The Cameri theater was founded with the purpose of promoting local theater, in contrast to Habima Theater, which had roots in Russian theater. The Cameri presented works about the daily life of persons in the fledgling state of Israel. Cameri is the theater where the Israeli nationalist play He Walked Through the Fields premiered just two weeks after the state of Israel was formally established in May 1948. He Walked Through the Fields, written by Moshe Shamir, was later adapted to film starring Moshe Dayan's youngest son Assi Dayan.
The Cameri, Tel Aviv's municipal theater, stages up to ten new productions a year, in addition to its repertoire from previous years. The theater has 34,000 subscribers and attracts 900,000 spectators annually.
In 2003, the Cameri moved into the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center complex, adjacent to the New Israeli Opera, the Municipal Library and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The new theater has five auditoriums: Cameri 1, the largest auditorium, has 930 seats; Cameri 2 has 430 seats, the Black Box seats 250, and the Rehearsal Hall seats 160.
The Cameri's social action programs include the Peace Foundation, which brings together young Israelis and Palestinians to watch theater performances, and Theater in Education, which brings high school students, university students and special needs audiences to the theater. The Cameri also offers ticket subsidies for senior citizens and simultaneous translation of its productions into English, Russian and Arabic.
The director general of the Cameri, Noam Semel, founded the Institute of Israeli Drama, which promotes Israeli theater in Israel and abroad.
Awards and recognition
- Wilmer, S.E. Writing and Rewriting National Theatre Histories. University of Iowa Press. p. 177.
- "About the Cameri". Archived from the original on 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
- "Israel Prize". Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
- "Israel Prize Judges' Rationale for the Award (in Hebrew)". Israel Prize Official Site. Archived from the original on 21 October 2010.