For Johannah Jolson — in the words of fellow Brit William Shakespeare — the play’s the thing. In August, the 28-year-old Tel Aviv resident launched the English National Theatre of Israel (ENTI), an endeavor meant to make professional English-language productions available nearly every night of the week in the Holy Land. “At the moment, there is a lot of community theater in Israel — which doesn’t necessarily equal non-professional standards, and a few even have paid actors,” Jolson tells ISRAEL21c. “But it tends to be sporadic, with no one organization presenting English-language theater all the time. I saw a need to provide a platform for that and develop it to a point where we have our own residency space in Tel Aviv and are also touring.” ENTI’s introductory show was a one-woman play from Orange Shade Productions in the UK, “When the Sky Falls In,” written and performed by British author and broadcaster Janet Gershlick and presented at the café-bookshops Tmol Shilshom in Jerusalem and The Prince in Tel Aviv. The play contains several Jewish references that Jolson felt would resonate. “I want to produce theater that is relevant to Israeli culture. I want to open the door to all Israeli writers and writers from around the globe who have an interest in Israel, to be heard by a whole new Anglo audience,” says Jolson, who holds a degree from Guildford School of Acting in Surrey. The next show in the lineup, “Gam Zeh L’Tova,” is “a very funny piece written, developed and performed by an observant woman in England, giving a lighthearted look at what it means to be Orthodox in Manchester,” Jolson says. It’s slated for early next year in Tel Aviv and Zichron Ya’akov. She is in discussions with the Israeli branch of the British Council, an organization that uses arts and culture to forge links between Britain and other countries; and with Tik-sho-ret, a production company for Jewish and Israeli theater in England. She and Tik-sho-ret founder Ariella Eshed hope to do an exchange program next year for British and Israeli playwrights. In early October, Jolson piloted an English National Youth Theatre of Israel workshop session in association with Kidspace, an English-language immersion club. “Really exciting to see how the performing arts helps young people to engage with the English language,” she reported on the group’s Facebook page. “We are still very interested to hear from potential partners nationwide, and from young people who might be interested to join the Youth Theatre program as it develops and expands.” Jolson plans for the theater to produce its own work, collaborate with other companies and individual artists, and bring English-language theater “in all its forms” to Israeli schools and communities, especially in areas where English comprehension is weak. (via Israel21c)
UN nuclear watchdog: Iran stonewalling on nuke investigation
Posted by Albert Gersh - November 07, 2014
The latest report by the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA), published Friday by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), blasted Tehran for “not provid[ing] any explanations that enable the Agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures,” stoking concerns that Iranian officials may be counting on Western negotiators to drop the demand that Tehran come clean about the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of its nuclear program. The confidential document was published less than three weeks ahead of the November 24 deadline for the P5+1 global powers to reach a deal with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program. American lawmakers and Western diplomats have long emphasized the degree to which full Iranian disclosure must be part of any robust and credible deal between Tehran and the West: Inspectors would need a full accounting of Tehran’s atomic work in order to ensure that the Iranians had ceased such work. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Friday dodged questions on the report, repeatedly telling reporters at the daily briefing that the UN watchdog has an “important role” to play. Psaki refused to reject a scenario under which Washington would accept a nuclear deal with Iran despite continued Iranian stonewalling.. Veteran Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pointedly asked Psaki if reports of Iranian intransigence “give you pause about the Iranian's credibility as a negotiation partner in the P5+1 talks,” to which Psaki responded, “[i]t’s never been about trust.”
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