→ next generation : issues

The Land of Milk(y) and Honey? Israelis in Berlin

»I pity those who no longer remember the Holocaust and abandon Israel for a pudding.« Yair Shamir, then Israeli Minister of Agriculture about the “Milky protest” (October 2014)

The documentary theatre piece The Land of Milk (y) and Honey? asks new questions about the lives of immigrant Israelis in Berlin and Germany and paints a multifaceted portrait of different communities, which are often perceived as faceless crowds. Speakers include Israelis with an active religious background, Israeli Arabs, highly politicized Israelis and Israelis with no interest in politics. Director Daniel Brunet and performers Mica Dvir, Renen Itzhaki and Shlomi Moto Wagner provide first impressions of the piece with a brief scenic presentation, readings from the underlying interviews and a discussion about the inspiration for the project. World premiere at English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center (ETB | IPAC), Thu 25 October. www.etberlin.de

The statement, made by Yair Shamir, then Israeli Minister of Agriculture, to the Jerusalem Post in October of 2014, marked the climax of the so-called “Milky protest”. In a post that launched a thousand ships, the Facebook page Olim L’Berlin (Aliyah to Berlin) urged Israelis to move to Berlin due to a markedly cheaper cost of living. The primary evidence? Aldi’s Puddingcreme mit Sahnehaube, a dessert comparable to Milky, the dominant pudding brand in Israel, sold for less than a third of the price. This Facebook post received more than one million likes within four days and created headlines around the globe.

Is Berlin truly a promised land of milk and honey?  Are people from Israel really immigrating here only because of the standard of living, nightlife and Berlin’s fabled cultural reputation? What about those Israelis who leave the country due to the current political climate? And what affect does 20th century history as well as multiple reports of rising anti-Semitism have on emigration from Israel to Germany?

Three Israeli performers explore these questions using verbatim from 60 interviews with the widest possible spectrum of partners. All text spoken during the performance will come directly from these interviews, presenting the faces of the communities so often presented as a faceless crowd in the media.

 

biographies

Daniel Brunet is a director, performer, producer and translator. He was born in Syracuse, New York in 1979 and studied theater and film at Boston College. He moved to Berlin in 2001 with the support of a Fulbright Scholarship and began a career as a freelance theater maker. Brunet founded THE LAB at English Theatre Berlin during his 2003/2004 directing residency. He was the Associate Director/Associate Producer of German Theater Abroad in Berlin and New York from 2005 to 2008.  His directorial work has been seen at venues including Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Performance Space 122, New York. Recent work includes the bilingual performance Knick-Knack to the Future | Ruckzuck in die Zukunft, created with the artist collective copy & waste and invited to the 2015 steirischer herbst festival, the world premiere of Amy Evan’s play The Most Unsastisifed Town (April 2016, remounted in 2017) and the world premiere of Andrea Stolowitz’s Berlin Diary: (Schlüterstraße 27) (October 2016). Brunet has received multiple awards for his translations of German plays by writers including Wolfram Lotz, Dea Loher, Falk Richter, Roland Schimmelpfennig and Heiner Müller. His translations and essays have been published in PEN America, The Mercurian, Asymptote, Theater, TheatreForum, Contemporary Theatre Review, alt.theatre and MiGAZIN. He served as a guest professor in the fall of 2017 at the New School University in New York City, where he taught a seminar on German drama and directed a production of his translation of Dea Loher’s The Last Fire with students from the theater program. He has served as the Producing Artistic Director of English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center since 2012.

Renen Itzhaki is an active member of Berlin’s independent dance community. Creating works in the intersecting fields of performance art, dance, text and installation, Itzhaki tends to blur definitions of genre and to reflect on the processes of art making, institutional critique and personal memory. He holds a BA degree in Dance, Context and Choreography from the Interuniversity Center for Dance (HZT) Berlin, 2016. Alongside his individual work as a maker, he also collaborates as a performer for other artists, such as Jeremy Shaw (57th Venice Biennale), Julie Favereau (Berlin Gallery Weekend 2018), Lia Rodrigues Dance Company (Rio de Janeiro), Maryna Makarenko (Martin Gropius Bau) and many more. www.whoisrenen.net

Shlomo Lieberman has an MFA degree in theater directing from Tel Aviv University and has created numerous productions for the independent theater community of Israel. He has worked as an independent theater artist in Berlin since 2014. He has collaborated with his partner, Ulrich Leinz, as the team LeinzLieberman since 2016. Among their works: The Other/Promised Land, Shlomo’s Friends, Olam Haba (The Next World) and Noraland at English Theatre Berlin ǀ International Performing Arts Center.

Mica Dvir is an interdisciplinary performer. Dvir graduated from the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts (1999) and received a B.E.D from the Kibutzim College, Tel –Aviv (2003). Since 2007, she has devised the following works: Departure Gate 9A (2018), Within Fixating Territories (2017), Mixed-Media (2016), Please Do, Please Do Not (2016), Picnic (2015), Street Language (2014), Shameful Occurrences, Disturbing Facts, Light And Darkness (2014), Around Dark Matter (2012-13), Fin-Land (2010-11), Voice Over (2010), Transparent Packaging (2008) and 15 minutes starting now (2007). Her works are social and political and deal with themes such as social conditioning and their control of our consciousness, attachment to objects and ideas, the individual vis-à-vis the collective, the Israeli occupation, collective memory and its influence on the behavior of individuals. Her works were performed in theaters and festivals in Tel-Aviv (The Arab-Hebrew Theatre, Tmuna International Theater Festival, A-Genre Festival, Night-Light Festival), Haifa (Haifa Museum of Art), Calcutta (Nandika Theater Festival), Münich (i-camp Theater), Berlin (Circle 1 gallery), Cincinnati, Ohio (Cincinnati Fringe Festival) and in New York City (Between the Seas Festival).

Keren Korman was born and grew up in Israel, where she studied philosophy and history at the University of Tel Aviv. She moved to Germany in 2002 where she completed her M.A. in stage and costume design at TU Berlin. She has worked for more than 15 years as an interdisciplinary designer for space and form as well as illustration and advertising. She currently works as a freelancer for various theaters in Germany and around the world, including Schauspielhaus Leipzig, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Burg Theater Vienna and Grand Theater Genf.

Shlomi Moto Wagner is a performance artist and opera singer. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras around the world and as a member of the Opera Studio of the New Israeli Opera. Since moving to Berlin in 2012, he he has worked with various opera ensembles and experimental theatre makers, including Philinne Rinnert & Johannes Müller. He is the founder of the House of Mazeltov, a drag performance group researching performative aspects of voice, gender, tradition and identity. In 2017 he presented his solo performance Salvation (Glitter Doesn’t Care I’m a Boy) as part of the ancillary program of the Berlin Performing Arts Festival.

Christian Maith studied theatrical lighting design at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Since completing his Master’s degree, he has worked on numerous theater productions as well as art exhibitions and performance-oriented events both abroad and in Berlin.

Direction & Concept
Daniel Brunet

Performance
Mica Dvir, Renen Itzhaki, Shlomi Moto Wagner

Dramaturgy
Shlomo Lieberman

A co-production of ID Festival and English Theatre Berlin | IPAC

Scenography
Keren Korman

Assistant Direction
Naomi Boyce

Lighting Design
Christian Maith

© Jerun-Vahle
order ticket

Sun 14 October 18:00 (Preview at Radialsystem -> FREE ENTRANCE)
Thu 25 October 20:00 (Premiere)
Fri 26 October 20:00
Sat 27 October 20:00
Thu 1 November 20:00
Fri 2 November 20:00
Sat 3 November 20:00

 

Venue
Radialsystem, English Theatre Berlin

Ticket
Preview: Free Entrance, Premiere: 15 / 9€

Length
1 hour 30 minutes

Language
English among other languages