First Jewish Theater Festival in Vienna

ORF online (Austrian Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation) (03/29/2007)

Bearing the title, “Tikun Olam,” there is currently a festival of international Jewish theater taking place for the first time. Artists from fifteen various countries are guests in Vienna.

Foundations for Dialogue
The seven day festival, organized by “Jewish Theater of Austria” and the “Association for Jewish Theater,” should provide the foundations for dialogue and peaceful exchange between Jews and non-Jews.

“We are pursuing the matter of what it means to be Jewish – to be Jewish in today’s world and in Vienna,” said the artistic director of the Jewish Theater of Austria, Warren Rosenzweig.

Rosenzweig characterized the program as refreshing and provocative and emphasized: “The primary function of Jewish theater is to show people outside the mainstream as having different experiences. We are revealing the motives behind being different.”

“Healing the Broken”
“Tikun Olam” means “healing that which is broken.” This very old call for a positive new beginning drawn from past experiences is a central wish of the Jewish Theater of Austria since its founding in 1999 and is symbolized in its logo by a broken pencil.

Fifteen Thousand Jewish Theaters Worldwide
There are fifteen thousand Jewish theaters throughout the entire world. In order to get to know the diversity of Jewish art of acting, one most generate discussion with those involved with Jewish theater.

This happens within the context of the “World Congress of Jewish Theater,” which took place for the first time outside of North America and for the first time partly open to everyone.

Rosenzweig: “We also want to share Vienna’s Jewish culture. The program is a kind of tour across the entire city of Vienna to a historical place. Many of the Jewish visitors are for the first or second or even last time in Vienna.”