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Jewish Spaces in European Theatre

European Performing Arts Forum
Prague 14-16 June 2003

 

 

Participants' biographical notes


Pierre-Jérôme Adjedj (Strasbourg) is a writer, director and actor. He is the author of several short and medium-length screenplays. In 1994, he co-founded the theatre company Courants d'Ere, which performed at the theatre La Piscine in Châtenay-Malabry until 1997, when it moved to Strasbourg. His recent productions include Pinter and Pirandello plays, as well as new physical theatre plays 'La mélodie d'Anao' and 'La Chute des corps'. His most recent play 'La Pitié dangereuse', an adaptation of a novel by Stefan Zweig performed by Courants d'Ere, is currently on tour in France. The project was awarded a grant from the European Association for Jewish Culture in 2003. His latest play 'Lea(h)' has been written and directed in collaboration with Nina Gustaedt.

Krzysztof Czyzewski (Sejny, Poland) is a poet, essayist, translator and editor. He was one of the founders of the Gardzienice Theatre. In 1983 during the martial law in Poland, he established (with Rafal Grupinski) the underground periodical Czas Kultury, which is now among the most important cultural periodicals in Poland. In the mid-80s, he co-founded the Arka theatre and initiated the "Meeting Village" project in Czarna Dabrowka for alternative theatre. In 1991, he established the International Center Borderland of Cultures, Arts, Nations and became its director. The Centre is located in a small multicultural town Sejny, close to the Lithuanian border in a former synagogue and talmudic school buildings. The Borderlands Foundation and Centre projects include: the Central European Cultural Forum, the Borderland Culture Documentary Center, the Borderland School, The Memory of Ancient Times, flying Cafe Europe (an international literary group), Borderland Publishing House. In 1993, he became the editor-in-chief of the Krasnogruda magazine of literature and art. He is the recipient of the POLCUL Foundation Prize (Melbourne), the Stanislaw Wyspianski Prize for Young Artists (Warsaw), Gabor Bethlen Prize for a Men of Central Europe (Budapest 1998), Jerzy Giedroyc's Prize of "Male Berlo Kultury Polskiej" 1999; the Tygodnik Powszechny St. George's Order 2000 and the Prize of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2001.

Arnold Aronson (New York) is Professor of Theatre at Columbia University's School of the Arts. He is the author of American Avant-Garde Theatre: A History; Architect of Dreams: The Theatrical Vision of Joseph Urban; American Set Design; and The History and Theory of Environmental Scenography. His articles have appeared in such publications as the Cambridge History of American Theatre, Cambridge Companion to Chekhov, and the New York Times Book Review. He served as Chair of the Theatre Arts Division at Columbia (1991-1998), and prior to that he chaired the theatre departments at Hunter College and the University of Michigan.

Lida Engelova (Prague) is a well-known theatre director working in the Czech Republic and internationally. She is a graduate of the Prague Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1970, she trained with Peter Brook and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and London. She is the founder, with Zdenka Kratochvilova, of the Prague Pocket Theatre, which has been on tour in 15 countries. She has directed 100 theatre productions, many of which have been televised. Her work as director includes Kafka's 'The Trial', in London and St. Petersburg, and Josef Bar-Josef's 'Difficult People'.


Enrico Fink (Florence) is a singer, actor and theatre director. A former jazz musician, he has appeared with the Klezmer Klowns, and the Regional Orchestra of Toscana. His play, 'Patrilineare', premiered in 1998 and was brought out on CD under the title 'Lokshen'. In 2000, he translated and adapted the Yiddish classic by Izik Manger, 'Di Megile Lider'. The play, 'Purimshpil!', was performed at the Fiesole Summer festival and the Berlin Jewish Culture Festival. In 2001, Enrico starred in Moni Ovadia's 'Tevye Un Mir' which debuted in Palermo and was staged at Teatro Strehler in Milan (Ovadia's is one of Italy's acclaimed theatre companies, specializing in Jewish themes). In the same year, his new play, 'Lev (heart)' premiered at the Fabbrica Europa Festival in Florence. His play 'Yonah', commissioned by the European Association for Jewish Culture, includes melodies based on Italian Jewish liturgical tradition. After the premiere in 2002, the play toured several Italian theatres and is scheduled to tour Italy in the 2003/4 season. In 2002/3 Enrico toured again with Italy's first production of 'Fiddler on the Roof' produced by Moni Ovadia's company. In between breaks, Enrico is completing the recordings for a new CD for Materiali Sonori with the provisional title of 'the Jazz Singer's Return to Faith', focusing on musical elaborations on Jewish liturgical melodies, especially of Italian tradition.

András Forgách (Budapest) is a freelance writer, translator and graphic artist. He studied history and philosophy at the ELTE University, Budapest. He has been literary manager in several theatres, including Kecskeméti Katona Jósef Theatre, Népszínhás, and the National Theatre. Between 1995 and 1997 he regularly had his work shown in the Új Theatre and the Budapest Chamber Theatre. He has written several books including 'Vicious Success' (essays) in 2000 and 'Who Isn't?' (a novel) in 1999. In addition to many plays, he wrote the screenplay for the film 'The Long Twilight' which won 12 prizes. The most recent of his plays that have been published and performed are 'The Gold Dragon' based on the novel of Dezso Kosztolányi, premiered at the Sopron Theatre in 2003, and 'The Song of the Skunk', based on 'The monument of Boris Davidovic' by Danilo Kis, shown at Stúdió K. He has translated numerous plays by writers such as Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Jean Genet, and Joe Orton. He has been awarded many prizes including the 1992 Critics Prize (for Vitellius), 2000 Erno Szep Prize, 2002 Juliea Szinnyei Prize.

Itzik Galili (Groningen, Netherlands) made his debut as a choreographer in 1990, and by now has 39 choreographies to his name. Galili's work is characterized by a combination of extremes. On the one hand, the performances are abstract, acrobatic and spectacular, on the other associative, intimate and poetic. Since November 1998, Itzik Galili has been artistic director of the Dance Company of the Northern Netherlands, based in Groningen. His recent choreographies include 'Things I told nobody' for the Galili Dance - Ginko company, shown at De Harmonie, Leeuwarden; 'B-Side' for the Ginko Company, shown at the Julidans Festival in Amsterdam, and 'Blue Grass' for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo.

Arnost Goldflam (Brno/Prague) is a playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. He studied direction at the Janácek Academy of Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno. He was a prominent figure at the Brno studio company HaDivadlo from the mid-1970s, where he remained for twenty years. His work comprises over 20 original plays and adaptations of works by Kafka, Werfel, Placek and others. His plays include 'Agathamania', 'Sand', 'Horror', 'Fragments of an Unfinished Novel' and 'Day of Love'. Goldflam's plays reflect the lot of the ordinary man. 'Sweet Theresienstadt', a play set in the Theresienstadt ghetto and based on the unpublished diary of Willy Mahler, was staged in 1996 at the Archa Theatre as part of an international theatre project. In 2002, Goldflam was appointed artistic director of Klicpera Theatre in Hradce Králové. His play 'They will be called out by name' was listed among the five best plays at Prix Italia 1999 and received Prix Bohemia in the same year.

Marianne Goldman (Stockholm) is a playwright who also writes screenplays. She has written 15 plays and scripts and 10 of them have been produced all over Scandinavia. The best known of her plays 'Bald Women on a Balcony' (1995) has had six different productions. One specific aspect of her work is the focus on Jewish characters and motives in a modern Swedish setting. Her writing was a driving force behind a new wave of Jewish stage art in Sweden. The film 'Freud Moves Away from Home' (1990) tells the story of a young Jewish woman, her relationship to her family, and especially her mother, who is dying of cancer. It received several international awards, and has been shown as a lead film at a number of Jewish film festivals around the world. The play 'The Day of Atonement' was first performed 1998 at the Jewish Theatre in Stockholm and provoked intense debates among the Jewish audience. She has just finished the first draft of her new play, 'Nights with Family Cohen', commissioned by the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. It takes place during the 70s-90s in Sweden, and follows a Jewish family during these decades.

Michael Goldstrom (Berlin-New York) is an actor and theatre director. He trained at the Juilliard School of Acting and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His recent work 'The Lost Battalion: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' received three Emmy Awards. His new project, commissioned by the European Association for Jewish Culture, 'AdlerFantasia' is a musical comedy about the life and work of the Yiddish actor, Jacob Adler. The premiere will take place at the National Theatre in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Ruth Ellen Gruber (Morre, Italy and Budapest) is an American writer, photographer and journalist living in Europe. She has published and lectured widely on contemporary Jewish issues. Her most recent book 'Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe' (University of California Press, 2002) explores non-Jewish interest in Jewish culture in Europe. Her other books include 'Upon the Doorposts of Thy House: Jewish Life in East-Central Europe, Yesterday and Today' and 'Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to East-Central Europe'. She co-edited the recent Italian volume '1990-2000': Ebrei europi dieci anni dopo la fine del socialismo reale'.

She was a foreign correspondent with UPI for over a decade in Rome, Brussels, London, Belgrade, Warsaw and Vienna. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Business Week, The International Herald Tribune and Ha'aretz. She serves as senior Europe correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and has received two Simon Rockower awards for excellence in Jewish journalism. She is the author of several monographs, including 'Filling the Jewish Space in Europe'.

Deborah Gzesh (Vienna) was born in Chicago, and has trained and worked in the performing arts all her life. She attended New York University School of the Arts, Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and received her Bachelors degree in Theatre Arts from Hunter College, City University of New York. From 1975-1986 she worked as a dancer and actress during studies in Chicago and New York. Together with her Austrian musician husband, she toured the former USSR as a singer at numerous jazz festivals, and in 1989 joined the Serapions Theatre Ensemble in Vienna, remaining there for twelve years, performing and touring Europe and Israel. Most recently she created and performed 'AriirA', a children's theatre piece in Vienna. She is currently working on a project of a Jewish cultural festival in Vienna.

Eva Hoffman (London) grew up in Krakow, Poland. After emigrating to Canada in her teens, she went on to study in the United States and received a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Harvard University. Subsequently, she worked as senior editor and writer on several sections of the New York Times, serving for a while as one of its regular literary critics. She has also taught literature and creative writing at various universities in the US. and Britain. She is the author of 'Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language', 'Exit Into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe', 'Shtetl: The History of a Small Town and an Extinguished World'. Her first novel, 'The Secret', was published in 2001.

Eva Hoffman's work has been translated into several languages and she has received numerous grants and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Whiting Award for Writing. She has written and lectured widely in America, Britain and other European countries on cultural and social issues. She holds a regular appointment as Visiting Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at MIT.

Lance Horne (New York) is currently pursuing his DMA in Composition at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He holds a BA and a Masters degree from Juilliard. Currently on the theory faculty at New York University, he also teaches at Counterpoint at Schola Cantorum, Paris since 2001. His works have been performed at Joe's Pub, Lincoln Center's American Songbook, Broadway's New Amsterdam Theater, Sesame Street at the Lincoln Center Tree Lighting, and the final service at Ground Zero. Music-Theatre works include 'The Tell-Tale Heart' with Mark Campbell and 'Songs for Mr. Sister' with Kate Rigg. His residences and awards include: New Lyric Festival, NMTC O'Neill Center, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts/ARTS, ASCAP Grants to Young Composers. He has produced numerous recordings including: 'All Together' Philip Littell, lyrics, New York Concert Singers 'A Season's Promise' on New World Records, 2001. Lance Horne composed the music for 'AdlerFantasia', a play by Michael Goldstrom, which was awarded a grant by the European Association for Jewish Culture in 2003.

Pamela Howard (London) is a scenographer, director, writer, educator, exhibition curator and international producer creating theatre events in many countries and languages. She was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus fellowship in 1999 to write 'What is Scenography?' (Routledge UK/USA, 2001). She was the creator (co-adaptor, director and designer) of 'La Celestina' (by Fernando de Rojas, 1492) at the Hopkins Center USA, 2002. Her recent works include; site specific designer 'The Government Inspector' Los Angeles USA, 2002. Creator/director 'ScenOmanifestO!' Rex Cinema, Belgrade, 2002. She was the designer for 'Victory' (Howard Barker) for Theatre Wspolczesny, Wroclaw for the International Festival 2003 and the designer for 'Crossing Jerusalem', Tricycle Theatre, London, 2003. She is director and designer of 'The Greek Passion' (Martinu) for the Northern State Opera, Thessaloniki as part of the Greek Cultural Olympics 2004.

In 1999, she produced Opera Transatlántica's 'Concierto Barroco' for the London International Festival of Theatre, and in 2001 co-created a new production 'Rondo Adafina' for production in London and Caracas 2002/3 for the company. She has been curator of two major international exhibitions, 'Frantisek Zelenka: Stage Designer 1904-1944' shown in London and the 'Ralph Koltai Retrospective', London and South-East Asia.

Helena Kaut-Howson (London) was born in Poland and trained as a director at the Polish State Theatre School and later at RADA in London. She has worked extensively in UK, Israel, Canada, Republic of Ireland, USA, Japan and Poland. From 1992 to 1995, she was Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd, Wales, where her productions included the award winning 'The Devils', 'Full Moon', 'All's Well that Ends Well', 'Jane Eyre', 'A Doll's House' and 'Macbeth'. In 1994, she received the Peter Brook Open Space Award for an outstanding body of work at Theatr Clwyd. From 1998 to 2000 she took over the artistic leadership of the Edinburgh based Communicado Theatre. Her recent productions include a television version of 'The Keep' (BBC Wales),'Hindle Wakes', 'Much Ado About Nothing', 'Mrs Warren's Profession, 'Taming of the Shrew', 'Marriage of Figaro' and 'Yerma' all at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, 'Major Barbara' at the Shaw Festival, Canada, 'La Duena' at Opera North, 'Sweet Bird of Youth' and 'Goldfaden Dream' in Israel, 'King Lear' at the Young Vic and Tokyo Globe, and 'Victory' at the Wroclawski Teatr Wspolczesny, Poland. She is currently involved in the production of Eva Hoffman's play 'The Ceremony - Anatomy of a Massacre'.

Irena Kraus (Stockholm) is a playwright and dramaturg. She was educated at the Dramatic Institute in Stockholm, where she studied playwriting and drama. Since then she has been working as a playwright and a dramaturg. She has collaborated on several productions with the choreographer and director Mats Ek at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. Irena Kraus has been writing plays for children, radio plays and musicals. She is currently working on a musical. While she does not think of herself as a Jewish writer, many of her plays have a strong Jewish theme. Her plays have been produced at several theatres in Sweden such as Riksteatern, Kronobergsteatern, Norrbottensteatern and Västmanlands Länsteater. They include 'The unneeded talents theatre' (the musical), 'A totally ordinary family' (a radio play), 'Ciao Bella' (a play for children). Her new musical will be produced next year at Stockholm's Stadsteater.

Jonathan Metzger (Stockholm) is a playwright and director for the theatre and film. He has written a number of plays on contemporary Jewish issues such as 'Kusiner' (Cousins), about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the main plot focuses on a Swedish tabloid-journalist who travels to Israel to investigate the death of a young couple, an Israeli boy and Palestinian girl, who were killed in a bus-bomb. 'Men i framtiden då?' (But what about the future?) centres on the complicated relationship between a young Jewish man, who wrestles with the question of the importance of his Jewish heritage in his life, and a non-Jewish woman.

Jonathan's first full-length feature film, the comedy 'Livet i Bitar' (Bit by Bit) opened nationally in Swedish cinemas in September 2002. The film's main character 'J' is a young Jewish video-game fanatic whose goal in life, to win the Nintendo video-game World Championship, is hampered by his insane Jewish family.

Ari Benjamin Meyers (Berlin) was born in New York. He studied piano, conducting, and composition at the Juilliard School, the Tanglewood Institute, Yale University, Peabody Conservatory. His teachers have included Martin Bresnick and Leonard Bernstein. He first came to Germany to work at the Bayerische Staatsoper. In 1998 he founded Ensemble Weill for the performance of works by Kurt Weill and modern chamber opera. Since 1999, he has been a freelance composer and conductor. For the world premiere of his opera 'Defendants Rosenberg' (Theater der Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg), he received an ASCAP Young Composer Award and the Margaret Jory Award of the American Music Center. Productions as musical director include: 'Einstein on the Beach' (Labor für angewandte Musik), 'Fluten' (Theater am Hallesches Ufer), 'Thoratorium' (Den Anden Oper Copenhagen), 'In C' (Das ABM-Konzept), and the upcoming production of 'Die Dreigroschenoper' (Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin).

His works have been performed in the U.S. and Europe and commissions include: Staatskapelle Berlin, Figura Ensemble, Euregio Musik Festspiele, Harry White (Rascher Saxophone Quartet). He has composed the music for numerous stage productions including 'Nico: Sphinx aus Eis' by Werner Fritsch and most recently for the Staatstheater Dramstadt production of 'Macbeth'. His newest music/theatre piece 'Hure' was given its first workshop production at Kampnagel Hamburg. He has been commissioned to write pieces for the opening of the Jewish Museum Berlin, the re-dedication of the Rykestrasse Synagoge, and for the Ehemalige Jüdisches Waisenhaus Berlin. Ari also performs in various rock bands.

Daniele Neumann (Paris) is the author of childrens' books as well as a series of animation films 'Tilion' screened in France, Italy and Canada. She is the co-author with Olivia Marcowicz of the play 'Le Rêve Prochain à Jérusalem' (Next dream in Jerusalem), which was performed in France and Israel. A translator of essays and science fiction, she is also editor of art books. Daniele has also collaborated on the screenplay for 'Anita Conti, femme océan' for French TV. She is currently working on a musical theatre project with the Romanian composer Ionel Petrol. For the last five years she has been working at the Alliance Israélite Universelle dealing with media, external relations and art publishing. Jointly with Jean-Jacques Wahl, she has been in charge of the Paris office of the European Association for Jewish Culture since its establishment.

Julia Pascal (London) is a playwright, director and a frequent contributor to the Guardian, Jewish Chronicle, New Statesman and BBC Radio. Her recent productions include 'The Yiddish Queen Lear' (Bridewell Theatre, London 2001) and 'Woman on the Moon' (The Arcola Theatre, London 2001), both of which were published by Oberon Books. 'The Holocaust Trilogy' (Oberon) was published in 2000. Winner of the BBC's Alfred Bradley Award, Pascal was the theatre events director for the JC Festival of Jewish Arts & Culture 2001. Her latest play, 'Crossing Jerusalem', exploring the relationship between Jews, Israelis and Palestinians as played out by the intersecting lives of three families, was commissioned and supported by a grant from the European Association for Jewish Culture. It premiered at The Tricycle Theatre, London in 2003.

Vittorio Pavoncello (Rome) studied at the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatico Silvio D'Amico and the Accademia d'arte Drammatica P. Sharoff.
In 1986, he founded the Kavvana Jewish Art Theatre. He has written and directed numerous plays, 'Eight stories for Channuka + One for Shammash, at Teatro Temple, 'Der Dybbuk' for Teatro Tor di Nona and more recently 'Mercy-killing of a Memory' at the Teatro Flaiano, Rome, performed on Holocaust Day 2002 and in Ancona in 2003. In 2003, he was awarded the 1st prize by the Accademia Internationale Sant'Agostino, Rome for his play 'The chameleon's garden'. He has also directed ballet and opera. He is currently working on two new plays, 'Couple and Couple' for Teatro Dei Coronari and '1 mask for 1 tragedy' for Teatro Belli. Pavoncello is also a visual artist whose exhibitions include 'Exodus' in 2002 and 'Words of the Bible and the Invisible Cities' in 2003, as well as earlier works exhibited at the Jewish Museum in Florence and Rome.

Diana Pinto (Paris) is an intellectual historian and writer. The daughter of Italian Jewish parents, educated in the United States and a resident of France, she is equally at home in all three cultures. She is a graduate of Harvard University where she also obtained her PhD in Contemporary European History. She has written widely on transatlantic issues and on French and Italian politics. She is the author of 'Contemporary Italian Sociology' (1981) and 'Entre deux mondes' (1991). After the fall of the Berlin Wall, she was editor in chief of France's first pan-European review for a general public, Belvedere. She subsequently served as a Consultant to the Political Directorate of the Council of Europe for its civil society programmes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Dr. Pinto's interest in European Jewry stemmed from her reflections on the new pluralist challenges Europe will confront in the years ahead. She has written widely on the new Jewish presence across Europe and has just completed a book, 'The Wager: Reconciling Europe and the Jewish world'. Her current interests lie in the strengthening of ties between Europe's and Israel's 'other Jewish voices' and in the strengthening of Europe's Jewish spaces particularly via its Jewish museums.

Yvonne Rock (Stockholm) was one of the creators of Västanå Theater in Värmland, a regional theatre, where she was a producer and administrative director for 15 years. She co-founded the Jewish Theatre of Stockholm, Sweden, where she produced 10 shows.
More recently, she has been a freelance producer, involved in various projects such as the Sami Theatre in Sweden, the international theatre festival in Värmland, and other theatres from all over the world. In 2000, she produced the Cultural Inauguration programme of the Stockholm Holocaust conference, hosted by Swedish Prime Minister. She was project leader for the Terezin Initiative in Sweden, a joint project with Prague/Terezin, which has now been adopted by the Swedish Commissioner in Brussels, to become a European project from 2003 onwards. In 2003, she created and produced a new play 'Dot Com' at the Stockholm Stadsteater based on ideas generated at 15 discussion meetings, which she moderated. Since 2002, she has also been working as a consultant for Karlstads University, planning a new masters programme in Arts and Management. Yvonne is the project leader for a conference in Karlstad to be held in November 2003 about culture in the future. She is also a teacher and mentor for young producers.

Pia Rosenbaum (Copenhagen) is an actor, writer and director for theatre, television, and film. She graduated in acting from the Theatre school of Copenhagen. For the last 25 years she played in classical repertoire and in musicals: Moliere, Shaw, Albee, Pinter, Strindberg, Shakespeare as well as 'Fiddler on the Roof', 'Candide', 'Beggar's Opera', and 'Man of La Mancha'. Pia has been a director since 1996 and is the Vice-chair of the Danish Directors Guild. She has toured Denmark with a solo show and her most recent theatre role was in 'Millenium Rose' by Martin Sherman. Her latest film work was in 'A Christmas Calendar', shot in the Caribbean and due to be released this winter. Her future projects, in collaboration with a Swedish playwright, include directing an opera for children in Copenhagen and a dramatized monologue of Sholem Alechem's 'Shir Ha Shalom' to be staged in Sweden in 2005.

Judith Russell (London) works for JPR/Institute for Jewish Policy Research as Development Officer and Editor of JPR News. Born in London to German refugee parents, she graduated in French and German at the University of Durham, taught English for a year in Paris and then worked for many years in the publishing industry, first for Haymarket Publishing and then for Octopus Books, in the Foreign Rights department. Her work involved dealing with customers all over Europe, selling foreign rights editions, and overseeing their publication and printing. After several years working in editing, PR and fundraising at the Sternberg Centre for Judaism (Britain's headquarters of the Reform movement), she moved to JPR in 1995. Apart from editing the newsletter and fundraising, her role involves organising high profile events, including receptions in Downing Street, lunches in the House of Lords, and a dinner in honour of the Crown Prince of Jordan.

Miriam Sivan (Kiryat Tivon) is originally from New York City, but now lives in the Galilee with her family. She teaches American literature and writing at Haifa University and publishes academic work on American writers, among them Cynthia Ozick and James Baldwin. Her current research is on very contemporary American fiction, which deals with the Holocaust. In addition, Miriam writes fiction. Most recently, a short story of hers was published in Lilith, a Jewish feminist magazine published in New York. It is part of a collection of short stories about the intersection of war, love, family, and sex. She is also at work on a novel, which deals with the writing of Holocaust memoirs and the ongoing impact of this catastrophe on the Jewish collective psyche.

Frederika Smetanova (Prague) is a musician, theatre director and comedian. She has directed numerous plays in Europe, at venues such as the Stani Opera in Prague. In 1995, she founded a new theatre company Divadlo Na Voru, based in Prague. Her new production, commissioned by the European Association for Jewish Culture, and devised in collaboration with Michael Lazanovsky, 'Fin du monde chez Gogo' is set in a cabaret club in 1930s Prague. It has been performed in France and Italy.

Malgorzata Sporek-Czyzewska (Sejny, Poland) graduated from the Higher State Theatre School in Warsaw. In the 1980s, she was a member of the avant-garde theatre group Gardzienice, and one of the creators of the theatre group 'Arka' in Poznan. From 1990 she has been a co-author and one of the founders of the Centre Borderlands for arts, culture, nations in Sejny, which deals with borderlands cultures of East-Central Europe. She conducts educational, artistic and publishing projects aiming at restoring the cultural heritage of this part of Europe. Together with Wojciech Szroeder, she runs educational courses for secondary school students titled "Cultural Heritage Class". They both founded Sejny Theatre and are authors of theatrical projects and performances, such as 'Dybuk' and 'Wijuny'. In 2002, they were awarded a grant from the European Association for Jewish Culture for an adaptation of 'A Night in the Old Market' by I.L. Peretz for the Sejny Theatre.

Lena Stanley-Clamp (London) is a founder Director of the European Association for Jewish Culture. She is also Director for Public Activities at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR). Born in Prague, she was educated in Poland and Belgium where she graduated in history from Brussels University. Before joining JPR, she worked for the BBC's Music and Arts department. She has been a contributor to Encyclopaedia Judaica Yearbooks and to Year Book International on world Jewry, and she edited the French edition of 'Political Extremism and the Threat to Democracy in Europe' (1994). Her translation work includes a novel by a Polish modernist playwright, Ignacy Witkiewicz, 'Bungo's Decline'. She has programmed several international conferences including Planning for the Future of European Jewry, Prague 1995; Strengthening Jewish Life in Europe,at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 1997; Jewish Culture for the 21st Century, Paris 1999; Jewish Identities in post-Communist Europe, Budapest 2000. She has convened meetings of the Performing and Visual Arts Forum in London. Her research interests at JPR focus on Jewish culture and European Jewry.

Isabelle Starkier (Paris) is a theatre director. A graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she holds a doctorate and is a lecturer in theatre studies at the Université d'Ivry. Her theatre training began with Daniel Mesguich, and continued at Quartiers d'Ivry under the direction of Antoine Vitez and later Philippe Adrien. In 1985, she created the Star-Theatre Company of which she is the director. After two shows of feminist comedy, she directed 'La Dernière Nuit de Otto Weininger' by J.Sobol , 'Les Joyeuses et Horribles Narrations du Père Duchesne' de J-P Faye, 'Alors, l'apartheid est fini?', 'Le Cabaret de la grand'peur' by Brecht and Weill, 'Les lendemains qui chantent faux' by J. Sobol, 'En pièces' (Marivaux-Feydeau-Pirandello), 'Où va-t-on mettre le piano?' by M. Chapsal and more recently 'La Comédie des travers' by F. Sabrou et A. Blanchard (2001-2003). She has also staged five shows in Israel. Isabelle Starkier is currently working on a production of 'The Merchant of Venice', which she translated with M. Lederer (Editions du Bord de l'eau).

Róbert Turán (Budapest) has written and produced several plays and musicals, which have been performed throughout Hungary. Among his published dramas are 'The Birds', 'Flight', 'Melina', 'Stragglers', and 'Pay Attention, You Liquid!' His new project for the European Association for Jewish Culture, 'Moses Beyond', is the libretto for a two-act ballet, set at Passover in a 1944 ghetto and in ancient Egypt, where Jewish slaves are building the pharaoh's empire. It follows the recent success of Turán's previous ballet 'Purim or the Casting of Fate', which the Györ National Ballet took to London and New York. The new ballet will also be performed by the Györ National Ballet.

Andrea Valean (Bucharest) is a playwright, screenwriter and director. She wrote her first play in 1998, 'When I want to whistle, I whistle', based on her research into juvenile delinquents in prison. Her play 'Conspiracy in the Synagogue' was nominated in 2000 as the Best Play of the Year in Romania. In 2001, she participated in London's Royal Court Theatre International Residency programme and her short play 'Where's the Smoke Going?' was presented at the Royal Court the following year. In addition to producing children's theatre and multimedia performances, Andrea wrote a script for '17 minutes late' a short film selected for the Cannes festival in 2002. She is currently the project manager for dramAcum, a contemporary theatre project aiming to make the connection between young directors and emerging playwrights, translate new plays from Europe and produce a new Romanian play. Her new play 'The Last Tarot Game', commissioned by the European Association for Jewish Culture in 2003, is due to be staged at the Odeon Theatre in Bucharest.

Faynia Williams (Brighton, UK) is a BBC Drama Producer/Director and an International Theatre and Opera Director. She was nominated Best Director for Brothers Karamazov, and Best Director/Designer for Satan's Ball, and has won 8 Fringe First Awards at the Edinburgh Festival. Her BBC productions include Moscow Stations, Vlad the Impaler, The Sea, The Sea, Starboy, and Eugene Onegin. She directed Jonathan Harvey's millennium commission opera Mothers Shall Not Cry at the Royal Albert Hall. She is a BBC Interviewer and Features Presenter. Features include 'Movers and Shakers', 'The Moscow Art Theatre', 'Who Massacred The Innocents?' 'Joan Littlewood' and 'The Love of Three Colonels'. She is currently making 'Beyond the Pale' to be broadcast on Radio 4, Holocaust Day 2004. Interviews include Peter Brook, Pina Bausch, Alan Rickman, Dame Iris Murdoch, Joshua Sobol, Ariel Dorfman, Fred Zinneman, Peter Sellers, Rina Yerushalmi.

Faynia was Fellow in Theatre at Bradford and Lancaster Universities, and Visiting Professor at the University of California Davis, and Texas A&M. She teaches MA Directing at Royal Holloway, London University, and at Sussex University, the MA in Dramatic Writing, and 'Shakespeare Our Contemporary', 'Questions of Film'and 'The Power of Communication' for the Arts/Science Project. She is writing a commissioned screenplay with Richard Crane based on Graham Greene's 'A Burnt Out Case' and 'Kantor on Kantor' for Nick Hern Books. She is on the Council and Former Chair of The Directors' Guild of GB, President of the International Theatre Institute's Dramatic Theatre Committee, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Miriam Yahil-Wax (Caesarea) is a dramaturg, writer and translator. Among her plays are 'The Shit Path', about Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 'The First Stone', the tragedy of an abused Arab woman. 'Without Premeditation', a book of poems, was published in 1977. She is an award-winning translator of some 50 plays and novels. As dramaturg and literary manager of Gesher Theatre, ("One of the more remarkable companies in world drama." The Times, London), she translated Stoppard's 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead', Gorky's 'Lower Depths', and co-adapted for the stage Dostoyevsky's 'The Idiot', Babel's 'City: Odessa Stories', Schiller's 'Intrigue and Love'. She collaborated with Joshua Sobol on the production of 'Village' by Gesher Theatre. As former dramaturg of Haifa Theatre she worked with him on 'The Jerusalem Syndrome'.

Her literary translations include works by Charles Dickens, Carson McCullers, Doris Lessing, Peter Carey, John Le-Carre, Margaret Atwood, Doktorow and many others. Her most recent publication is a translation of Molière's 'Don Juan'. Formerly a lecturer in drama (Stanford, UCSC), Artistic Director of the National Theater for the Young, Artistic Director of Haifa Theatre Festival, Dr. Yahil-Wax also lectures at Tel Aviv University School of Cultures.