Yaacov Agmon Named Director of Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa

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Yaacov Agmon/Photo: Gerard Alon

Yaacov Agmon has been named the Director of the Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa. Founded in 1988, the theatre is composed of two theatre groups who work together: the Al-Saraya Theatre of Jaffa and the Local Theatre, producing independent and collaborative productions in both Hebrew and Arabic. Omar Siksik is the Chairman of the NPO that administers the Al-Saraya Theatre, and Adiv Jashan is the Artistic Director, while Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rachel Dolev is the Chairperson of the Local Theatre NPO, and its Artistic Directors are Gaby Aldor and Igal Ezraty.

Several weeks ago, members of the Arab-Hebrew Theatre NPO Dr. Renam Jacoby, Akram Khilo and Yossi Frost appealed to Agmon to take on the director’s post and bring his considerable experience in Israeli theatre to the task of guiding the theatre. Agmon retired from the directorship of HaBima National Theatre five years ago, and has been at the head of Bimot, which produces the annual Theatronetto Festival. Agmon founded the Beit Lessin Theatre, served as director of the Cameri Theatre and directed several major festivals including the Acco Festival for Alternative Theatre, the Klezmer Festival in Safed and Theatronetto.

In a meeting that took place this week with both boards, Agmon announced that he will accept the position. His announcement was received with warmth by the members of both NPOs, former Knesset member Nadia Hilo, emembr of the Al-Saraya NPO board, saying, “This is the first time that someone with the wealth of experience and broad perspectives of Yaacov Agmon has taken on the directorship of the theatre.”

Agmon stated in a press release that “In these days I feel that this role is of the utmost importance, socially as well as artistically, and I will work towards enhancing artistic cooperation between the two theatres. This theatre is a model for co-existence and can be a microcosm of relationships between Arabs and Jews, connected through art and creativity.” Agmon enter as director on January 1, 2011, after reviewing the theatres’ structure and work methods.