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Joshua Sobol
Born in Israel, Tel Aviv, 1939
Playwright, writer and director at theatres in Israel and abroad
44 Sderot Chen Blvd, Tel Aviv 64167, Israel
Phone: +972-3-6962176
Fax   : +972-3-6962165  
e-Mail: josobol@netvision.net.il

Joshua Sobol
Joshua Sobol
Interview mit Joshua Sobol

Joshua Sobol is married to Edna, set and costume designer

Education
1961 – 1962 Oranim College, Israel, Literature and History
1965 – 1969 The Sorbonne, Paris, A degree in Philosophy
1969 – 1970 Ecole Nationale D’Informatique, Paris, Analyse de Conception
2008 – Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa awarded by The Weizman Institute of Science

Joshua Sobol studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, and graduated with a diploma in philosophy. His first play was performed in 1971 by the Municipal Theatre in Haifa, where Sobol worked from 1984 to 1988 as a playwright and later as assistant artistic director. The performance of his play The Jerusalem Syndrome, in January 1988, led to widespread protests across the whole country, whereupon Sobol resigned from his post as artistic director and turned to devoting himself exclusively to writing.

International Career
Sobol's international career started in 1983, with the Haifa Theatre production of his play WEININGER'S NIGHT invited to participate in the official part of the Edinburgh Festival.

Between 1983 and 1989 Sobol wrote three related plays: GHETTO, ADAM  and UNDERGROUND which constitute together THE GHETTO TRIPTYCH.

GHETTO became world famous shortly after its premiere in Haifa in May 1984. The play won the Israeli David's Harp award for best play. The Israeli opening was followed by Peter Zadek's much acclaimed German premiere of the play in July of the same year at the Freie Volksbuehne in Berlin. The play and the production were chosen by THEATER HEUTE as best production and best foreign play of the year.  The play has been so far translated into more than 20 languages, and has been performed by leading theatres in more than 25 countries throughout the world.

Joshua Sobol

Following Nicholas Hytner's production of the play at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain in 1989 the play won the Evening Standard and the London Critics award for Best Play of the Year, and was nominated for the Olivier award in the same category.

Since 1995 Sobol cooperated with director Paulus Manker on a number of projects exploring new forms of the theatrical experience. In 1996 they have created for the Wiener Festwochen the polydrama ALMA based on the life of Alma Mahler. It had been playing in Purkersdorf, Austria for six successive seasons.  ALMA transferred to Venice, Italy, and has been playing at the Palazzo Zenobio in August and September 2002, in Lisbon in 2003, in Los Angeles in 2004, the production played again in Vienna in 2005 and in Berlin in 2006.

Sobol’s novel SHTIKA (Silence)  was translated into German and published in 2001 in Germany by Luchterhand Verlag under the title SCHWEIGEN. The novel was also translated into Dutch and published in Amsterdam in 2002 by Byblos.

Sobol’s second novel, WHISKY’S FINE, was published in Israel in March 2005. It was published in Germany by Luchterhand Verlag in September 2005.

Joshua Sobol, Paulus Manker, Niklas Frank Joshua Sobol, Paulus Manker,
Niklas Frank

In 1996 they have created for the Wiener Festwochen the polydrama ALMA based on the life of Alma Mahler - Werfel. It has been playing in Vienna for six successive seasons. The scenes of Alma’s life were performed simultaneously on all floors and in all rooms of a former Jugendstil sanatorium near Vienna. The guests were invited to abandon the immobilized position of a spectator in a conventional drama, replace it with the mobile activity of a traveller, and watch a "theatrical journey". They had to choose the events, the path, and the person to follow after each event, thus constructing her or his personal version of the "Polydrama".

ALMA transferred 2002 to Venice, Italy, 2003 to Lisbon, Portugal, 2004 to Los Angeles, USA and returned 2005 to Austria, and has been playing at the Petronell Castle near Vienna where in August 2005 it celebrated its 250th performance.

In 2000 they created F@LCO - A CYBER SHOW, a multimedia musical about the Austrian pop singer Falco. Staged in the former Varieté theatre Ronacher in Vienna, he audience was offered a choice between a more expensive, passive ticket for the boxes or the balconies where from the spectators can only watch the show from a certain distance, and on the other hand an active, cheaper ticket on the floor, close to the rostrum (in the shape of the internet @) on which the show was performed. This position offered the active spectator the possibility to move around during the show, to dance and to buy drinks during the show at the bars installed under the catwalks.

     
G. Makazaria, Hansi Lang, P. Quirante, R. Gregory
 
Stage F@lco-Cyber Show
     
  Abstandhalter
Joshua Sobol  
   

Sobol's novel SHTIKA (Silence) was translated into German and published in 2001 in Germany by Luchterhand Verlag under the title SCHWEIGEN. The novel was also translated into Dutch and published in Amsterdam in 2002 by Byblos. Sobol's second novel, WHISKY'S FINE, was published in Israel in March 2005. It was published in Germany by Luchterhand Verlag in September 2005. Sobol is currently writing his third novel, and finishing his forthcoming play A WORKING CLASS HERO, dealing with the issue of the privatisation of a public transport bus company.

 

 


Joshua Sobol wrote the following plays:
year - play - world premiere
1971  THE DAYS TO COME - HMT. [Haifa Municipal Theatre] ISRAEL.
1973  STATUS QUO VADIS - HMT. ISRAEL
1974  SYLVESTER 72 - HMT. ISRAEL
1975  THE JOKER - HMT. ISRAEL
1976  NIGHT OF 20th - HMT. ISRAEL
1976  NERVES - HMT. ISRAEL
1977  TENANTS - HMT. ISRAEL
1977  GOG & MAGOG SHOW - ZAVTA. TEL AVIV. ISRAEL
1977  REPENTANCE - ZAVTA. ISRAEL
1978  HOMEWARD ANGEL - HABIMAH. (National Theatre of Israel)
1979  WEDDING NIGHT - HABIMAH. (National Theatre of Israel)
1980  THE LAST WORKER - BEIT LESSIN."
1981  WARS OF THE JEWS - KHAN. JERUSALEM.
1982  WEININGER'S NIGHT - HMT. HAIFA.
1984  GHETTO – HMT & FREIE VOLKSBUHNE, BERLIN
1984  PASSODOBLE - ZAVTA. TEL AVIV.
1985  PALESTINIAN GIRL - HMT. HAIFA.
1986  COUNTDOWN - ZAVTA. TEL AVIV.
1987  JERUSALEM SYNDROM - HMT. HAIFA.
1989  ADAM - HABIMAH. (National Theatre of Israel)
1991  UNDERGROUND - YALE REP. NEW HAVEN, USA.
1991  SOLO - DE APPEL - THE HAGUE; HABIMAH. TEL AVIV.
1991  A&B - DORTMUND. GERMANY.
1991  EYE TO EYE - MANNHEIM, GERMANY, 1994.
1992  RING TWICE - Royal National Theatre, Oslo 1997.
1993  NICE TONI - DUSSELDORFER SCHAUSPIELHAUS, June 1994.
1993  LOVE FOR A PENNY - ISRAELI YIDDISH THEATRE, 1994.
1993  SHNEIDER AND SHUSTER - BASEL 1994; Gorki Theater, Berlin.
1994  THE MASKED BALL - HMT, Haifa, March 2001.
1994  BLOODY NATHAN - Volkstheater, Vienna, 1996.
1995  THE FATHER Wiener Festwochen, 1995.
1995  VILLAGE - GESHER Theater, Tel Aviv, February 1996.
1996  ALMA - WIENER FESTWOCHEN, Vienna 1996.
1996  HONEY - HAIFA MUNICIPAL THEATRE. 1997.
1997  MA NI MA MAMA ZAVTA Tel Aviv, Festival of One Act Plays 97.
1997  HOME CINEMA Not yet produced
1998  STRANGERS HABIMAH. (National Theatre of Israel) 1999.
1999  FALCO RONACHER THEATER, Vienna, 1st April 2000
1999  LA TORANA Not yet produced
2000  GEBIRTIG YIDDISHPIEL – Tel - Aviv, 1st April 2000.
2000  17 TOP COMPAGNIETHEATER, Amsterdam 2002
2001  CROCODILES Herzelia Theatre, November 2001
2002  HOMELESS BEN GURION
2002  EYE WITNESS
2002  REAL TIME
2003  LOVE IN DARK TIMES Theater Drachengasse, Vienna , January 2005
2003  A MENTSCH Not yet produced.
2005  A WORKING CLASS HERO Cameri, Tel Aviv, 2006
2005  KOL NIDREI Herzeliya Ensemble Theatre, 2005
2005  A WORKING CLASS HERO  Cameri – Tel Aviv 2006
2006  CHARMED LIFE - Theater Drachengasse, Vienna , Jan 2007
2006  SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR - not yet produced
2006  KOL’S LAST HOUR - A Monodrama - Tmuna Theatre, 2007
2007  I AM NOT DREYFUS - A  Monodrama - Cameri Theatre, Tel Aviv, Aug. 2007
2007  MAN OF THE CENTURY  - Not yet produced.
2007  WANDERERS- Theater Drachengasse, Vienna, 2008
2008  JO SUESS, Worms, Niebelungen Festival, 2010
2008  SINNERS, Not yet produced
2008  A PIGS’ PURIMSPIEL, Linz 2009, Cembran Cellars
2009  DARFUR AT HOME, Tel Aviv University Theatre, 2009

     
Scene from iWitness:
Oren Yadgar and Itai Tiran
 
Scene from iWitness:
Aviv Zemer and Itai Tiran

Sobol directed productions of:
GHETTO in Essen and in Bremen, Germany
"GOLDBERG VARIATIONSby George Tabori, Dortmund, Germany, 1993
ADAM - in Manheim, Germany, 1993
SHNEIDER AND SHUSTER - Basel Theatre,Switzerland, 1994
NICE TONI - The Khan & The Jerusalem Theatre, September, 1994
GHETTO - Hartke Theatre, Washington D.C., 1995
GENS [A comprehensive version of the Ghetto Triptych] - Weimar 1995
GHETTO - Haifa Municipal Theatre, January 1998
ALMA - Cameri Theatre, Tel Aviv, December 1998
GHETTO - Wesleyan University Theatre , November 2000
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE – Illinois Shakespeare Festival. 2002
IWITNESS – Stadt theater St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2004
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE - Stadt theater St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2007
GHETTO - Klagenfurt Stadttheater, Austria, 2008
KOL’S LAST KOL – NTB - Dornach, Switzerland, 2008

Translations into Hebrew and adaptions for the hebrew stage:
Jean Claude Grumberg / Dreyfus – Beit Zvi  -  1981
Alfred de Musset / On ne badine pas avec l’amour – Beit Zvi  -  1983
J. P. Sartre / Les mains sales  -  Habima National Theatre -1983
J. Giraudoux / La guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu – Haifa Municipal Theatre - 1984
Moliere / Le Tartuffe – Haifa Municipal Theatre  - 1984
Bulgakov / Moliere – Haifa Municipal Theatre  - 1985
Strindberg / Mademoiselle Julie  - Haifa Muniucipal Theatre  - 1986
Moliere / Le Malade Imaginaire – Kameri Theatre  -  1988
Michel Vinaver / L’emission de Television –Habima National Theatre - 1994

 

 
Teaching experience
1972 - 1984 Actors Training School, Seminar Hakibutzim - Lecturer on Aesthetics
1972 - 1984 Beit Zvi Actors Training School - Workshop Director: Writing Drama.
1995 - 2002 Tel Aviv University - Workshop Director: Writing Drama.
1997 - 1998 Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva - Lectures on Drama; Workshop: Writing Drama.
1996 - 1999 Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Jerusalem - Script Writing Workshop.
2000 Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA - Documentary drama
2001 Tel Aviv University, Department of Literature - Lectures on Modern and contemporary Theatre.
2001 - 2002

Bezalel School Of Architecture - Ethics and Art

2002 - 2003 Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva -        
Lectures  on Contemporary Israeli Drama;
Workshop: Writing Drama
2004 - 2005 Haifa University, Contemporary Israeli Drama
2005 - 2009 Haifa University, Reading Classical Plays
2006 Tel Aviv University, Political Drama
2006 - 2009 Maale School of Television and Cinema – Creative writing
2008 - 2009

Seminar Hakibutzim – Writing Drama; Reading Modern Drama

 

 

Publications (a partial list)
2009   Libera Me - A play  (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2008   Honey - A play  (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2008   Kol’s Last Call - A play  (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2008   I Am Not Dreyfus - A play  (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2006   A Working Class Hero - A play - (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2006   Here And Now - An Essay -  published by Yedioth Ahronot Books, Tel Aviv.
2005   Kol Nidrei -A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2005   Real Time - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2005   Whisky Ist Auch In Ordnung - (German) - Luchterhand Verlag, Munich
2005   Whisky’s Fine - A Novel –published by The New Library, Tel Aviv
2004   Strangers - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2004   iWitness - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2002   The Masked Ball - A play  (Hebrew) - Published by Or-Am, Tel Aviv.
2002   Zwijgen (Shtika) - A Novel (Dutch) - Byblos Boeken, Amsterdam
2001   Schweigen (Shtika) - A Novel (German) - Luchterhand Verlag, Munich
2000   Silence (Shtika) - A Novel –published by The New Library, Tel Aviv
1999  Alma - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1998  Alma - A play (German) - Published by Paulus Manker, Vienna.
1998  Palestinian Girl (English) - Published by Loki Books, London
1996  Village - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1994  Solo - A play (French & English) - Published by Cierec, Saint Etienne
1991  Solo - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1991  Weininger’s Night - A play - Published by Cahiers Bernard Lazare, Paris
1990  Underground - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1990  Night of the 20th - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1989  Adam - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1989  Ghetto - A play (English) - Published by Nick Hern Books, London.
1988  Weiningers Nacht A play (German) - Published by Paulus Manker, Vienna.
1987  The Jerusalem Syndrome - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1985  The Palestinian Girl - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1984  Ghetto - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1982  Soul of a Jew - A play (Hebrew) - Published by Or - Am, Tel Aviv.
1976  Night of the Twentieth - A play, (Hebrew) – Published by Proza, Tel Aviv.

Joshua Sobol


Offices in the private section
1984 - 1988 - Artistic Director, Haifa Municipal Theatre, Israel.

Awards
1976  NIGHT OF THE TWENTIETH - David’s Harp Award - Best Play of the Year.
1976  NIGHT OF THE TWENTIETH - David Pinski Award
1979  HOMEWARDS ANGEL - David’s Harp Award - Israel’s Best Play of the Year.
1980  THE LAST WORKER - David’s Harp Award - Israel’s Best Play of the year.
1982  WEININGER’S NIGHT - David’s Harp Award - Israel’s Best Play of the Year.
1983  WEININGER’S NIGHT - Meskin Award for Best Play of the Year.
1984  GHETTO - David’s Harp Award - Israel’s Best Play of the Year.
1985  GHETTO - Theater Heute German Critics’ Choice - Best Foreign Play
1986  THE PALESTINIAN GIRL - Issam Sirtawi Award.
1989  GHETTO - The Evening Standard award for Best Play of the Year. London.
1989  GHETTO - The Critics’ Circle London Theatre Awards - Best New Play.
1990  GHETTO - Laurence Olivier Awards - Award Nomination - Best Play.
1995  GHETTO - Mainichi Art Prize - Best play of the year - Tokyo, Japan.
1996  GHETTO - Yumiuri Shimbun Grand Prize best play of the year, Tokyo, Japan
1996  GHETTO - Yoshiko Yuasa Prize - Best play of the year. Tokyo, Japan.
2001  SILENCE - Sapir Award Nomination - Best Novel of the Year.
2003  Rosenblum Award for The Contribution to Israeli Theatre.

Short Summary
Playwright, author and director. Wrote some fifty plays. Some of his plays have been translated into many languages, and performed world wide. His play GHETTO has been performed in leading theatres throughout the world and won many awards, including The Evening Standard and The London Critics Theatre Award for Best Play of the Year. It also won three Best Play Awards in Japan. In Israel Sobol received five times  the David's Harp Award for "Playwright of the  Year". Sobol directed productions in Israel, Germany, Switzerland and the USA. He has been teaching and conducting Drama Workshops at the universities of Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva in Israel, and at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. His first novel "SILENCE" appeared in Israel in 2000, in Germany in 2001 and in Holland in 2002. 

Joshua Sobol
Born: Israel, 1939.
Wrote: 58 plays, 2 novels.
Sobol’s plays are performed worldwide.
His play “GHETTO” won the Evening Standard Award, the London Critics Award, and three Japanese awards for Best Play of the Year.
Sobol explores The Impossible Theatre.