The Department of Theatre Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, established in 1971 by Arie Sachs, an Israeli poet, scholar and director, is one of the oldest theatre departments in Israel. It is part of the University’s School of Arts. The department faculty specializes in a broad range of research fields and national cultures with an emphasis on Jewish and Israeli theatre, multiculturalism, and performance art. Its many artistic activities and symposia are open to the Jerusalem public and draw scholars from around the world.
The study of classical Greek theatre is an intrinsic part of the Theatre Studies department’s curriculum. Our BA program includes two mandatory courses on the subject (history and play analysis). The laboratory class Play & Performance Analysis: Greece and Rome, developed by the department’s young teachers, combines academic discussions of the text with staging of selected scenes in the classroom – and later presented at our annual Theatre Festival, Tutti-Frutti. Many of our optional courses include themes and figures drawn from ancient tragedy and mythology, such as Dr. Malkin’s course Sacrificial Victims from Antigone to Hair. A core course on Jewish Theatre, Jewish Ritual as Performance, developed by Dr. Yair Lipshitz, employs Greek tragedy as a central paradigm for thinking about the relations between ritual and theatre. More specifically, the notion of corrupted or subverted ritual, prevalent in many classical tragedies, is explored in order to illuminate the multiple ways ritual can sustain and charge dramatic performance in the Jewish context as well. These courses are part of the University-wide Art Program offered by the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The Department’s proposal for this program reflects the range and diversity of its faculty interests.