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The Polish Premiere of Mikveh in the Jewish Theatre

Cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Polish premiere of Mikveh, one of the finest Israeli theatrical plays by Hadar Garlon, takes place on 23 October 2020 in the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw, directed by Karolina Kirsz.

Mikveh is a story about women and their everyday problems and dilemmas connected with their functioning within a religious community. The drama is set in a mikve: a ritual bath where women perform their monthly ablutions.

Mikveh is a place where the spirit is manifested by corporeality. The body contains all emotions, hurts, abandonments, pains and passions. It is constantly controlled, although it constitutes a mere tool that is used to reveal our desires, unfulfillments or inner freedom. The internal independence, which may threaten a community, can only be controlled by controlling the body.

The drama’s protagonists are eight women at different ages and with various characters. Their problems, secrets and fears are set against a world that is becoming more and more radical, where the #metoo movement have not reached yet. The arrival of a new worker in the mikve triggers various reactions in the protagonists. Their behaviours, stories and confessions reveal their real selves. It turns out that each and single one of them has something to hide.

Mikveh is one of the best Israeli plays. It was written by Hadar Galron, a playwright, scriptwriter, director, actress and satirist born in 1970 into a religious Jewish family in London. When she was 13, her and her family left for Israel. During her theatre studies at the University of Tel-Aviv, she started performing and writing plays professionally. In 2005, Mikve, her first full-length play received Play of the Year award in Israel and soon after gained enormous popularity all over the world.

The play performed in the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw is directed by Karolina Kirsz: a theatrical director, playwright and author of radio plays and dramas. She has graduated from the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Arts in Warsaw’s Directing Department (2012) and the Department of Philosophy of the University of Wroclaw (2005). Kirsz cooperates with numerous theatres in Warsaw and the rest of Poland. The list of plays she has directed to date includes Tadeusz Różewicz’s Trap (Pułapka) in the Studio Theatre, Adam Rapp’s Red Light Winter in the Rampa Theatre, Marc Becker’s The Ends of the Word, Igor Bauersima’s 69, Radosław Paczocha’s Seducer (Uwodziciel) in the Powszechny Theatre, Dough Wright’s I Am My On Wife and All Quiet on the Western Front in Teatr WARsawy. She has already directed several plays in the Jewish Theatre as well: Touch the Water, Touch the Wind by Amos Oz, Them Alone (One same) (her own script) and Shosha by I. B. Singer. 

Authors: 

Written by HADAR GALRON

Translation DOROTA SIKORSKA

Directed by KAROLINA KIRSZ

Music JACEK MAZURKIEWICZ

Stage and costume design EWA ŁANIECKA

Lighting MONIKA SIDOR

Stage manager BEATA SZARADOWSKA

Cast: 

Michal – MONIKA CHRZĄSTOWSKA

Hadwa  - MAŁGORZATA MAJEWSKA

Tehila - SYLWIA NAJAH 

Eljeszewa - IZABELLA RZESZOWSKA 

Hindi - ALINA ŚWIDOWSKA

Esti - MAŁGORZATA TRYBALSKA

Szira – EWA TUCHOLSKA

Szoszana - ERNESTYNA WINNICKA