Hanoch Levin was born in 1943 to Malka and Israel Levin, who immigrated to then-Mandatory Palestine in 1935 from Łódź, Poland. He grew up in a religious home in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv. His father ran a grocery store.
As a child, he attended the Yavetz State Religious School. In the 1950s, his brother, David, who was nine years older than he was, worked as an assistant director at the Cameri Theater. His father died of a heart attack when he was 12 years old. Hanoch attended Zeitlin Religious High School in Tel Aviv. After ninth grade, he left school to help support the family. He worked as a messenger boy for the Herut company and took classes at a night school for working youth at the Ironi Aleph middle school. There he joined a drama club and acted in Michal, Daughter of Saul by Aharon Ashman.
Hanoch Levin is Israel’s greatest playwright to date. A post-modernist often called the “ Israeli Beckett,” he remained a controversial figue until his untimely death at the age of 56 in 1999. The government often attempted to shut down his overtly political plays, but never succeeded in gagging him or diminishing the Israeli public’s affection for him.
“Di Zoyne Fun Ohio” is a play about the relative spiritual value of longing versus reality. “If I forget thee O Jerusalem may I forget my right hand.” For many centuries the Jewish people have harbored an intensely spiritual longing for Eretz Yisrael, and the coming of Meshiekh. In this play Levin poses the question: were we better off with the longing than with the reality?
A thought provoking black farce for those who don’t mind a bit of vulgar fun, tragic observations about human and familyrelations, and spiritual seeking.
This delightful show is particularly relevant when so many young Jews are seeking an identity outside the establishment norms that they can/t relate to. A delightful, thought provoking show, beautifully delivered by a refreshingly engaging young talent.
We aim to educate a new generation of Yiddish actors and to illuminate for the public the diversity, cutting edge creativity and universality of the Yiddish theater legacy. We strive to reach and to create new audiences even as we strengthen and satisfy existing ones.
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