American actress Olympia Dukakis on Thursday arrived in Israel as a guest of the annual international theatre festival held at the Cameri Theatre. Dukakis will perform "Rose" - a one-woman play by Martin Sherman.
"Rose" is a monologue of a Jewish Holocaust survivor, who lost her daughter in World War II and sits shiva for a Palestinian girl who was shot by her grandson.
Olympia Dukakis, performing Jewish heritage on stage (Photo: MCT)
Speaking at a Tel Aviv press conference, Dukakis said she is curious to see the Israeli audience's reaction to the play, and its unique brand of humor. She said that while people tend to connect more easily to loss and grief, humor is dependent on culture.
Dukakis also spoke about the connection between the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that the heroine's choice to mourn the death of the Palestinian girl is a source of deep emotional jolt for herself and her grandson, who had shot the girl. The death is paralleled by the death of Rose's daughter during the war. Through this death, Rose revisits her own past.
Dukakis said that the American audience received the play with ambivalence. She had been interrupted during performances and was called an anti-Semite. However, other people tried to listen and really understand the story, she said.
Olympia Dukakis, born in 1931, is an Academy Award winning actress for her role in the 1987 film "Moonstruck". She appeared in many films including "Steel Magnolias", "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "Jane Austen's Mafia".