Salt of the Earth OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Richard Termine
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    October 28, 2014
    Closing:
    November 1, 2014

    Theater: BAM Fishman Space / 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11217

    Synopsis: 

    A thousand pounds of salt become a punishing Middle Eastern desert, plastic tanks barrel down paper streets, and a faceless, nameless puppet emerges a rebel hero in this work by artist Zvi Sahar. Puppetry and hand-painted miniature sets combine with live filmmaking and projected video feeds, as a Lilliputian universe is created and destroyed before our eyes. In Salt of the Earth, inspired by the bestselling Israeli novel The Road to Ein Harod by Amos Kenan, Sahar and PuppetCinema show us a dystopic world, in which our protagonist—fleeing his country’s latest military coup—discovers the meaning of perseverance, survival, and ultimately, freedom.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Salt of the Earth

    A Puppet Hero on the Run, in Search of Freedom

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    October 30, 2014: The Tel Aviv shoreline is suddenly before us, made of paper cutouts sized for child’s play: palm trees, beach umbrellas, a sign that warns that swimming is forbidden. Beyond is blackness, we hear a small splash. Our nameless hero has slipped into the Mediterranean, determined to swim toward freedom. Set in a dystopian Israel under siege from within, Zvi Sahar’s theater piece Salt of the Earth, a production of PuppetCinema and HaZira Performance Art Arena, is making its American premiere at BAM Fisher. Blending puppetry, live action and video, the play has the quality of a dark dream, much like its source, the 1984 novella The Road to Ein Harod by Amos Kenan. The hero is attempting to reach a part of Israel not yet in the clutches of the military. “And here I am, fleeing from my country toward my country,” he says. In this streamlined, somewhat remixed adaptation, the narrative may not be easy to follow, if you haven’t read the book. What makes this production notable, and often captivating, is not the story itself but the way Mr. Sahar and his hardworking collaborators (Shai Egozi, Yuval Fingerman, Michal Vaknin, Aya Zaiger) tell it, making and remaking their landscape before our eyes.

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