August Wilson Center
North American Premiere – Part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts
Country of Origin: Israel
We are taught to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but in this tunnel, if there’s light at the end – you’ll need a gun to find it. Direct from Israel, the acclaimed Gesher Theater brings their stunning new production In The Tunnel to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Hailed by the Israeli press as, “An extraordinary production. Stunning for right and left, Arabs and Jews, natives and immigrants, soldiers and civilians, religious and secular.”
This gripping dark comedy finds two Israeli soldiers face to face with two Palestinians trapped in an underground tunnel. Enemies in a mousetrap they must confront their greatest fears in order to escape; will they kill or save each other? While life and death are at stake underground, on the streets above them a TV morning show is running live, playing out the customary political carnival. Featuring make-up segments and smoothie recipes plays like a farce in this war torn city. What is the media’s role when a country is constantly in conflict? Should they create an absurdly lighthearted background to help us escape our violent reality? And what happens when one newsreader decides to become a hard-hitting journalist on Live TV? In The Tunnel asks us to consider how the ongoing conflict in Israel reflects our deepest sense of right and wrong. We must answer for ourselves, “Is there light at the end of the tunnel?”
In The Tunnel is performed in Hebrew with English supertitles projected above the stage.
A note from the Festival Programming Team:
Polarizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first to identify the danger inherent in the tunnels being dug by Hamas from Gaza into Israeli territory. Playwright Roee Chen, director Irad Rubinstein, and the artists at the Gesher Theater are the first to exploit the tunnel on stage as a powerful theatrical image for Israeli lives, as well as the basis for a theatrical happening that is masterful, absurd, infuriating, and (very) funny.
In The Tunnel is a stunning production that, once we saw it in Tel Aviv, we knew we had to bring to the Festival of Firsts. Not only is the story truly timely, but this is also a beautiful production that will look amazing on the stage of the August Wilson Center. The set features two levels- the lower level a recreation of one of the real tunnels running under the Israeli border; The upper level a high tech morning television studio.
The company’s name “Gesher” means “Bridge” and has come to be reflective of the work of this incredible group of theater artists who have been recognized for excellence around the world. The actors in this production are some of the best actors in the Middle East, and we are proud to be able to host them in our city.
Play by: Roee Chen
Inspired by: Danis Tanovic No Man’s Land
Directed by: Irad Rubinstein
Artistic Director: Yevgeny Arye
CEO: Lena Kreindlin
Set design: Michael Kramenko
Costumes: Oren Dar
Music: Roi Yarkoni
Light: Avi-Yona Bueno (Bambi)
Sound: Michael Vaysburd
Choreography: Amit Zamir
Assistant director (stage speech): Yonny Lucas
Assistant director: Yana Adamovski