The Hegemonic Ashkenaziness of Hebrew Theatre

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This article argues that Hebrew theatre is defined by a hegemonic Ashkenaziness that has been present from its beginning and which continues today. It identifies four main components of this hegemony, each of which is examined in turn. The first two components, Hebrew culture and Eurocentrism, are analyzed in relation to the repertoire of plays presented at such theatres as Habima, Ohel, and Cameri. This repertoire combines Yiddish plays and translations of European plays, while also reproducing Orientalist attitudes towards Mizrahi culture. The third component, privileged citizenship, centres on the privileges afforded to Ashkenazi artists and actors in the theatre when compared to Mizrahi actors, especially in terms of casting decisions. Finally, hegemonic Ashkenaziness is defined by membership of the middle class, which, in the theatre, leads to productions being targeted at an Ashkenazi audience and its cultural capital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-191
Number of pages15
JournalNew Theatre Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 29 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Cameri Theatre
  • Eurocentrism
  • Habima Theatre
  • Israeli theatre
  • Mizrahi
  • Ohel Theatre
  • Orientalism
  • privileged citizenship
  • whiteness


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