Greetings from the Minister of Culture and Sport
Minister of Culture and Sport
The Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, taking place again during the Intermediate Days of Sukkot, set out on its road 31 years ago and is one of the oldest and most exciting theatre festivals in Israel. This year the audience of spectators is anticipated to exceed 200,000 – a record achievement.
The events of the Festival are produced by the Acco Municipality with the support of the Culture Administration of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, with all the productions receiving grants and entitled to ongoing artistic advising.
As it does each year, the festival takes place in the heart of Acco’s human, natural, and historical treasures: its charming alleyways, the Knights’ Halls in the Old City, the seascape with its unique harbor, and also having its special human texture in which Jews and Arabs, new immigrants and old-timers, and the many thousands of tourists from Israel and abroad – all these, blended with the smells of her cookery, the aromas of her spices, and her traditional hospitality, turn the Acco Festival into a distinctive celebration like no other in the world,
It’s very gladdening to know that the scope of this year’s offerings was so great, that the Festival Directorate decided to launch and budget for an unprecedented “Acco 2” in order to give expression to those productions not included in the formal competition but were deemed worthy of presenting. May there be more like these!
I greatly esteem all those who take part in their art and craft: the many organizers and artists who all contribute. A special thanks to Mayor Shimon Lankri and all the residents of this beautiful, ancient, and special city.
I send my wishes for enjoyment and happiness to all the tens of thousands of Festival-goers, who have chosen to make their way here at this time, in one of our three traditional pilgrimages: the Sukkot holiday, and to take part in this great, celebration of Theatre, the most original, colorful, aromatic, and diverse in Israel.
Minister of Culture and Sport
Greetings from the Mayor
Honored artists, actors, culture-lovers, guests, and Acco residents,
Acco – a city of Mediterranean cultures, is happy to open the 31st Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, which over the years has become a leading and significant trademark in Israeli culture.
The Acco Festival, held in the courtyards of the Old City and in its enchanting halls, has long been a place of encounter with unique and original theatre in an effervescent atmosphere that exposes the visitor to multiculturalism and this historic city’s sites and scenery.
Acco holds within it a treasure: a fascinating historic and cultural legacy that mingles new and old, attracting many visitors. The Acco Festival makes an enormous contribution to this, and there’s no doubt that this is a tremendous platform for leverage and encouraging internal and foreign tourism to the city.
This city that has become a unique meeting-place for faiths and religions, takes care to hold this variegated Festival and present to the crowds of visitors an exceptional and unforgettable cultural experience.
The Acco Festival, pride of the city, is part of a tapestry of cultural events that the Acco Municipality stages in conjunction with government ministries and contributing foundations.
The Festival offers a rich and wide variety of street performances from Israel and abroad, as well as theatrical doings, brilliantly conducted by the Acco Theater Center.
In recent years, the city of Acco has been engaging in a great upsurge of development whose results are apparent in every corner of the city and allow our Festival guests to enjoy a beautiful promenade, new hotels, upgraded restaurants, and orderly and cleaner streets.
I am pleased to congratulate the dozens of performing artists, playwrights, directors, and actors who are taking part in the Festival, and wish the audience of spectators and the residents of the city of Acco: an experience of enjoyable, exciting, alternative theatre.
With warm regards,
Mayor of Acco
Greetings from the Director, Old Acre Development Co.
Old Acre Development Company
Greetings to all who come to the Acco Festival of Alternative Theatre, now celebrating 31 years since its founding. The Festival is the most significant stage for alternative performing arts in Israel. Each year, we are witnesses to creative works specially suited to this extraordinary stage offered by the city of Acco, its distinctive halls and venues, which seem that none other could be more appropriate.
Old Acco, one of the urban jewels of the State of Israel and the Mediterranean, is built of rich layers of cultures, antiquities, a combination of old and new, past and present, and as such contribuiting greatly to the Festival’s success and uniqueness. By international recognition of the importance of Acco, the city was declared by UNESCO in 2001 a World Heritage Site. There is no better or more fitting place to hold the Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, particularly in celebrating its 31st anniversary. In such an enchanting city the Festival breathes a spirit of life into its glorious past, and the past and present mingle in one grand celebration attracting tens of thousands of people.
Wishing success to all and an enjoyable experience of alternative theatre to the thousands of visitors, the producers, playwrights, directors, creative artists, actors and all who practice their crafts, and to all residents of Acco.
With best holiday wishes,
Director-General, Old Acre Development Company
Greetings from the Festival Director
General Director and Chief Producer
“Alternative” in Acco has an important significance, because only here can all artistic dreams come true.
The smell of the ancient stones and the mysteries they hold, breathes into the “alternative” a supplemental soul, the “neshama yetera” of spiritual tradition.
The “alternative” blows a refreshing wind of innovation into Israeli theatre.
Thanks to the people who create the Festival and make it happen. To those who create, view, perform, direct, manage, organize – with toil and sweat, with all their heart and soul.
To the staff of the Acco Municipality at all levels from senior to junior, and at their head Mayor Shimon Lankri. To Tsach Granit, head of the Culture Administration. To Ohad Segev, for accompanying the Festival with his advising and support.
And last but not least: to the production crew: Etti Spitzer, Ilan Einav, and Reut Duei, who move the Festival forward and upward, to the high professional level worthy of regard.
Congratulations and good luck!
Greetings from the Artistic Directors – Acco Festival
In our present reality, Theatre cannot allow itself not to deal with the injustices done around us and by us. Theatre is an instrument intended to flex the muscle of imagination, but also to awaken human beings to their surroundings and and deeds. How many of us are actually creating in reality terrible injustices, but how many more are simply allowing the existence of injustice, through blindness, the desire for comfort, and the natural habit of avoiding unpleasantness.
The Acco Festival is one of the only stages in Israel upon which it’s possible to break through this impasse. True, the Festival doesn’t go out to demonstrate with Machsom Watch, doesn’t fight for the minimum wage, the rights of Holocaust survivors, and more. But it’s a place in which the audience can rid itself of that desire to repress unpleasantness, and sometimes to shift a bit uncomfortably in their seats.
We believe in Theatre, in its power and its obligation to speak about the human being, about the human spirit, about the questions that burn within that spirit. Theatre must reflect to people the Society, and sometimes to say what the consensus doesn’t like to say, but must hear.
In the mix that we present you, you’ll find beautiful, sensory, and fantastic Theatre, and also dedicated works responding to the reality of our lives and the Israeli experience, along with the search for an original language of form and content.
And we’ve not yet approached the question of the “alternative” [in Hebrew: other]. What is alternative, other, in our times, when everything else is “other”? Paradoxically, and sadly, human complexity can offer a great promise of a saner world and a rich society that is nourished by the differences, the colorfulness, and the uniqueness of its component elements. But the reality of our lives is very far from that.
If, Heaven forbid, we fail to change the world, we can always pray. Acco is a city embracing many religions. We can pray in a mosque, a church, a synagogue, or sit on one of the city’s walls and offer up a prayer for change.
Thanks to Dr. Diti Ronen, Oded Kotler, Prof. Shimon Levi, Dr. Atay Citron, Khaled Abu Ali and the members of the Acco Theater Center, Tami Katz-Freiman, Amir Oriyon, Ben Miyusat, Jacky Shemesh, Tovi Dikman.
Special thanks to Acco mayor Shimon Lankri,who succeedes in walking adroitly between the raindrops of our complex life’s reality, that has special relevance in a city like Acco, for his unhesitating assistance and support.
Smadar Yaaron, Moni Yosef
Artistic directors of the Acco Festival
Greetings from the Artistic Directors – Street Theatre
Avi Gibson Bar-El, Yinon Tsafrir
Artistic directors and producers, Street Theatre events
Acco is a rare spectacle. The gentleness of the sea, the power of the ancient walls, the smell of fish and lavender in a virtuoso juggling act between languages, cultures, and religions, while the city discharges its charms at every passerby as does the clown performing on a street corner. Were it possible to design the most enchanting backdrop for a street theatre venue, we couldn’t imagine a better set than the one provided us here by History.
We are proud to be part of the Acco Festival and to bring street theatre back to the Old City. Its charming alleyways and ancinet walls will be flooded with some forty performances, among them 17 premieres, with special guests from abroad, circus artistes, mimes, shows making a social statement, and classic street theatre shows in the best of the tradition, at whose conclusion the actor passes the hat.
The Orto-Da Theatre has as its objective: to promote street theatre in Israel and to encourage performers to develop an original language. We believe that the street theatre program in this year’s Festival is daring, original, variegated, and kicking, and we hope that it meets the criterion of “alternative.”
Thanks to Smadar Yaaron, Moni Yosef, and Albert Ben-Shloosh, for the cooperation, the vision and its fulfillment.