A BIT ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE STUDIES
The Department of Theatre Studies at the Hebrew University is one of the oldest Theatre departments in Israel. It is distinguished by its integration of experiential and theoretical knowledge, and directed by a dialogical world-view. Studies within the department enable the development of creative thinking, a sense of community, and an examination of the world through tools of the performing arts.
The Theatre Department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded in 1971 at the initiative of Professor Arie Sachs (1932-1992), a lecturer at the University’s English department, poet and translator, as well as a legendary artist in the Jerusalem theatre community. Professor Sachs’ activity as a director began with plays he directed in the English department, in which the department’s faculty and students participated as actors. The success of the plays he directed – “Alice in Wonderland” (1967); “Everyman” (1969) – paved the way for the establishment of a theatre department.
Studies in the Department include theoretical classes on the history and theory of theatre, drama, and performance taught by leading researchers in the field. These courses offer a wide theoretical and historical background while equipping students with critical tools for understanding and analyzing works of theatre. Some of these theoretical classes are held in the library’s Media Department, which offers a rich and diverse collection of documentary and feature films on an array of topics. The Israel Goor Theatre Archives and Museum is also available, and often used, for student research on Israeli and Jewish theatre.
Practical workshops and laboratory classes are an important part of the Department’s curriculum. These classes are held in the special spaces belonging to the department: the ‘Garage Theatre’, where many of our productions are performed, as well as the ‘Mirror Room’. The artist-teachers of the workshops are among the most promising and successful fringe artists in Israeli theatre. At the end of each semester, productions developed in the Department’s workshops, and other student activities, are staged in the ‘Garage Theatre.’ The department encourages student initiatives and offers artistic guidance for students’ wishing to work on original theatrical performances.
Being an integral part of the Faculty of Humanities and the School of Arts, the Theatre Studies department encourages students to attend classes offered by other departments. This significantly broadens students’ intellectual horizons.