In this play by the contemporary Israeli playwright Hadar Galron, the mikveh – the ritual bath in which religious Jewish women go to purify themselves – becomes an arena of clashing approaches to religion and life. Shira comes to work as a bath attendant in a mikveh in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood and gradually comes to know the fates of the local women – dramas everyone knows about yet dares not speak of. In her endeavour to help, the emphatic but energetic Shira runs up against a barrier of religious rules and human prejudice. The female community, for years welded together around the conservative veteran attendant Shosana, initially refuses to take notice of Shira, rejects the new view and solutions offered, yet by the time of the dramatic conclusion the women have attempted to resist the binding regulations of their community. Against the background of the traditional Jewish ritual, this contemporary play highlights the theme of women’s position in society, the Orthodox community’s relationship to everyday life. Yet it primarily affords sterling opportunities for the actors to render psychologically rich characters and their dramatic fates.
Drama in czech language.
Photo: Bohdan Holomíček
Approximate running time, including intermission: 2 hours, 50 minutes, one 20-minute intermission