「AT SEA」 by Ruth Kanner
Unlike literature, Hebrew theater did not exist in ancient Hebrew culture. Its rapid development began with the theater company "Habima," founded in Moscow in 1917. In 1931, under the direction of Stanislavsky and with the talented actor Hanna Rovina, the company established a base theater in Tel Aviv, which later became the "National Theater". Israeli theater is composed of many different elements: modern and classical, indigenous and foreign, experimental and traditional, and has developed as an art form deeply connected to society, politics, ideology, and reality. There is a great variety of plays, including plays dealing social problems, satirical dramas addressing the contradictions of their own countries, Western classical plays with contemporary direction, Broadway musicals performed by Israeli actors in their own language, the world's first immigrant theater composed entirely of immigrants from the Soviet Union, bilingual Arabic and Hebrew theater, and Yiddish theater, etc. Not only the major repertory theater companies, but also independent small theaters are very active.
In any case, the role of theater in Israel ranges from entertainment to democratic forums, and its social presence is extremely significant. While Hanoch Levin, Ephraim Kishon, Joshua Sobol, and Hillel Mitelpunkt are well known as major national playwrights, international collaborations and experiments by mid-career and younger writers are becoming even more active around the world.