Girl, You’ve Got to Carry That Weight

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Hanoch Levin’s play “You, Me and the Next War” is a hard act to follow. This Tuesday, May 19th young playwright Oded Liphshitz will see his new play “The Girl Who is Actually a Wheelbarrow” directed by his professor, Edna Shavit, who has not directed a student’s play since directing Levin’s in 1968.

Liphshitz, a first year student in the MA program of the Department of Theatre Arts at Tel Aviv Universtiy, began as a poet and drummer. Deciding that his younger brother was a better percussionist, he left the drums for the piano, which he often features in his plays. Writing dialogue is something that developed over time. Liphshitz says, “When I found those voices, poetry began to feel so esoteric and narrow.” Both music and poetry find their expression within his plays – he composed music for “Chair” and plays the piano in “Tzotzi”, which has been showing at the Tmuna Theatre in Tel Aviv. Relying on imagery and association rather than linear narrative, his dramatic writing might well be described as poetic.

“The Girl Who is Actually a Wheelbarrow” describes a search for identity through a sequence of encounters. When I comment that the dominant voices in his plays are often female voices (the main characters in “Tzotzi” and “Girl”), Liphshitz says: “I feel free within that movement between male and female… the duality of voices is something I experience as an actor. The desire to be in several places at once, to enter many characters. The female voice is very strong within me when I write.” He does not want to say too much about the current production, explaining, “the more I talk, everything becomes less and less clear…it is a very personal journey. The character of the girl is a part of me that belongs to time; an internal process that I went through…it’s strange to see it become a public event.”

Having directed several of his own plays, he is delighted with the experience of “putting it in the hands of someone as creative as Edna.” Having attended several rehearsals, Liphshitz says he “enjoyed seeing my play through the imagination of another person. Seeing Edna’s interpretation I understood things that I had not realized before.”

The Girl Who is Actually a Wheelbarrow will be performed:
May 19, 20, 24, 27 and June 1, 6 at 20:30
May 23, 25, 30 and June 4 at 21:00
Friday, May 22 at 12:30
Room 140, Gilman Building, Tel Aviv University
Information & tickets: 03-6424054

Image credit: Uri Levin

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