by Maya Arad Yasur
directed by Yigael Sachs
costumes and set design: Daphne Peretz
lighting: Amir Castro
easistent director: Liron Noah
ropes: Y Circus
1st prize winner of the playwriting competition
of ITI / UNESCO (2011)
Two window cleaners, both refugees from a civil war, hang on abseil cables outside of a skyscraper in a Western city. They have got a job to do and have agreed not to talk about the past. While cleaning the windows, they follow the inaccessible world of
well-heeled Western business people. Through a visual metaphor, this play explores concepts as distance and proximity at different levels: Socially, economically, politically and geographically. Today, the world seems smaller but some distances seem insuperable. How long can we keep the past at a distance?
"…the play, written by Maya Arad Yasur, begins like an absurd comedy with echoes from Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", but gradually develops into a poignant account of the two characters' shared past. The drama, directed by Yigael Sachs, unfolds wisely and sensitively as the two actors Pinny Guetta and Avi Saroussi hang on abseil ropes ... impressive performance of the actors."
Shay Bar Yaakov/ Yediot Ahronot
צילום: אילן בשור
"The first show I saw in the festival was the best. It is built from what winning shows are made of. It has a good story, endless drama, interesting director's decisions ... it is a fascinating show. "
Aviva Rozen, Martha Knows
צילום: אילן בשור
צילום: אייל אגיבייב
About the play
In 2007 I spent a month in Eritrea accompanying a UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) team in Asmara, the capital. I had the opportunity to travel to the villages, see the ruins left by the war and the trucks packed with soldiers leaving Asmara on their way to the borders. I experienced the life in a dictatorship when I was standing in line with the rest of the Asmarans for a bag of milk and when the water and electricity supply to my house was disturbed for hours, sometimes even days. I was afraid to take pictures or to say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time, as I was warned not to do. In the end of this month period I left Eritrea and went to the Netherlands, where I continued my research at the Dutch Immigration Service, visiting refugee centers, learning the asylum procedures and the criteria for decision: who will stay in the West and who will be deported back to his country of origin. Suspended, written five years before what was labeled "The Refugee Crisis" in Europe, invites the audience to look at the people who are trying to remove the stains off the window which separates them from their future.
Maya Arad Yasur, playwright
About the Production:
Suspended is an Israeli production of a universal play about refugees, written by an Israeli playwright living abroad. Israel is a state whose constitutive ethos is 4000 years of refuge. The protagonists of Suspended are refugees, a bit like we were once, a bit like those we now fear, a bit like the ones we are still afraid to one day become. They are cleaning the windows of a skyscraper, hanging suspended between heaven and earth, hope and despair, hanging on together, hanged by ropes, sentenced to be "the aliens", scrubbing their window of opportunity, hanging by a thread of hope, operating them like marionettes, above and over the abyss from which they have fled.
Through that image, they too can see us, as we watch them, beliving that they will never be us , that we are no longer them.
Yigael Sachs, director