The Child Behind the Eyes

The Monodrama The Child behind the Eyes tells the story of a mother of a Down's syndrome child on the night before he goes to school.

Not everyone is willing to make an effort and see Yotam beyond the special facial features. There are those who cross to the other side of the street, and those who are repelled by "Michal's mongoloid son".

It is early morning and Michal is standing by the window. Her thoughts go back to her shock at the child's birth, reactions from family, friends and neighbors, and Yotam's touching relationship with his great-grandmother Erika, who had just passed away.

While reflecting upon past events and worrying about the threats of the future, Michal's husband David Jogs his own fears, encircles their building till dawn breaks.

In the nursery, six years old Yotam is fast asleep, peaceful and innocent. He knows that he is different from other kids, yet he knows how much he resembles them. Yotam cries and laughs just like any other child and on his easel he paints a multicolored world.

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Nava and Thaddeus, the opening night of the play in Prague

Personal note
In my writing I find myself dealing again and again on children. How they observe the strange and scary world of grown ups, trying to find some meaning under its threats and shady side. Adults too watch the young soul; often they miss his loneliness and sense of being different.

In "The Child behind the Eyes" an Israeli mother observes her disabled son who suffers from Down syndrome and tries to protect him from the hardship and cruelty that awaits him. This play is a journey into a family who struggles with pain, ignorance and fears. Throughout the play YOTAM, innocent and open heart becomes the source of love to all members of the family. In fact, he is the one who teaches them all a new meaning of the joy of life.

Since 1986 - over twenty years now - this play had found its way into the hearts of so many people in different countries and multi cultural societies. The human touch, looking desperately for kindness and understanding - those are universal themes - so I've humbly learnt.

List of Productions
Produced in Israel by Lillian Shutz and the Haifa Municipal Theater in 1987 with actress ASSI ESHED. The play was running on Israeli stage for 11 years - more than 1000 performances.
1988 - Published as a book in Israel by Modan Publishing House.
1988 - Haifa Award - the original play of the year.
1989 - Best production of the year of Omanut La'am ("Art for the People" organization)
1996 - Best Radio-Drama of the Year in Austria.
2002- eBook, Literatura Electronic Publishing, Israel.

Radio Productions
1987 - Recorded by Israel Broadcasting Service "Kol Israel" as a Radio- Drama.
1987 - Represented Israel in the "Italy Prize" competition for Radio Productions.
1988 - Produced and broadcast by the BBC London, actress: Maureen Lipman.
1988 - Produced by the National Radio of Spain, actress: Aurora Vicente.
1989 - Produced by Radio Belgium, actress: Janine Patrick.
1990 - Produced by Radio France.
1990 - Produced by Radio Dublin, Ireland.
1995 - Produced by ORF - Radio Austria, actress: Desiree Nosbusch.
1996 - Produced as a Compact Disc by the Austrian Radio.
1996/ 1998 - Broadcast by Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg and Sender Freies Berlin in Germany.
1997 - Broadcast by Sudwestfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk Koln, Hessischer Rundfunk, Deutschland-Radio Koln and Radio Bremen in Germany.
1997 - A special broadcast open to public at the Jewish Community Center in Berlin, hosted by the Austrian Consul General.
1997 - Broadcast by the Romanian Radio, actress: Irina Mazanitis
2002 - Re-broadcast by ORF - Radio Austria, actress: Desiree Nosbusch.
2008 - Re-broadcast by ORF - Radio Austria, actress: Desiree Nosbusch.

Tours of the Israeli production abroad
1990 - Great Britain, Scotland and Ireland.
1990 - Spring Theater Festival, Rome - Italy.

Stage Productions abroad
1990 - Produced in Rome, Italy, actress: Claudia Della Seta.
1991 - Produced in the USA by Westbeth Theater in New York, actress: Amy Brentano.
1991 - Summer running of the NY production at Nantucket Theatre in Massachusetts.
1997 - The Jewish Women Playwright Festival in Los Angeles, actress: Lisa Barnes.
1997 - The "Divadle U Hasicu" Theater in Prague, actress: Dasha Blahova.
1998 - Theatre Festival of the European Regions, Czech Republic.
2000 - Tour of the Czech production - Oslo and Bergen, Norway.
2001 - Play Reading: Arabic Theatre "RABAB" in the Galilee, actress: Nasrin Faa'oor.
2004 - Play reading at the International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania, Actress: Ophelia Popii.
2005 - Resita Theatre in Romania, actress: Malina Petri. Special performance at the "Goldfaden Jewish Festival" in Iasi.
2005 - The State Theatre of Turkey, Ankara, actress: Fatma Oney.
2006 - M'rar Theatre Galille,in Arabic: actress Amal Murkos.
2006- Nowy Theatre in Lodz, actress: Jolanta Jackowska-Czop -. Director: Karolina Szymczyk.
2006 - First prize in Wroclaw "one Actor" Festival - Poland.
2007 - Golden Medal at the International solo performance in Belgrade, Serbia.
2007 - Romania, Teatrul Nottara Bucharest, Actress: Gabriela Popescu. Translated and directed by Liana Ceterchi.
2008 - The Big Trophy in Gala Star - the International Monodrama Festival in Bacau - Romania, March 2008.
2009 - The Theatre of Timisoara, Romania, Actress: Malina Petri.

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Nava and actress Jolanta Jackowska-Czop , Poland 2006

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