Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Joshua Sobol

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Education  The Sorbonne
Plays  Ghetto
Spouse  Edna Sobol

Role  Playwright
Name  Joshua Sobol
Children  Yahli Sobol, Neta Sobol
Joshua Sobol wwwalmamahleratimagesSobolMaariv3jpg
Born  1939 (1939) Tel Mond
Occupation  Playwright, writer and director
Movies  Ghetto, The Galilee Eskimos
Books  Cut Throat Dog, The Night of the Twentieth, Solo, Ghetto
Similar People  Yahli Sobol, Jeremy Sams, Audrius Juzenas, Adi Gilat, Nicholas Hytner

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Yoshua (Yehoshua) Sobol (Hebrew: יהושע סובול‎) (born August 24, 1939), is an Israeli playwright, writer, and director.



Joshua Sobol was born in Tel Mond. His mother's family fled the pogroms in Europe in 1922 and his father's family immigrated from Poland in 1934 to escape the Nazis. Sobol is married to Edna, set and costume designer. They have a daughter, Neta, and a son, Yahli Sobol, a singer and writer. Sobol studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, and graduated with a diploma in philosophy.

Theater career

Sobol's first play was performed in 1971 by the Municipal Theatre in Haifa, where Sobol worked from 1984 to 1988 as a playwright and later assistant artistic director. The performance of his play The Jerusalem Syndrome, in January 1988, led to widespread protests, whereupon Sobol resigned from his post as artistic director.

In 1983, after the Haifa production of his play Weininger's Night (The Soul of a Jew), he was invited to participate in the official part of the Edinburgh Festival. Between 1983 and 1989 Sobol wrote three related plays: Ghetto, Adam and Underground, which constitute together The Ghetto triptich.

Ghetto premiered in Haifa in May 1984. It won the David's Harp award for best play. That year, Peter Zadek's German version of the play was chosen by Theater Heute as best production and best foreign play of the year. It has since been translated into more than 20 languages and performed in more than 25 countries. Following Nicholas Hytner's production of the English-language version by David Lan at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain in 1989, the play won the Evening Standard and the London Critics award for Best Play of the Year and was nominated for the Olivier Award in the same category. It was coldly received in New York, however. In his review of the play in the New York Times, Frank Rich described it as a "tedious stage treatment of the Holocaust."

Since 1995, Sobol has collaborated with Viennese director Paulus Manker on a number of projects exploring new forms of the theatrical experience.

In 1995, Der Vater (The Father) a work by Niklas Frank and Joshua Sobol commissioned for the Wiener Festwochen (Vienna Festival) opened at the Theater an der Wien under the direction of Paulus Manker. The play is about Niklas Frank‘s father, Hans Frank, who was Hitler’s Governor general in Poland and was hanged in Nuremberg in 1946. In 1996, they created Alma for the Wiener Festwochen. Alma is a polydrama based on the life of Alma Mahler-Werfel. It played in Vienna for six successive seasons and toured to Venice, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Berlin, Jerusalem and Prague. In the Vienna production, the scenes of Alma’s life were performed simultaneously on all floors and in all rooms of a former Jugendstil sanatorium near Vienna. The guests were invited to abandon the immobilized position of spectator in a conventional drama, replace it with the mobile activity of traveller, thus partaking in a "theatrical journey". By choosing the events, the path, and the person to follow after each event, each participant constructed her or his personal version of the "Polydrama". In 2000, Sobol and Manker created [email protected] – A CYBER SHOW, a multimedia musical about the Austrian pop singer Falco. Staged in the former Varieté theatre Ronacher in Vienna, [email protected] offered the audience a choice between a more expensive, passive ticket for the boxes or the balconies, from which spectators could only watch the show from distance, or a cheap, "active" ticket on the floor, close to the rostrum (in the shape of @, the Internet at symbol) on which the show was performed. This position allowed the active spectator to move around during the show, dance and buy drinks at the bars installed under the catwalks.


  • 1972–84 Actors Training School, Seminar Hakibutzim – Lecturer on Aesthetics
  • 1972–84 Beit Zvi Actors Training School – Workshop Director: Writing Drama
  • 1995–2002 Tel Aviv University – Workshop Director: Writing Drama
  • 1997–98 Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva – Lectures on Drama; Workshop: Writing Drama
  • 1996–99 Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Jerusalem – Script Writing Workshop
  • 2000 Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA – Documentary drama
  • 2001 Tel Aviv University, Department of Literature – Lectures on Modern and contemporary Theatre
  • 2001–02
  • 2003 Bezalel School of Architecture – Ethics and Art
  • Ben Gurion University Beer Sheva
  • 2012 University of Washington – Guest Faculty: Playwriting
  • Published works

    (partial list)

  • 2000 Silence– A Novel – published by The New Library, Tel Aviv
  • 2001 Schweigen (Silence) – Published by Luchterhand Literaturverlag, Munich
  • 2002 The Masked Ball – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 2002 Swijgen (Silence) – Published by Byblos, Amsterdam
  • 1999 Alma – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1998 Alma – play (German) – Published by Paulus Manker, Vienna
  • 1998 Palestinian Girl (English) – Published by Loki Books, London
  • 1996 Village – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1994 Solo – play (French & English) – Published by Cierec, Saint Etienne
  • 1991 Solo – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1991 Weininger’s Night – play – Published by Cahiers Bernard Lazare, Paris
  • 1990 Underground – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1990 Night of the 20th – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1989 Adam – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1989 Ghetto – play (English) – Published by Nick Hern Books, London
  • 1988 Weiningers Nacht - play (German) – Published by Paulus Manker, Vienna
  • 1987 The Jerusalem Syndrome – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1985 The Palestinian Girl – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1984 Ghetto – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1982 Soul of a Jew – play (Hebrew) – Published by Or – Am, Tel Aviv
  • 1976 Night of the Twentieth – play, (Hebrew) – Published by Proza, Tel Aviv
  • Awards

  • 1976 – NIGHT OF THE TWENTIETH – David’s Harp Award – Best Play of the Year
  • 1976 – NIGHT OF THE TWENTIETH – David Pinski Award
  • 1979 HOMEWARDS ANGEL – David’s Harp Award – Israel’s Best Play of the Year
  • 1980 THE LAST WORKER – David’s Harp Award – Israel’s Best Play of the year
  • 1982 WEININGER’S NIGHT – David’s Harp Award – Israel’s Best Play of the Year
  • 1983 WEININGER’S NIGHT – Meskin Award for Best Play of the Year
  • 1984 GHETTO – David’s Harp Award – Israel’s Best Play of the Year
  • 1985 GHETTO – Theater Heute German Critics’ Choice – Best Foreign Play
  • 1986 THE PALESTINIAN GIRL – Issam Sirtawi Award
  • 1989 GHETTO – The Evening Standard award for Best Play of the Year. London
  • 1989 GHETTO – Critics' Circle Theatre Awards – Best New Play
  • 1990 GHETTO – Laurence Olivier Awards – Award Nomination – Best Play
  • 1995 GHETTO – Mainichi Art Prize – Best play of the year – Tokyo, Japan
  • 1996 GHETTO – Yumiuri Shimbun Grand Prize best play of the year, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1996 GHETTO – Yoshiko Yuasa Prize – Best play of the year. Tokyo, Japan
  • 2001 SILENCE – Sapir Award Nomination – Best Novel of the Year
  • References

    Joshua Sobol Wikipedia

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