Saturday, December 15, 2007

My 15 Minutes of [Israeli] Fame

A week ago, on Friday, I was prominently featured in an article about Israel's growing exports of culture that appeared in Yedioth Ahronot, a daily newspaper.

I told my friend, playwright Shmuel Hasfari, that I was disappointed it wasn't in Haaretz, the liberal paper I read daily online, but he laughed and said "are you crazy?, Yediot Ahronot is the largest paper in Israel, that everyone reads it, so I should be very pleased." In fact, with a circulation of about 600,000, I learned that about 2 out of 3 newspaper readers in Israel read it.

Because it's in Hebrew, and my reading skills are a bit spotty, I can't understand everything in the piece, nor every quote from me. But there is a top of the page headline quote that roughtly translates as:

"Richard Stein, American theatre producer & director comments: 'I want to direct and produce more Israeli plays. If I found here an Israeli Neil Simon, who writes comedies that don't address the political and social life of Israelis, I wouldn't direct that. But something in Israeli theatre that exposes Americans to the Israeli way of life and gives us a perspective
than we don't get in America, that's what I'd like to see communicated.'"

And there's another two paragraphs of the reporter's conversation with me, citing my American premiere production of Hasfari's "The Master of the House" last spring.

So, I guess, for 15 minutes, I was the best known American stage director in Israel!

Until next time...


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