About ensemble can

In 2009, after a decade of collaboration, we founded Ensemble Can in order to allow ourselves, creators and actors alike, our own space for independent creation.

We aspire to make theatre that moves, smells, prickles and laughs, very much like this place, Israel. In the spirit of Fox, father of group analysis, who said that “everything is thinkable and talkable”, we believe that true freedom and liberation during the creative process and on stage will, in turn, free and liberate the audience. Similarly, an actor who lets himself go, lives on stage and allows himself to play (as well as act), will make the audience breathe a little differently. We strive to put our hands together with all those who take part in the creative process and put on a polyphonic piece that doesn’t attempt to settle its inner conflicts or questions.

Our methodology is based on lab work, where the rehearsal process is long and there’s an on-going dialogue with a set team of creators and designers.

Through researching the connection between body, voice and text, we try to interweave the actors’ personal experiences, etched in their bodies, and the words and actions of the written characters. Working with personal materials, images, guided imagery and group dreaming enables us to expose unique, hidden phenomena. As Ionesco said, it’s the theatre’s duty to serve as witness. A considerable portion of our productions is written after such intense lab work, aiming to create texts that merge the documentary with the lyrical.

Ensemble Can aspires to expand the artistic experience and evoke people into action. Our company holds writing and acting workshops for both amateur and professional actors. We arrange for special rehearsal room encounters between audiences and works in progress in order to create a methodological dialogue and mutual inspiration. Our shows are compatible with all kinds of spaces and aim to create a direct dialogue that says something about our life here in Israel. A coming together of audience and stage can spark magic. We search for that ancient magic and question its relevance in these virtual times we live in.

Zippy Shochat
Zippy ShochatHaaretz
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Searching for a unique language and new forms of life is at the heart of the TheatreCan group… I've watched both their productions and they're quite intriguing. "Hunger" stars four love-hungry characters who, waiting to fulfil it, find solace in food, sex and secrets. The search continues in "Sunrise", a meeting between a young couple and an older one, both trying to find the same freedom and love. Basically, both shows present situations taken from real-life and give it an absurd twist. The plots aren't linear, there's no beginning, middle and end, but rather have their characters deal with relationships issues, or in other words, with us, all of us. Meeting the two, one can't help but feel their passion for creation, for making art.
Merav Yudilovitch
Merav YudilovitchYnet
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Shlomo Plessner and Ido Bornstein, two of the top fringe artists in Israel, are launching a new theatre group. Their debut production consists solely of male actors who link between masculinity and the Arab-Israeli conflict… Their current production, "Dogs", is a tragic comedy that deals with desires, erections and erectness. Just as in "Lice", the production that helped pave their way, we're met by a group of lost characters that cling to each other, yearn for acceptance, freedom and redemption, but find themselves going repeatedly back to the same bursting urges that peel away their humanity and threatens to annihilate them.
Zvi Goren
Zvi GorenHabama website
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The play is special and bold… Plessner's direction is tight. The four actors repay the playwright and director with the highest level of acting, they're each wonderful and the combination of the four – along with the play and direction – create an even stronger theatrical experience. Hunger is one of the fringe theatre's most important contributions to elevating the level of theatre in Israel."

Currently at Ensemble Can

Project sex

A trilogy about Israeli Sex

“Daringly surprising and arousing” Yediot Magazine

“Fascinating.Brings intimacy back to sex” Haaretz

“Rough and relevant, please don’t miss it” Habama

Sex is everywhere. It penetrates the private, public, legal and political spheres, sex sells. But what are we talking about when we talk about sex? What can be said and what can’t be mentioned? Do sexual liberation and free speech allow eye level communication or does everything diminishes to porn? And what the hell happened to love?

Ensemble Can’s trilogy – ‘Sex Project’, puts the sexual act in the center. It explores the ways to get the human body to talk. Dealing with Israeli sexuality allows us to explore the militarism and aggressiveness that generally characterizes the Israeli society, through a fresh angle.

At first, we conducted personal interviews with Israeli men and women about their sexuality: puberty, body image, fantasies, taboo and shame. Those testimonies were brought to life in the first part of the project as sequence of monologues and dialogues. In the second part, we asked 9 Israeli writers to write about sex – about what happens before, after, during sex, or without it. The third and last part of the project was initiated with an actors’ workshop and based on their personal stories and experiences.

The artistic expression methods are profoundly different in the three parts. On the first part the actors re-live the stories facing the audience. On the second part the audience becomes part of the scene by walking with the actors from one space to another. The third production makes a profound use of the unique spaces of the ‘Kuli Alma’, one of Tel Aviv hippest dance clubs (can be easily adapted to any other conventional or unconventional theatrical spaces).

The confessions and encounters described in the three parts of the project are an attempt to give simple and direct words to this primal aspect of the human experience. In a virtual world, surrounded by HD screens, a physical encounter with flesh and blood actors can give a new perspective about sex here and now.

S1 – One on One

Very Personal Interviews Edited to Group Dialog

Writer: Ido Borenstein  |  Director: Shlomo Plessner

Actors: Itzik Golan, Esti Zakhem, Odelia Segal, Yakir Portal, Talya Menashe, Rami Kashi

Duration: 75 minutes


S2 – Sex scenes only

10 Israeli Writers Take Their Closes Off

Dramaturgy: Ido Bornstein | Director: Shlomo Plessner

Writers: Gilad Evron, Liat Elkayam & Gudis Schnider, Dana Goldberg, Nitzan Cohen, Roni Sinai, Giora Simchoni, Naama Toren & Oren Neeman

Actors: Itzik Golan, Esti Zakhem, Chantal Cohen, Yakir Portal

Live music: Kobi Vitman  |  Duration: 75 minutes

S3 – War

Love Stories Under Fire

Writer: Ido Borenstein  |  Director: Shlomo Plessner

Actors: Meital Carmeli, Yoav Cohen, Yoav Hait, Talya Menashe, Eran Peretz, Odelia Segal

Live music: Kobi Vitman  |  Duration: 80 minutes

I, Angelina Jolie

Physical theater performance

What happens when you became a refugee? You start walking

You start walking. Walking to save your own life. If someone attacked your village you’d run the hell out of there in every way possible. In the family car, in one of your neighbours’ fruit trucks, you’ll sneak onto the first but out of there, inside a container that’s hooked up to this truck or the other. It doesn’t matter what you do, eventually everyone ends up at the same place – the border.  At some point, men in uniforms will demand to see your papers. What, no papers? Why aren’t they on you? Did you grab your child’s hand instead, in that last frantic moment of flight? Or perhaps you packed a bag with food, with money? It doesn’t matter. Get out of your vehicle. Stand over there. Wait. Now, papers or no papers, your life as a refugee genuinely starts: on foot. And so it begins. You take one step. One step out of your old life and into this one. You crawl under the barbed wire into vulnerability, dependency, transparency.

You’re a refugee.

Until Last year, 59 million people abandoned their homes

Due to persecution, violence and violation of human rights.

59 million refugees.

But we’re not going to talk about them. Not at all.

Just about us. And Angelina Jolie.

Conceived and directed by: Mickey Yonas

Actor-Creators: Shay Jibri, Itay Chammah, Arnon Rosenthal


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