Work and Play: Rolf Hochhuth's the Representative in Tel Aviv (1964)

Ruthie Abeliovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper probes into the 1964 Israeli performance of Rolf Hochhuth's controversial drama The Representative. Staged by Habima National Theatre under the direction of Avraham Ninio, the majority of the cast engaged in this production comprised European-born Jewish refugees and Holocaust survivors. In its cultural context, the theatrical image of Jewish refugees dressed in Nazi uniforms or, conversely, staging visual, gestural or aural markers of Auschwitz prisoners imbued the drama with political meanings, triggering a debate about agency and forms of social and material participation in the aftermath of calamity. Examining the subterranean world of artists and craftsmen and women whose labour is deliberately obscured from view, I argue that the work of theatre emerges as a creative and generative energy that filters from the staged fiction into the 'real' world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages6
JournalTheatre Research International
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © International Federation for Theatre Research 2020.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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