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Painted Floors

A political horror comedy

The play “Painted Floor, Mediterranean View” is a play within a play. The main stage is a living room of a young bohemian Jewish couple, living in Jaffa today. She is an architect, he is a playwright. In recent years, Jaffa has gone through major changes and development. As the back yard of Tel Aviv, the largest and international city of Israel, it has become an attraction spot for artists and real-estate entrepreneurs for its wonderful beach, special architecture, and picturesque streets. It is going through constant constructions, including buildings, roads, and even a light rail.

In the middle of the living room stands a model of a house. She, the architect, is working on a project of a house that is built part in the local Arabic style, and part modernist Bauhaus style, that was brought by the Zionist newcomers in the 1930’s. He, the playwright, inspired by his wife, is working on a play that is set in this model. The playwright’s play becomes the play within the play. It is an alternate history, in which the Arabs have won the war over the land, and are the majority ruling the area.

The house-model stands in the center of this work: Half Arabic oriental ruin, half European Bauhaus ruin, two parts which refuse to harmonically combine. The political and the personal mix and turn, while all the characters desperately search in art, life, and politics for a meaning, a solution, redemption, and an ending.

“Painted Floor, Mediterranean View” combines live video screening, as well as stage transitions between the macro and micro theatrical worlds. The theatrical space surrounds the house – an architectural model and a portable puppet booth with a flipping floor; which illustrates the idea of the turning table. The use of the screen refers also to the sitcom-like character of the play, which is inspired by contemporary American culture and television, highlighting the influence of these on the ways in which people in conflict zones conceive themselves and on their interactions. “Painted Floor, Mediterranean View” deals in a comic and reflective manner with contemporary Israeli social conflicts; while making an innovative and challenging use of puppetry. The play depicts something of the internal and constant conflict of life in Israel. It raises an in-depth and multi-layered discussion regarding questions of identity and belonging.

The show was developed with the support of the Israeli Lottery Council for Culture and Arts and The Rabinovich Fund. Among others, the show was presented at The international Puppet Festival of the Karon Theater in Jerusalem, at Welser Figgurentheatre Festival in Wels, Austria, and at the Hahanut Theatre, in Tel Aviv. The show was also part of the Isradrama 2021 event: an International exposure of Israeli Theater.

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