Israel Festival 2022: Preview

Sun & Sea/Photo: Andrej Vasilenko ©-Courtesy_of The Artists.

The Israel Festival 2022 will take place from September 15 – 22, with Itay Mautner and Michal Vaknin as its new artistic directors.  A highlight of this year’s festival is Sun & Sea, winner of the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The performance from Lithuania is an opera that focuses on the climate crisis and will be presented at the Jerusalem Theatre, with the singers on a stage that has been loaded with sand to resemble a beach. The audience will be standing several meters above the stage on a viewing platform, watching events down below. Most unique is that this very special performance is open to the public free of charge (reservations are required), thanks to a generous private donation from overseas!

The festival takes place under the leadership of Eyal Sher, General Manager, and newly appointed Chairwoman of the Board Adv. Inbar Nacht. General Director Eyal Sher released a statement: “This year’s festival is characterized by a large number of original offerings conceived by our artistic team and developed especially for the festival by some truly outstanding artists. At the same time, after two years of limited international presence due to the pandemic, we are thrilled to present some incredibly inspiring gems from abroad. These are days of tremendous excitement as all these artistic goods “meet” the public.” Festival events this year will take place primarily at and around the Jerusalem Theatre, utilizing the different spaces within the venue – corridors and foyers, as well as the traditional theatre spaces, for creative events.

Artistic Directors Itay Mautner and Michal Vaknin released a statement: “Change. In the end, that’s what it’s all about. A small change, or a dramatic one. One that is aesthetic, or essential. A tangible change, or a change in thinking. Change – or at the very least, a step towards it – that’s what we are seeking. We want things to seep in, drop by drop, in their own time. We want for things to move slowly through the corridors of our consciousness and through the maze of our perceptions and preconceptions. In the end, that’s what it’s all about.”

The full program and ticket information may be found on the Israel Festival website:

The Israel Festival 2022 program:*

Sun & Sea – An opera performance for a sinking world

Created by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė

A beach. A mosaic of towels, bathing suits, sunscreen bottles, children, popsicles, plastic bags, paper cups, toys, and lots and lots of sand. You are watching all this from above, traveling between the mundane, the satirical and the surreal. This is the world of Sun & Sea – an opera performance that puts a spotlight on the climate crisis. With elegant sophistication, devious subtext, and an honest, straightforward commitment for change, Sun & Sea offers a gripping, entertaining, disturbing, and spectacular entry point to the critical climate debate. Sun & Sea won the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, and has since been featured in the world’s leading festivals. This is Sun & Sea’s Israeli premiere, and it will run for five days only. Limited tickets. Standing event, on 4-meter-high balconies.

15.9, 19:00 – 22:00 | 16.9, 11:30 – 14:30 | 17.9, 20:30 – 23:00 | 18.9, 19:00 – 22:00 | 19.9, 18:00 – 21:00 | Entry every 30 min. | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 165 ₪

Berry Sakharof/Photo: Eldad Sasson

Night Train to Izmir – A Turkish-Israeli musical celebration

There’s an ongoing, informal dialogue between Ankara and Jerusalem, Izmir and Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Sderot. Something about the sound that comes from Turkey manages to touch us and inspire local musicians. This exchange between Turkey and Israel produced – and continues to produce – the music that has become one of the hallmarks of our region. For one special and thrilling evening, the finest musicians from here and from there will come together to perform this music on stage, in a demonstration of love and a border-crossing celebration. With Berry Sakharof, Dudu Tassa, Balkan Beat Box, Red Axes, Kalben (Turkey), JANSET (Turkey), Murat Ertel (Turkey), Harel Shachal & the Ottomans and more. Musical Director: Shlomi Alon (Hadag Nahash). The event is produced in partnership with the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Foundation

22.9.2022, 20:00 | Independence Park, Jerusalem | Ticket Price: 199 ₪

VHS – Blast from the Past – Stage interpretations of our family archives

With Tal Friedman, Shirili Deshe, Roni Kuban, Renana Raz, Doron Nesher, Corrine Kitzis, Yossi Zabari, and Ofri Cnaani.

We all have a box of old VHS tapes somewhere in the back of the attic that moves with us from one apartment to another, unopened. Over the years, these tapes made their way from the living room shelves to the dusty boxes of oblivion. Time capsules with faded colors and flickering frames that captured fragments of our life – first steps, regrettable hairstyles, exotic vacations, forgotten family events with loved ones who have since passed. Renana Raz and Nitzan Cohen invite artists to look for meaningful moments in their old VHS tapes and revisit them on stage. This new format is a visual and visceral encounter with who we used to be and with the passage of time.

21.9.2022, 21:15 |  22.9.2022, 20:00  | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 135 ₪

Temple of the Eye – A restored ritual-exhibition-show by Gon Ben Ari and Oren Fischer

Established in the south of Israel circa 1974 by Shmuel Fischer, the Temple of the Eye was the secret place of worship to General Moshe Dayan’s missing eye as a symbol of nothingness. Lasting only for a few short years, not unlike the bohemian circle that flocked to it, the temple reemerged in 2021 during a Dayan estate dispute, raising new questions about its mysterious disappearance: Did Dayan buy the temple not in order to get rid of it but to keep it as a place for mystical psychoactive worship? Gon Ben Ari (of the Dayan family) and Oren Fischer (of the Fischer family) will reveal never before seen materials from the Temple of the Eye. Fischer will display large scale canvases inspired by his grandfather and Ben Ari will present a show inspired by the songs of the Temple and featuring a multiparticipant band and choir. With Dov Elbaum, Lior Dayan, Oren Fischer, Gon Ben Ari, Yael Abecassis, Attorney Barak Cohen and Zulat Choir

21.9.2022, 21:00 | 22.9.2022, 21:30 | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 135 ₪

Hilulla – A Borderless celebration between Jerusalem and Marrakesh

Moving physically and spiritually back and forth between Marrakesh in Morocco, Israel’s southern city of Netivot, and Jerusalem, Neta Elkayam and Amit Hai Cohen invite us to their own private contemporary Hillula on the stage of the Jerusalem Theatre. Over twenty Moroccan and Israeli artists will come together in a mind-boggling beat-driven event that combines music, dance, film, art, spoken word, and shots of Arak. A one-night-only experience that tears apart, reimagines, and fuses the sacred with the earthly, the past with the here-and-now, and lofty claims with simple words that bring people together. With Ghassan El Hakim, Amine Naouni and Kabareh Cheikhats (Morocco), Nava Massas Waxman (Canada), Izza Genini (France), JOJO, Van Chriqui, Reuven Abergel, the Max family (Israel) and more.

Entry above 18 years old (alcholoic refreshments will be served- and something small to eat as well)

21.9.2022, 21:00 |  22.9.2022, 21:00 | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 150 ₪

Affordable Solutions for Better Living/Photo: ©Erwan Fichou

Affordable Solutions for Better Living – A performance that assembles furniture and disassembles conceptions

Created by Thèo Mercier and Steven Michel

We are constantly bombarded by marketing messages that try to convince us that happiness is a product, that “the perfect life” is an idea on a shelf we can simply purchase. Challenging the fashionable trend of designing “the right life,” visual artist Théo Mercier and choreographer Steven Michel created a performative dance that assembles (or maybe disassembles) the representation of “the perfect everyday”, the iconic shelving unit of the IKEA global corporation. In their hands, assembly instructions become a wistful song of longing for nature, childhood, and maternal warmth.

15.9.2022, 20:30 |  16.9.2022, 13:30 | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 135 ₪

Eviction – Choreographic acts of resistance

Evictions take place almost every day, be they financial, military, criminal, or political evictions. It is always a group standing against capital and the nation. People who lose their home. Through a composition of movement, architecture, video, music and documentary sound, in the twilight zone between dance and violence, a trained band of performers enact familiar and new forms of resistance, solidarity and togetherness, interwoven with the choreography of police evictions. In the Jerusalem Theatre plaza, we will conjure collective experiences, prepare for future evictions, and recall that human organization in public space can be massive. Radical. Urgent. Created by Omer Krieger. With Meitar Arieli, Eyal Bromberg, Mica Kupfer, Yulia Mezhetskaya, Rima Naser Eddin, Shai Ramot Reichert, Tal Raviv, Nadav Sharon

15.9.2022, 19:00, 21:30 | The Jerusalem Theater, The Rebecca Crown Plaza | Free Entry

A Thousand Ways – A trilogy of encounters between strangers


A Thousand Ways celebrates and examines the unmediated human encounter through three formats: a phone call, a one-on-one meeting on stage, and a small assembly of people. In each of the three installments, the experience is driven by a series of simple and clear directions. There are no performers, only you. Open yourself to a fleeting encounter with a stranger and perhaps discover someone, or something new.

A Thousand Ways – Part One:  A Phone Call

15.9 – 16:30, 18:00, 19:30, 21:00, 22:30 | 16.9 – 10:30, 12:00, 13:30, 15:00

18.9 – 16:00, 17:30, 19:00, 20:30, 22:00 | 19.9 – 16:00, 17:30, 19:00, 20:30, 22:00

20.9 – 16:00, 17:30, 19:00, 20:30, 22:00 | 21.9 – 16:30, 18:00, 19:30, 21:00, 22:30

22.9 – 16:30, 18:00, 19:30, 21:00, 22:30

A Thousand Ways – Part Two: An Encounter

15.9 – 16:00, 17:15, 18:30, 19:45, 21:00, 22:15 | 16.9 – 10:00, 11:15, 12:30, 13:45, 15:00

21.9 – 16:00, 17:15, 18:30, 19:45, 21:00, 22:15 | 22.9 – 16:00, 17:15, 18:30, 19:45, 21:00, 22:15

A Thousand Ways – Part Three: An Assembly

15.9 – 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00 | 16.9 – 11:00, 13:00, 15:00

21.9 – 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00 | 22.9 – 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00

Ticket Price: 50 ₪

Nonna – A living room journey

Sara Siegel reclines on two armchairs that she has pushed together in the middle of a living room overlooking Nachlaot, reluctant to move so as to not lose memories. The living room belongs to Sara’s Nonna (grandmother); an eccentric Holocaust survivor who retained her passion for life despite traumas. In Sara’s unique theatrical language — which blends traditional theatre, performance, video, cabaret and surreal moments with humor and sensitivity — she draws the audience into a tornado which forms in the living room, is sucked into a toilet, soars over the rainbow and after numerous escapades, returns home. With Sara Siegel, Naomi Shalev, Niv Levy, Nevo Revivo, Eden Yehuda Cohen, Yuval Steinberg, Eynav Rosolio, Tal Avraham, Dorian Bremli, Daniela Shelzer Alexandrovitch, Mica Kupfer, Debora Siegel and more.

21.9.2022, 20:00 | 22.9.2022, 19:00, 22:00 | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 100 ₪

Untitled Document – One man tells all without saying a single word

Ari Teperberg sits alone in front of his laptop, typing a Google Doc. We read everything he types. He is writing himself, letter by letter: delving into forgotten folders, tracing links to his surrounding world, opening the tabs of his life, sharing feelings and emotions, all without making a sound. Everything will be deleted. Saved in the cloud between Ari and us, backed up on our shared memory, until it eventually disappears from there as well.

15.9.2022, 19:00 | 16.9.2022, 12:00 | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 100 ₪

The Soft Hum of the Dial Tone – A father and son meet on a stage and search for a common language

They are two, together on one stage. The son – a director, a dancer, an avid inventor of unique stage mechanisms. The father – a real-estate agent, a Jerusalem man through and through, and an amateur trumpet player. The stage is their physical and emotional arena. There, where the son feels at home and the father is a guest, they can meet, talk, dance, sing, learn and teach one another. There, they can (perhaps) let go of their traditional roles and the memories of their past, and allow the stage to become a timeless territory, a poetic expanse, a space of experimentation. The Soft Hum of the Dial Tone is one of two works that Ari Teperberg premieres at the Israel Festival (the other, Untitled Document). Both works draw on extensive research into the invention of the telephone and the attempt to overcome distances and bring voices closer together. We recommend purchasing tickets to both works, but even if you only get to see one, you will get to know a spectacular artist, one of the most intriguing and remarkable voices in the young generation of local stage artists. Created by Ari Teperberg. With Eli Teperberg and Ari Teperberg.

15.9.2022, 21:30 | 16.9.2022, 14:30 | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 100 ₪

Present Perfect – an improvised theater piece praising the now

No navigation app can direct us to the here and now. Aspiring to stay connected to this fleeting moment, Daniel Koren and Itay Zvolon’s show opens a door to the present moment. With a blend of razor-sharp humor, brilliant nonsenses, music, improvisation and meditative principles, the two conjure up a theatrical experience that invites us to tap into the everlasting wonder of the now. Present Perfect is a one-off alchemical performance that will take you on a journey through laughter, tears, and a sense of awe of the here and now. Daniel Koren and Itay Zvolon are independent creators who have been known to create viral videos, among other things. Their works are alchemical concoctions of uninhibited laughter with insightful ruminations about life and the human condition.

15.9.2022, 22:00 |  17.9.2022, 22:00  | The Jerusalem Theater | Ticket Price: 100 ₪

水に流す Let Water Flow –  Music and Dance, Japan and Israel

An earthquake in east Japan mobilizes rescue units 10,000 kilometers away, forming a surprising tie between a small Middle Eastern country and the land of the rising sun.  These ties have continued to grow for over a decade, coming to full bloom during the pandemic when Boom Pam, a Levantine surf-rock band from Israel, collaborates with Japanese traditional artists from the region where the earthquake occured, recording together a mini-album in a new hybrid musical style. Let Water Flow is a show that distills beauty from the rubbles of destruction, and creates a bridge of cross-cultural solidarity. With the Mitobi Shishi Odori dance company (Japan), Boom Pam (Israel), musician YokiHoko Yutsakura (Japan) and singer Amy Shirsaki (Japan).

21.9.2022, 20:00 | Jerusalem Theater Plaza | Free Entry

Cвобода (Svoboda)

Artistic directors: Daria Geller, Daria Shulga, Yuval Orr

For immigrants and refugees fleeing from the Ukraine and Russia in the wake of a raging war, the pursuit of freedom is paramount. In both Russian and Ukrainian, the word for freedom is one and the same – свобода (Svoboda). Can one continue to create art when one’s freedom is in danger? This year, the festival will take place almost entirely at and around the Jerusalem Theatre. The halls, corridors and public spaces will be turned into a living, beating hub of artistic and creative events, inviting the public to ask themselves what performing arts are and can be, what does it mean to be an audience (or a witness), and how artistic creation can affect our lives. We will come together for a special showcase of Ukrainian and Russian artists, to highlight the crucial role of art in safeguarding freedom and liberty, and to help these artists’ pave their way to making their voices heard in a new land and a new language.

18.9.22, 18:00-22:00 | The Jerusalem Theater | Professional event for artists

The Israel Festival is produced with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Beracha Foundation, Mifal HaPais, embassies and cultural institutes. The festival is a member of the European Festivals Association (EFA) and the Silk Road Festivals Association.

*Information and texts provided by the Israel Festival press release