Israel Friends host Shakespeare in Jerusalem, raise funds for scholarships in theater studies and English


Top, from left: Prof. Joe Borman, Israel Friends Executive Director Gideon Selinger, University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Dora Reissser, Ruth Borman and David Weston. Below: Ruth Borman (right) and Martha Shliselberg enjoy the company of a Hebrew University student (photos: Yossi Zamir)Feb 2, 2012: Over 200 Shakespeare lovers and Hebrew University supporters renounced the traditional Friday morning run of errands at the end of last month to spend a spell-binding morning in the company of multi-talented English actor, director and author David Weston in his one-man show ‘Shakespeare in Jerusalem’.

Hosted by the Israel Friends of the Hebrew University in cooperation with the Mishkenot Sha’ananim cultural center, the event attracted a full-capacity audience which enjoyed a mixture of play readings and accounts about Shakespeare and his rich legacy by expert Weston, who has performed in 27 Shakespeare plays. Weston waived any proceeds from the event in favor of student scholarships for the University’s Departments of English and Theater Studies.

During a reception before the performance, Hebrew University theater studies students in Shakespearean costume circulated among those attending, including Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Faculty of Humanities Dean Prof. Reuven Amitai, Director of the Division for Development and Public Relations Joseph Benarroch and head of the Israel Friends Gideon Selinger.

“Not only was it interesting and entertaining,” said Prof. Amitai. “But it also benefitted a very worthy cause — or rather two very worthy causes: student scholarships in English and Theatre Studies.”

Since graduating from the prestigious Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts with the Silver Medal for that year, Weston has acted in numerous film, television and stage productions. He was a founding member of the National Youth Theatre, where he has directed many productions and he has also directed at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and a number of other theatres in London. He wrote and narrated a series of non-fiction audio books, including Shakespeare: His Life and Work, which won the Benjamin Franklin Award for best audio non-fiction book and included legendary actress Dame Judi Dench.

In the wake of the success of the event, David Weston will give a master class for students in English and theater studies and the University’s Israel Friends at the Mount Scopus campus in early March. The class will include a performance by Weston and a question-and-answer session.

For more information about the upcoming master class, contact the Israel Friends of the Hebrew University at israelfriends@savion.huji.ac.il

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