If you’ve been to Israel, you might know there’s a cutting-edge theater scene, which isn’t entirely surprising for a country that has a big story to tell, loaded with emotion and strife that can be hard to express. Since theater has the power to relay an emotional reality to an audience, it’s a unique and authentic vehicle to bring an Israeli voice and sensibility to the Boston audience. It’s this power that led Guy Ben Aharon to found Israeli Stage in 2010, which has allowed him to bring a variety of Israeli theatrical talent to Boston.
Savyon Liebrecht is a highly regarded Israeli playwright whom Guy has recently connected to the Boston audience. Guy and Savyon have worked together ever since they met for a cup of coffee in Tel Aviv two years ago. After a local tour of her play “Apples from the Desert,” Guy recognized that a longer collaboration with Israeli Stage would allow Savyon to truly bring her power and perspective to a larger audience. So when Savyon told Guy that two of the three scripts in her series “Freud and His Legacy” were up for grabs (“Freud’s Women” and “Dear Sigmund and Carl”), Guy immediately said, “Let’s do it!”
So aside from the fact that she’s Israeli, why Savyon? Guy believes that “Savyon herself is the creative answer to the Jewish and Israeli struggle—the struggle to deal with and overcome the Holocaust, the struggle to recognize different ways of believing in a religious democratic society, and the struggle to have a strong female voice.” And that strong female voice might be just what’s needed to unpack the long-debated question: What, exactly, was Freud’s stance on women?
Beyond her strong female voice and view of Israeli society, Savyon is an especially good fit for the Boston audience as well. “Savyon is a true intellectual in her writing,” Guy says. “I can’t think of a better word to describe Boston as a city.”
What’s the best thing about this residency? You can meet Savyon and get to know Freud a little better in five different places all over town, from March 20 to April 2!
*Photo: Savyon Liebrecht and Guy Ben Aharon talk theater over coffee in Tel Aviv.