Creativity is the answer · Getting involved · Living in Otef Azza · Nofei Habsor · Theatre · Youth Making a Difference

Judih speaks to Dor Nahum about the Mustache Theatre, 2012!

The Mustache Theatre!


Eshkol Council Youth Theatre has done it again!

“The Newspaper” (העיתון) is this year’s play. I spoke to Dor Nahum, a member of the Mustache Theatre about the play.


Judih: Hi Dor. Could you introduce yourself?

Dor:: My name is Dor Nahum. I’m 16 1/2 years old. I live in Moshav Eshelim ( in the area of Ramat Negev or Nitzana. My hobbies: I love photography, and bike-riding in the area and, of course, sleeping.

J: Tell me about The Mustache Theatre – (Teatron haSafam) – what is it, how long has it been active?

D: The Mustache Theatre has been active for quite a while – more than a decade. The theatre is for teenagers from Grade 8 till 12. It’s a theatre group for people who love theatre. They come and participate in all kinds of acting exercises, acting, drama play, fooling around and just enjoying themselves. Of course, every so often, we perform a  play

J: Okay. Who are the professionals you work with?
D: We have a director, Yaacov Amsalem. He’s everything for us – our director, someone who makes us laugh, and organizes everything. There’s Arieh, in charge of our finances, and who arranges the logistics of where and when we perform, all the technical details.

J:What play did you do last year?
D: Last year’s play was I am Me, a play that I unfortunately wasn’t a part of.  But it was very successful

J: Where did you perform last year?

D: it was performed in the Bat Yam Theatre Festival, and won Honourable Mention. And this year, I’m in the play.

ImagePart II.

J: Tell me about your current play. How did it begin?

D: This year’s play is called The Newspaper. It’s a play that’s based on all the newspapers for youth – like Ma’ariv leNoar and others that deal with stories about and for teens – funny stories, stories about problems between teens and their parents who try to get close to them.

J: How did you begin work on the script?
D: We worked with a scriptwriter who watched us do warm-ups and exercises in our rehearsals. Then we went to books and took texts from there. If it was Meshkenat Tzedek or Ha Na’an Ve Aru (from India) from the Tea House from the book Cunchiat ha Kesem. (The Magic Shell)

We took all kinds of books and constructed the texts of the play.

J: Who was the scriptwriter?

D: I don’t remember the name. But he sat with Ya’acov our director and chose parts for everyone.

J: I see. Is there anything else you want to add about the process?

D: Actually it was a really short process – from the first read-through of the script till performance. We barely had to time to rehearse or run through the script. And after only 2 weeks, we already went to perform in Bat Yam, at the Festival.

J: Wow

D: And we got another Honourable Mention! From the Directors of the Festival and from the Critics.

J: Excellent.


Part 3

J: Do you have a monologue?  Can you tell me about it?

D: Yes, I have a part. I was Aru, the owner of the Indian Tea House. And I’d verbally abuse a young Indian. Young Indian, Tea House – everything must run perfectly. If within 3 minutes the tea doesn’t get to the client, well then he’ll go to another Tea House. So, all the time I tell him, go there, go over there. I played the “bad guy”.

J: Did you enjoy playing him?

Dor: Yes, but on the other hand no. When I walked around, half the girls came to me crying that I was a bad man, an evil man.

And I’d say, half-cynically,”Okay”….

J: Yes, how did it really feel.

D: It was weird. On one hand, it was wait a minute, I’m not really like that, but on the other hand it was great – it really made them feel something. One friend told me that if people in the audience yelled to me: “Stop getting him crazy, stop sending him from side to side”, then it really meant that you succeeded in being believable.

J: Yes, you really did it! And congratulations

D: Yes, and we performed here in the Eshkol Auditorium, we also managed to get the message across, very well! Rami (Zvilli, Jr. High Principal of Nofei Habsor) said to me that I can take over his job.

J: You succeeded to that extent! Good for you.

J: How did you prepare for your role as Aru?

D:.The truth is that I was myself, as a mean human being,  that I didn’t have to consider him or his needs, but only that he needs to work on schedule and I listened to the Director. Ya’acov gave me very clear directions, to emphasize things, to move in a certain way

J: Okay.  So you brought it from within yourself.

Dor: yes!


J: So tell me more about the play. Is it about the relationship between parents and their children?

D: Yes the whole story is about a couple who go to see the school counselor and he tells them about the problems at school, academic and social and how he doesn’t do anything. He asks where its coming from, if its due to circumstances at home, or some other place. And that the parents have to learn how to communicate. He gives then a paper ‘The Newspaper’ and there they read articles about how to relate to their son.

J: Were there parents who came to you and said that they related to the idea?

D: Yes, someone came up to the director and admitted that it was true

J: Excellent. No doubt there were others who felt the same.

J: Do you think the Mustache Theatre will be doing this play next year?

D: No every year we do a new play, with fresh ideas. If there’s a huge demand, then there’s a chance we would give another performance. It’s a really good play. We have another performance on June 15th at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

J: Okay, now speaking personally, what was your favourite part of the play?

D: To stand in front of the audience, to act, and to see that  they got the message, that they were really attentive and didn’t disrupt us.

Part 4: Future and other Comments
J: What are your plans for next year?

D: I plan to continue with the Mustache Theatre because I really enjoy it there, even though I live quite far. There’s a great atmosphere and the people really enjoy theatre. But even if someone doesn’t think they have a sense for theatre, they can still come. It’s free and whoever comes is welcome. Come, take a look, and if you enjoy it, stay!

J: so you love it!

Dor: I love it. It’s not the first time that I’m involved in theatre. Since the 8th grade I’ve been doing theatre, directing plays for the local council or in Ashkelon with a friend of mine, a scriptwriter, who asked me to direct his play,  That play was well received. We also performed it in Ashdod and we received a lot of good feedback.

Theatre is the one thing that I’d give anything for.

J: Do you see yourself working in theatre in the future?

Dor: Yes, as an actor, or a director.

J: Great. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Dor: I hope that people will see the play, that they’ll come because it’s fun. We laugh and enjoy ourselves. It’s for those with a theatrical sense and even for those who don’t! Come, take a look, and give it a try. It’s fun!

J: Where do you do your rehearsals?

D: For the plays, it’s in Moshav Amioz or in Nir Itzhak in the Little theatre. The workshop is on Mondays here at school (Nofei Habsor Comprehensive), from 4:30 – 6:30. And it’s worth coming.

J: Okay! Good luck to you, Dor.  Thanks so much for talking to me.

 Judih Speaks to Dor Nahum in Hebrew, on youtube!

Creativity is the answer · Living in Otef Azza · Theatre · Youth Making a Difference

Interview with “Tzeva Adom” Cast Member Ya’ara Messika!

Without further delay, but most probably with edits and an added photo of wonderful Ya’ara, I proudly present an interview with Ya’ara Messika, recently graduated student from Habsor Comprehensive High School, Eshkol Region.


Tzeva Adom! Ya'ara Messika
Tzeva Adom! Ya'ara Messika

Interview with Ya’ara Messika, member of The Moustache Theatre, Eshkol Community Youth Theatre, in the Western Negev.

We spoke about the Theatre and about the play ‘Tzeva Adom’.

Judih: Hi Ya’ara. Could you introduce yourself?

Ya’ara: My name is Ya’ara Messika. I’m 17 years old. I live in Pri-gal in the Negev. My main interests revolve around theatre. I also write poems and short stories for myself.

J: Tell me about The Mustache Theatre – (Teatron haSafam) – what is it, how long has it been active?

Y: It’s a community youth theatre and it’s about 7 years old. Each year, the kids decide what play they are going to produce. Then a writer comes and writes down our ideas and the stories that come up. Basically, the work is cooperative – the actors work with the writer.

J: Which professionals do you work with?
Y: a professional writer, a director and a choreographer. Our director is Ya’acov Amsalam, a very good actor and director.

J:What play did you do last year?
Y: We did “That’s How It Is” about families and family relationships.

J: Where did you perform last year?

Y: We performed at the Eshkol Municipal Hall and at a youth festival.

J: How does that compare to this year’s performances?
Y: This year we performed three times: at the Eshkol Hall, at the youth festival and a third performance for Ma’ale Habsor and Habsor High Schools. We have a fourth performance coming up on August 5th for the Military.

J: I know that some of your performers are out of the country, or some may be unavailable. How will you put on the show without them?

Y: Since the play is made up of short skits, if someone isn’t here, we can either replace him or her or simple leave out their segment.

J: Tell me about “Tzeva Adom”. How did it begin?

Y: Well, it’s a funny story. The very place we work in, a qassam fell, just about the week we had to decide on a new play.  And we moved to a shelter to continue our work temporarily. It was quite obvious that that was going to be what we were going to talk about. Because a lot of us had experience and  it seemed to be the best topic.

J: How did you begin work on the script?
Y: Improvisation – we did a lot of improvisation and took everything that came up, showed it on stage and then the group decided what would work best for the play.

J: Is there anything you want to add about the process?

Y: It’s a very communal process – we all work together and everyone gets a chance to speak his mind – no one gets left out. It ‘s like a family.

J: You had a monologue, Ya’ara. Can you tell me about it?

Y: Well, my monologue is about a mother talking about her son. My mother told me a story about a kid she taught, who had a qassam fall on his house . Well, he moved away and then a qassam fell on his new place. And he said that the qassams were after him. That sentence burned itself into my head and I turned it into a monologue about the parents and how they deal with kids, who don’t really know what’s going on.

J: How did you prepare for your role as the mother?

Y: It was easy for me to get into the character because the monologue is mine and I’m very connected to what was said. And my mother helped me a lot. Also I heard a lot from many other parents with small children, because everyone talks about it. People tend to talk a lot about kids when they talk about qassams because it’s a very tense topic. All this going on around me  helped me prepare.

J: Why did you wear white?

Y: It was a director’s decision. We all wore loose, comfortable clothes, because those clothes represent peace and calmness and the topic we’re talking about is war and anger. We wanted to make a dramatic contrast.

J: The costumes were red, black and white. Did you choose white for yourself?

Y: The director thought white was better for the character I was playing.

J: At a certain point in the play, the sound system wasn’t adequate and it was hot in the theatre. Some kids in the audience weren’t listening. Was that the 1st time that something like that happened while you were performing?

Y: Two years ago in the Bat Yam Festival, kids got up and threw a pencil sharpener and an eraser onto the stage! That happens with teenagers. They can lose patience if they can’t hear well or if the topic doesn’t interest them. Kids sometimes do stupid things on stage. That’s just how it is.

J: After the show, Aliza Ben Yehuda, technical advisor of the group and professional youth counselor, proposed opening up a dialogue between the actors and the audience. She asked for people to offer their responses to the show: if the topic spoke to them. When no one volunteered, she asked a few of the actors to offer their reactions to what they had performed. What did you think of that?

Y: I did not participate in that segment. I felt very offended. I think that when people don’t show respect for what is done on stage, they don’t deserve my respect. We were there for them. We weren’t paid, we were invited to perform for the schools. I didn’t think we should initiate a dialogue if they didn’t respect us.

I think it’s a good idea to have a dialogue but not with that kind of audience.

J: Was that the first time that Aliza had suggested the post-performance discussion?
Y: It was the first time. When we were in the festival, we didn’t have the time and in the other performance it wasn’t appropriate.

I think for the dialogue to work, people have to be prepared. You need to know who you’re talking to and what it is you want to say. It could work in the future.

J: What is Aliza’s role in the Theatre?

Y: Aliza is there almost all the time, she feeds the process. She takes care of us, she handles the technical stuff backstage and in rehearsal. She’s isn’t there to act as a counselor, she’s there strictly for the theatre.

J: Do you think the Mustache Theatre will be doing this play next year? Do you think it will still be relevant in the light of the current cease-fire?

Y: I hope so, it’s a very interesting topic. The play opens the eyes of people who don’t know what it’s really like. It gives them an idea, albeit a satiric view, but still it gives a good idea of what we’re living. Along with that, we live so far away and we’re only a community theatre, so I’m not sure how many opportunities we’ll get to perform ‘Tzeva Adom’.

J: What was your favourite part of the play?

Y: That’s hard, there were a lot of parts I really liked. I like the birthday party. It shows a real situation. It could really happen.

J: I loved the way the little girl was dressed (she was totally padded with a crash helmet). It was very comic. I wish there was a clip of that scene on youtube.

Y: There is a promo of the play up on Youtube. It gives an idea of the play.

J: Okay, I’ll include the link here.

J: What are your plans for next year?
Y: I’m going to do my Military Service, probably in the Intelligence Unit.

J: Okay! Good luck to you, Ya’ara. Thanks so much for talking to me.

Y: You’re welcome. I hope I’ve helped you.


Cast Member, Ya'ara Messika, "Tzeva Adom"
Cast Member, Ya'ara Messika, "Tzeva Adom"

july 20/08