The Best Theaters in Tel Aviv for Visiting Theatergoers

February 17th 2020

HABIMA THEATER Photo by צילום:ד”ר אבישי טייכר

When it comes to modern culture – modern Israeli culture – Tel Aviv is the place to be. It’s a major hub of culture and entertainment, both in the local region, and indeed worldwide. The majority of the nation’s theaters and performing arts centers are located here, making it an ideal destination for visiting theatergoers. 

After a busy day touring Tel Aviv, you’ll have time in the evenings to catch a performance in one of the city’s many theaters. You will get a wonderful insight into Israeli culture, literature, society, and history, as well as stories from the diaspora. 

Here are some of the most popular theaters in Tel Aviv and Jaffa: 

Habima Theater

The most respected theater in the country is the Habima Theater, located in central Tel Aviv. In fact, it’s the National Theater of Israel, and has been in existence since 1912. It was redesigned a decade ago and is now considered an iconic building within The White City. 

Habima puts on a diverse range of plays, some based on internationally recognized works of literature and film, and others, based on Russian Jewish and Israeli themes. The distinguished theater is within short walking distance of the popular Dizengoff, Shenken and Rothschild thoroughfares.  

Cameri Theater

Adjacent to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is another renowned theater. The Cameri Theater places great emphasis on quality Israeli drama, highlighting stories and societal issues from across the nation. There’s a mixture of classical and modern shows, some of which are accompanied by English subtitles. 

The Cameri Theater has five auditoriums and shows around ten new productions every season. Just under one million people visit the theater annually, which is contained within the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, also housing Israel’s main opera venue. 

Gesher Theater

Just south of the Old Train Station, in the southern part of Tel Aviv which meets Jaffa, is the Gesher Theater. Established in 1991 by Russian-Jewish immigrants, the theater is situated on the old Jerusalem Blvd and is a perfect play to catch a performance if you love Russian-themed productions. 

Although, having said that, there are many plays from Israeli and international playwrights as well. Most of the shows are in Hebrew or Russian, but some come with English subtitles. ‘Gesher’ means bridge in Hebrew and the theater’s ethos is to act as a bridge to the many cultures and languages present in Israel.

Jaffa Theater

In the old city of Jaffa is a remarkable little theater called the Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa. It’s home to two theater companies who collaborate on plays together – as well as their own, separately. One of these theater companies produces plays in Hebrew, and the other, Arabic. 

Established in 1998, the theater’s aim is to bring two peoples together under the same roof. The plays on show explore the rich and often interwoven stories from Arab and Hebrew cultures. The bustling Jaffa Flea Market is a short walk away. 

Beit Lessin

The Beit Lessin Theater is another of Tel Aviv’s largest theaters. Located in downtown Tel Aviv, just up from Dizengoff Square, Beit Lessin features contemporary American and European plays as well as some Hebrew productions. Local playwrights are encouraged to show their plays in an annual festival, held in the theater. 

Beit Lessin also shows performances in two other smaller locations in Tel Aviv. The theater is perfect for visiting tourists who want to relax and enjoy some high quality acting and entertaining stories.