About this place

In 1991, a number of Russian actors, newly immigrated to Israel formed The Gesher Theatre. They were led by Yevgeny Arye, a well-known Moscow stage director. Although the group of actors had moved to Israel, they still wanted to continue working in theatre. The new theatre was named Gesher which is Hebrew for bridge and symbolizes the connection between Russian and Israeli culture.

In the beginning, the actors gathered in a cramped Tel Aviv basement and rehearsed the Hebrew texts that had been transcribed to the Cyrillic alphabet. As it was during the first Gulf War, sirens would sound when there was an imminent missile attack and the actors were prepared at any moment to rush to a bomb shelter, wearing their gas masks, and costumes.

Defying the odds, the curtain rose on their first production, Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Gesher was applauded as “The Russian Miracle of the Israeli Theatre” (D'var Hashavua,1991). And it really was miraculous. When the group of Russian immigrant actors first got together, the theater seemed like a dream yet it became an incredible artistic success.

Gesher is unique in being the world’s only theatre of immigrants that has lasted. And, it is safe to say that Gesher is the only theatre in Israel where rehearsals are held simultaneously in Hebrew, Russian, and English.  The actors even perform alternately in Russian and Hebrew.

Over 30 years later, Gesher theatre continues to symbolize the connection between Israeli and Russian cultures. Gesher has welcomed many Israeli actors into its troupe. Today, most Gesher performances are in Hebrew, and the company has staged over sixty productions. Gesher has represented Israel at over 17 international theatre festivals and won numerous awards.

Gesher has earned its rightful place among top Israeli theaters and has gained international recognition. Gesher’s extraordinary success is attributed to the dedicated and talented actors, and the determined efforts and artistic vision of the theatre’s founder and Artistic Director, Yevgeny Arye. He has created a theatrical language combining an original and innovative approach with the principles of traditional Russian theatre.

Gesher has been given the support of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality and its mayor, as well as the Ministry of Culture. Credit must also go to the dedicated members of "The Friends of Gesher Theatre Organization" led by its Chairman Mr. Israel Makov and the Director Mrs.Ruthy Heilpern.

Some of the Awards Received by Gesher Theatre:

1995, The Chairman of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) awarded Gesher for “enriching the Israeli social life by contribution and creation in the cultural field".

1996, Igal Allon Award for best achievement in culture.

2006, Gesher was given an honorary title by Bar-Ilan University.

2007, Gesher was awarded the Israel Lions Award and the Ruppin Academic Center Honorary Award.

What the press say about Gesher Theatre:

 “Such theatre cannot be seen every day, not only in Israel. The audience emerges with a song in its heart, saying to itself: “how beautiful” Ma’ariv newspaper (after the premiere of "City. Odessa Stories")

“This is theatre at its best. Rarely do we see here such a large company, where most of the actors are excellent… there are not many theatres of such quality and high standards in the world today” Hadashot, January 1993.

“{Gesher} is an ensemble whose reputation exceeds the borders of Israel, and rightly so "Le Figaro" 1993.

“...one of the greatest and most important troupes in the world” "Times"