Small Bama 2008

The Faculty of the Arts in Tel Aviv University is holding an annual fringe festival at the beginning of the academic year. It’s been running this week since Sunday, and today (Thursday) is the last day of the festival, titled Small Bama (Small Stage).

The festival is mainly about short student plays, but you can also catch there some video art and poetry readings as well.

It’s happening every night this week, in the Mexico building inside Tel Aviv University, between 6pm to 11pm. The program is repeating itself each night — so it’s possible to experience the entire festival in one evening. As I’ve said, today’s the last evening of the festival, so you’ve still got a chance to enjoy it.

I was there yesterday, and truly enjoyed myself.

First I went to watch the play “Bird Man”, and I have to say I’m very ambivalent about it. The concept is interesting, and there were some very good moments, but overall the acting was bad and the plot too bizarre. Now I know bizarre is what they meant, but it wasn’t good bizarre.

Then I experienced the powerful “She” and the lovely “Three Different Silences” one after the other. They were both magnificent. Reut Berda displays a very powerful performance in “She”, while “Three Different Silences” is a wonderful allegory on the Banality of Evil.

For dessert, I strolled around the building to find the “Stage Fear” performers. Now, these monologues are not for the faint-hearted! In each corner of the building another actress is awaiting you behind a black curtain. One by one, each ticket holder is entering the black curtain alone, for a private and intimate performance which takes between 3 to 5 minutes. Who’s more anxious, the actress or the spectator?! — it’s hard to tell. One thing’s for sure, if you go to the festival, “Stage Fear” is an absolute must. Personally, I found the “Song” scene to be the most powerful.

Next year I would like to see men participating as well in the next “Stage Fear” — this would take the concept of stage fear and embarrassment to whole new levels.