The festival shows the adventure of 4-year-old Na Laga’at

The Na Laga’at Festival of Innovative Arts is an occasion to savor.

Granted, every festival by definition offers something to smile about, but this event, which starts on Tuesday and runs through Saturday night, celebrates the accomplishments and potential of members of our society who are frequently they consider themselves inferior or, at best, disadvantaged. .

The Na Laga’at Center in the port of Jaffa has been a thriving company since 2017, after almost two decades of itinerant existence. This week’s festival shows how far the company has progressed over the years with the program that includes seven theatrical and musical shows, a panel discussion, a craft fair featuring items made by people with physical disabilities, and even a workshop. of beer tasting. .

The latter and the closing show, featuring iconic rocker Shalom Hanoch, will be enjoyed by participants and audiences in the dark, offering a glimpse of what visually impaired people experience every day of their lives. Hanoch’s appearance at the festival is a clear indication of the esteem in which the cultural community as a whole holds the non-profit organization.

The festival’s opening date was chosen to coincide with the International Day of Tolerance, and organizers say the multidisciplinary cultural event “invites the public to experience culture, from people with visual and hearing disabilities, in a non-routine way.” .

Annalynne McCord, Holly Robinson Peete in Na Lagaat 185 (credit: America’s Voices for Israel)

The Curtain (November 16, 8:30 pm) is a particularly emotional play called Ad Sheyikateff Hatapuach (Until the Apple Is Picked), written by Yosefa Even Shoshan and Emmanuel Pinto. The story follows the trials and tribulations, as well as the joys and revelations of a mother and daughter who are separated under difficult circumstances, but each finds their individual path in life.

There are many left field presentations, on pertinent topics, throughout the five-day agenda. The visually impaired comedian Gaston Druger’s stand-up show, appropriately named Not In Focus, will be performed in complete darkness, and the Begova Einayim Shaveh (All Other Levels) replay theater show will tackle themes as poignant as the outcasts of our environment. and defiant institutions that try to belittle those they consider different from the norm. The play company includes actors who see, the visually impaired, and the blind.

The monodrama Tagidee Tapuz (Say Orange), by deaf and blind actress Batsheva Malka Bar-Natan, raises a series of existential questions. The performance will be followed by a panel session with actors and directors who will discuss topics such as theater arts, deafness, blindness, motherhood, and success.

And if you’re feeling a bit thirsty midway through, the beer workshop, taking place on Friday and Saturday, will enlighten participants over a host of alcohol-related areas and feature beer tasting in total darkness. Health.

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