Two young women face each other at a checkpoint: the Israeli soldier Yael and the Palestinian nurse Amal. Yael lets Amal pass. A moment later, a suicide attack kills 30 people in a restaurant in Israel.
Who’s fault is it? Yael’s who let Amal pass the border even though she didn’t have a crossing permit? The cab driver who brought Amal to the restaurant? Israel’s occupation policy that lead to Amal’s father not receiving his life-supporting medicine and therefore died? The machismo in the Israeli army that put Yael under pressure not to let Amal pass the border when she wanted to get the medicine in Israel? Amal’s living conditions; like thousands of other Palestinians she grew up in a refugee camp?
The point of departure of God Waits at the Station is one of the most devastating terror attacks that were performed within Israeli territory by Palestinian terror organizations during the second Intifada (2000-2005). Terror attacks, and mainly suicide bombings, were the central expressions of that violent uprising. Israel responded to these attacks with "targeted killings" of terrorists, which then led to additional attacks, forming an endless cycle of revenge: attack-retaliation-attack. The second Intifada tore apart the Oslo Accords (1993) and led to an escalation which damaged the Israeli and Palestinian economies and took the lives of soldiers and civilians on both sides.
The Israeli playwright Maya Arad, born in 1976, wrote God waits at the Station in the context of the UTE project TERRORisms (2013 – 2015). The world premiere, directed by Shay Pitowski, was staged on 13 November 2014 at the Habima – National Theatre of Israel in Tel Aviv. The show held guest performances at the Comédie de Reims and at the TERRORisms festival at the Schauspiel Stuttgart in June 2015. In her play, Maya Arad puts the terrorist act of violence in relation to the circumstances of its origin, and to the monopoly of violence of the state that it’s directed against. The play looks at the victims of the suicide attack, and at the victims of the occupation policy. The dead are not charged up against each other but are equally mourned — as a prerequisite of acknowledging equal humanness.
The English and German translation text of God waits at the Station, as well as the original version in Hebrew, is available for free in the context of UTE’s TERRORisms eBook: more info.
The director Hannan Ishay was born in Israel in 1983, and studied directing at the Max Reinhardt Seminar. He developed the German world premiere at the Volkstheater in Vienna with acting students from his Alma Mater.
God waits at the Station
By Maya Arad
Directed by Hannan Ishay
Stage design/costumes Paul Lerchbaumer
Choreography Daniela Mühlbauer
Music Bernhard Eder
Dramaturgy by Veronika Maurer
Cast Jeanne-Marie Bertram, Winnie Ricarda Bistram, Markus Bernhard Börger, Enrique Fiß, Lena Kalisch, Michaela Saba, Luka Vlatkovic
German world premiere
Opening night: 10 October 2015, 8pm
At the Volx Margareten/Volkstheater Wien
Co-production of the Volkstheater and the Max Reinhardt Seminar
Additional performances: 11, 13, 14, 15 October 2015, 8pm
More info here
Pictures © by Yuval Shemesh
Download the theatreplay in English, German or Hebrew for free
Go to TERRORisms eBook