About Nephesh Theatre

    The Nephesh Theatre was founded in 1978 by Howard Rypp as artistic director and Gabriel Emanuel as dramaturge. It was the only professional Jewish theatre operating in Canada at that time. It’s initial play, "Children of Night," about Jewish educator Jansuz Korczak, had three different productions presented throughout Canada and took part in the first international Festival of Jewish Theatre, in New York, 1980.

    After staging over 30 theatrical and television productions in Canada it’s base was relocated to Israel. Gabriel Emanuel’s play, Einstein, which Rypp directed, was the company’s first Hebrew production. Co- produced with Israel’s Habimah National Theatre, the one-man play met with great success, running for four consecutive seasons as well as being presented in productions throughout Canada and South America. To celebrate Einstein’s centenary a new production was produced in Hebrew and in English which was presented off-Broadway at La MaMa.

    In 1988 Yitzchak Meshel became the new dramaturge for Nephesh Theatre who produced 7 of his plays including “Make yourself at Home” (Both in Hebrew and English). “The Third Third” (still running after 22 years in our repertory and over 1800 performances). “Difficult Kid”,”Game of Life”  “Keeping Shabbat (about the religious- secular conflict) and “Let them eat cake” about the social protest in the summer of 2011.  

    In 1995 Beatriz Hal became the Theatre’s current dramaturge. As well as initiating and developing new work from playwrights, she has also written the phenomenal “Miracles and Tragedies” (still running after 18 years and over 2000 performances). Other of her works with Nephesh include “Dangerous Games”, “Only in the Movies”, “The Fearsome Inn” (inspired by a story by I.B Singer), "The Eighth Commandment."

    Until today, the Nephesh Theatre has produced over 100 productions in Hebrew and English. The productions reflect a plurality of beliefs, depicting different communities within Israeli society that must develop a common language and achieve mutual respect. The plays  mirror the conflicts permeating Israeli society- emphasizing common bonds rather than dwelling on differences. Today Nephesh Theatre is a recognized repertory theatre that receives operating budgets from the Israeli government and today offers 18 Hebrew plays that are presented 400 times annually throughout Israel. 

    We currently offer a repertory of seven plays in English, which we have translated from our Hebrew repertory or developed especially to explore relevant issues that Israel shares with the Diaspora. These productions embark on tours that represent Israel throughout the world.