The Merchant of Venice: the Trial

Dramatic Reading of the protocol of the mock trial of "HaBima" theatre in 1936

In 1936, the Hebrew theatre "HaBima" 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 violent 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 staged a mock trial on the theatre stage, in which three accomplices were accused of the matter: William Shakespeare for writing the play, HaBima theatre for giving it a stage, and the director Leopold Jesner for his interpretation.
The protocols of the literary trial were preserved in the Israeli Theatre Archives, and were read by three actresses.


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.