Habima Theatre

Tel Aviv, Israel

Habima Theatre


The Habima Theatre (Hebrew: 转讬讗讟专讜谉 讛讘讬诪讛 Te'atron HaBima, lit. "The Stage Theatre") is the national theatre of Israel and one of the first Hebrew language theatres. It is located in Habima Square in the center of Tel Aviv.

Habima was founded by Nahum Zemach in Bia艂ystok (then in Grodno Governorate, Russian Empire) in 1912. Menahem Gnessin was one of its cofounders and early actors. Because its performances were in Hebrew, invoked the Jewish folk tradition, and dealt with issues of the Jewish people, soon it was banned by Russian authorities, and the theatre troupe was forced to become a travelling one. Beginning in 1918, the theatre operated under the auspices of the Moscow Art Theatre, which some consider its actual beginning. It encountered difficulties under the Soviet government as well as after the Russian Revolution. Konstantin Stanislavsky arranged for the mainly Jewish Polish actors to be trained by Yevgeny Vakhtangov. The People's Commissar for Nationalities Affairs, Joseph Stalin, also authorized the theatre's creation. However, the Yevsektsiya attempted to use its influence to cut off state funds to Habima, branding it counter-revolutionary.

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