Listening to ‘The Hearing’by Keren Goldberg | 28.03.16
Only a month ago, Renana Raz’s name appeared in the Foreign Agents in Culture campaign, published by Im Tirtzu Zionist movement to denounce cultural figures that support left wing.
This seems like the perfect timing to re-launch her recent show The Hearing, which focuses on the 2014 Adam Verta case. Verta, a young high school teacher for Jewish thought in ORT Kiryat Tivon, was threatened with dismissal after one of his female students sent a letter to the then Israeli Minister of Education, Shai Piron, complaining that Verta is an extreme leftist who is speaking against Israel and the IDF in class.
In the show, four actors sit around a conference table, listening through headphones to the recording of Verta’s hearing (which was held in front of an ORT committee) and repeat it simultaneously.
This is not the first time that Raz, a choreographer, dancer, singer and actress, is exploring issues of nationality. In her dance piece The Diplomats (2011) she gave various national anthems a personal interpretation through powerful and humorist choreography. But she is mainly known for the successful show YouMake ReMake, a unique format in which artists responds to YouTube clips.
In The Hearing, the actors respond to the recording with an automatic and immediate repetition, occasionally swapping roles. These formal devices create a mechanism of estrangement, depriving the viewers of any possible identification or empathy. Through this, Raz hopes to allow spectators a different view of the controversial case, and to encourage them not only to hear the hearing, but also to listen to it.
Actors: Renana Raz, Amitai Yaish Ben-Ozilio, Ofer Amram and Naomi Promovich.