identity of the Jews in Palestine, and certainly in light of the events of the time, the Jewish public objected the decision to produce an anti-Semitic play depicting a vindictive, violent and degrading Jewish moneylender. The community's representatives called for the play to be canceled on the grounds that "there is no need for the Hebrew theatre in presenting this play."
In response, members of the Habima theatrical circle conducted a staged trial, a literary trial, on the theatre stage, in which three accomplices were accused of the matter: William Shakespeare, for writing the play, the Habima Theatre, for giving it a stage, and the director Leopold Jesner, for his interpretation.
The protocol of the literary trial was preserved in the Israeli Theatre Archives, and was read by three actresses at this theatrical event.
Adaptation and Dramaturgy: Kfir Lapid-Mashall
Director: Yuval Zehavi
Actors: Masha Shmulian, Ya'ara Lokitz, Aurelle Maor
The staged reading which took place at Social Bauhaus festival in Haifa, on the closing day of Noam Toran's solo exhibition, "Bright Meteor Will Shine the Way of the Worker", 30.11.2019.