'The Child Dreams' by Hanoch Levin
About Hanoch Levin -
"His plays open windows into our souls, to draw whatever we need from those deep chambers.
- London Guardian
An icon during his life, Hanoch Levin was Israel's most esteemed
playwright. Prolific and controversial, his work of great psychological
insight and poetry, have both shocked and entranced his audiences.A
gripping story teller, trenchant, witty and poetic, Levin talks about
the human condition in the most lucid, merciless, humorous,
comprehensive and profound way.
A whole generation of Israeli theatre audiences and artists has
grown up on Levin's performances with all their paradoxical
In total, Levin wrote 56 plays: political satires, family and
neighbourhood plays, and mythical plays. Levin kept working until the
very end, holding auditions for his newest play, Whiners, from his
hospital bed in Tel Aviv. He died on August of 1999 at the age of 56.
About The Child Dreams -
Written in 1986 and premiered at Habima – Israel National Theater
on 1993 'The Child Dreams' consider by many to be one of the most
poetic text that had put on the Israeli stage.
The first drafts of the play were titled "The MS St. Louis –
Death Chants" and as the name suggest, Levin initially wrote an historic
text based on the true events of the St. Louis: a vessel that set sail
from Hamburg to Cuba, on May 13, 1939 - with 937 German-Jewish refugees,
following the violence of Kristallnacht. The refugees were denied entry
to Havana. They then attempted to find refuge in other ports but were
denied entry to the United States and Canada. Sailing back to Europe,
the refugees were accepted in several countries, yet ultimately, many
perished in the Nazi concentration camps of WWII.
The finished play drifted away from an attempt to write an historic piece and became much more poetic, open and dreamy text.
The play unfolds the journey of one mother and her child to find
asylum; after an army killed the Father and send them for exile, leaving
their home behind. To the big ocean of the unknown they go, bagging for
a safe shelter at a poor isolated island – willing to give up
everything but life itself. Waiting for redemption in whatever form or
shape it might appear in.
The play is divided to 4 parts: THE FATHER; THE MOTHER; THE CHILD; and THE MESSAIH
And it tells a dream-like, multi-layer story of a small Child and
his Mother, and their escape journey to a distant land, to the unknown.
From the most solid state of a mother and a father gazing at their
dreaming child, they are melting away from their home and warm bed and
forced into the new status of refugees. Looking for shelter and for the
possibility of redemption.
After the father has been murdered in-front of the Child eyes by
the enigmatic character of - 'The Woman Born To Love' – the MOTHER and
the CHILD are fleeing their home and getting on a smuggling boat (only
after the MOTHER agree to have sex with the CAPITAN) on the search for
shelter. They arrive to a remote and poor island. All the passenger are
stretching their hands to show the entrance visas – but with no help.
There entrance is denied and they are asked to leave the port. With last
effort to sick shelter they shout out to the island GOVRANER, who
accept the entrance of the CHILD and no one else – not even the MOTHER.
After attempts of the MOTHER to convince the CHILD to stay in the
island, the CHILD fight his way back to the boat and his mother, and
giving up the possibility for shelter and life. At the last part of the
play, the CHILD is dead. We don’t know when or how. The MOTHER place him
in a metaphysic island of dead children; after their final Farewell and
separation the pile of dead children are waiting for the MESSAYAH to
come and wake them up to life again. When the MESSAYAH finally come he
appears as a kind of a peddler on the run – a swiss watch salesman who
are far from the traditional image of the MESSAYAH. It appears he was
running away from the army and the COMANDER with his chaperon THE WOMAN
BORN TO LOVE. After trying to bribe the soldiers with his watches, the
COMANDER shoot the MESAYAH in the head and kill him. The army leave –
not before they take the MOTHER with him to "balance out the warring
The dead children are left there still hold on to the belief of
redemption and the promise of resurrection, beside one child - Child Who
Crumbled to Dust – who ask the CHILD to simply, come down.
the National Theatre of Bitola -
The creativity of the artistic repertoire is created in such a
way to be followed the development of domestic drama, but very often
there were some come backs to the classic and modern drama. During all
these 74 years existence and work, National Theatre of Bitola has staged
over 550 performances and more than 5. 000. 000 visitors.
The national Theater of Bitola and its long-standing upsurge in
the cultural matrix of Republic of North Macedonia have indisputable
significance. During its growth, this prominent theater, has manage to
create unique theatre expression, rich and varied repertoire with
undeniable esthetic values contributing to the theatre life in our
Bitola has always been an image of a global scene staging
important plays, place for presenting wonderful theatre, strong artistic
potential and majestic artists that have created numerous plays and
received many recognitions and awards in our country and abroad.
In past years National Theatre-Bitola has took place in festivals
and theaters all over the world. In countries such as Serbia,
Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece,Slovenia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, China, Armenia, Romania, Germany, Sweden, UK, USA,Canada,
Over twelve thousand plays, from its constitution till present,
have been staged at The National Theatre of Bitola, performed by several
different generations of actors and attend by over five million
spectators statistics that make eternal mark on the Macedonian as well
as European culture scene.
During the years, worldwide eminent directors imprinted their
creative share in over 30 premiers at this theatre. Plays that, apart
from the inspired diversity and creative enthusiasm, stand for the clear
notion that revives every moment on the scene thus corresponding with
our time of existence. Despite those plays, the theatre scene is marked
by the number of playwrights and directors from the young generation.
that extent, in the search for the European and world contemporary
expression, many plays follow, with extremely ongoing topics, poetic and
stylish goals, contemporarily engaged and methodical dramatic writing
with a contribution to the highly artistic standards of the dramatic art
that is still in progress and visible.