Anat Zauberman 
Actress, playwright, workshop leader
MFA in Theater Arts (Actor-Maker-Creator Course) from Tel-Aviv University

My first lead was at our elementary school graduation show. The memory of myself performing it has become very vague by now, but the experiences I do hold dear from that time of The Youth Stage at the community center and Memorial Day service performances at school, is the experiences of in-between. How the old wood panels smelled backstage, how it felt to be the only one seated in a soft seat in an empty theater hall. I remember the thrilling darkness and the bright light, ever wondering whether everyone can see how exhilarated I was when the spot hit me.

 

As a rebellious high school student, theater studies were my safe haven, my favorite subject, and I was good at it. I was also modeling at the time, but I wanted more.

 I used to imagine what it might be like to become a real actress, or a writer (I had no idea I was allowed to do both!). When I hit the confusing age of adolescence I would sit in my room for hours, reading poems and stories, I absorbed my beloved artists, feeling that they are accompanying me on my journey and that I am not alone.

When I was 18, I joined the army for two years of service in an elite unit, and one week after I was finished, I embarked on a long journey of soul seeking; for three years I traveled the world, studying design and photography, working as a stewardess, cleaning houses and tending bars. I traveled to the most remote places I could think of and when I decided to come back to Israel I knew that it was time to make a commitment and begin my professional journey.

I enrolled in Tel Aviv University to major in Theater Studies. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was lucky enough to have things happen to me without allowing me too much time to think. I was cast for plays and directing etudes at the university, received awards and recognition, and yes, it happened. I became a theater actor. 

During my years as a student, I traveled the world some more, but this time it was to study and qualify as an actor in Austria, Poland and Italy. For five years I dedicated all my time to deepen my knowledge and practice in the art of theater-making. I played in various languages alongside actors from all around the world, I discovered new genres and different acting methods and all the while I was working as an actor in Israel. I became an even more avid theater spectator and traveled to Japan, UK, Lithuania, Switzerland and Greece to watch and learn from local theater makers. I realized that being an actress was not enough for me and I had a deep desire to take charge and control of my creation.

My first play, The Legs are Showing, a monodrama, premiered in 2015 and had a two-year run at Habima National Theater. I made a wish - to write more plays. In 2016 I played the lead in the second play I wrote, Ivona. I wrote my third play, Replica, during my MA course in Theater Arts (“Actor-Maker-Researcher”). It was inspired by the days of my military service and my contemplations on acting as a profession. It premiered as a staged reading. Next, I took time off in order to embark on a new journey - pregnancy and the birth of my beloved sons.

The one thing I avidly continued operating throughout this intensive decade is the very foundation of my creative work - my theater workshops. I have collaborated with many organizations (Elem, Migdalor, TAU student council, Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, Jaffa Theater, The Tiberias Youth Stage, The Kfar Saba Youth Stage and others). My work as an instructor in my theater workshops has been constantly evolving in the past ten years. My workshops are unique, based on extensive experience, true passion for close interaction with people and my faith in theater as a therapeutic method, which has been my guide from the very beginning of my journey.

Anat Zauberg

Photo by Tom Marshak