LGBT-focused play to represent Israel in Romanian theater festival

Despite setbacks and hateful comments emanating from the Israeli Knesset, the play "Et She'ahava Nafshi" tackles conversion therapy and journeys to the esteemed Sibiu festival, showcasing support and acceptance for the LGBT community

Yoav Birenberg|
In the midst of challenging times, the gay community in Israel faces an arduous journey. Dishearteningly, today in the Knesset, the bill to outlaw conversion therapy was discarded by the Torah Judaism faction. Adding fuel to the fire, MK Yitzhak Pindrus, also from Torah Judaism, unleashed a vehement attack on the LGBT community, dubbing it "more dangerous for the State of Israel than ISIS, Hezbollah, and Hamas."
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Remarkably, on this very day, the visionary minds and talented actors behind the powerful play "Et She'ahava Nafshi," ("That which my soul desired") which delves into the realm of conversion therapy, embarked on a significant mission to represent Israel at a prestigious theater festival in the city of Sibiu, Romania, known for its Germanic architecture.
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מתוך ההצגה "את שאהבה נפשי"
מתוך ההצגה "את שאהבה נפשי"
A scene from the play
(Photo: Or Danon. Habima)
It's easy to be captivated by the poignant narrative of the play, written by Yedioth Ahronoth journalist Itay Segal. With its remarkable journey nearing the milestone of 150 performances, it unveils the compelling tale of Yonatan, a devout young man wounded in the tragic 2009 shooting at an LGBT youth bar in Tel Aviv.
Unveiling a deeply moving exploration of family dynamics, Yonatan's newfound revelation surfaces at the hospital, triggering his family's demand for conversion therapy. With a stellar cast including Orly Silbersatz as the devoted mother, Yigal Sade as the father, and the exceptional talents of Avraham Arneson, Din Gelman, and Naya Binstock, who embody the characters of passionate lovers and Yonatan's girlfriend, this theatrical gem delves into the depths of human emotion and resilience.
"In light of the prevailing stance adopted by members of the Israeli government, it is crucial for us to present the play at this prestigious international festival as a firm show of support for the LGBT community," emphasized Moshe Captain, the play's director and the artistic director of the National Theater.
2 View gallery
מתוך ההצגה "את שאהבה נפשי"
מתוך ההצגה "את שאהבה נפשי"
(Photo: Or Danon, Habima)
"In these very days, when public figures in the Israeli Knesset are spouting baseless rhetoric against the LGBT community, the National Theater will respond with even greater determination, amplifying the voices and pleas of those who demand inclusion. We take immense pride in inaugurating the Sibiu International Festival.
Our play 'Et She'ahava Nafshi' delves into the psychological ramifications of conversion therapies and highlights the grave dangers they pose. Every individual deserves respect, regardless of their identity, and it would behoove those who promote hatred and disdain for the LGBT community to heed one of the fundamental commandments - to love thy neighbor."
The play is set to debut in the Sibiu Festival on Friday, featuring the participation of some Romanian government officials.
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