Israeli puppeteer and co-founder of Jerusalem’s The Train Theater (Teatron Ha Karon). After doing a BA in art history and theatre at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Alina Ashbel co-founded the Bu-Badim Puppet Theatre with Smadar Tirosh and then became a founding member of The Train Theater (1981).
She develops all aspects of a performance: choosing the material, designing, sometimes writing, directing and performing. Among her many works are Entanglement: The Wool Story (1981, with Michael Schuster), The Tin War, The Nightingale, Crown of Feathers (1996), and A Girl in a Flower Pot (1997). The last is based on the poems of Shlomit Cohen-Asiff, and objects that present the show emerge in surprising ways from the solo puppeteer’s pockets. Recent work includes Far Over the Sea (2009, based on children’s poems of Hayyim Nahman Bialik), which shows a collector of old objects (played by Sharar Marom) discovered on the street. Kav Nekuda (2011) has dot, line, and triangle as characters in an evocative yet minimal black light theatre.
Alina Ashbel has taught puppetry at the Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum, School of Visual Theatre, The Kibbutzim College of Education, and Shenkar School of Design. Her puppets have been exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum, Haifa Museum, Yad l’Banim in Holon and the Jerusalem Theatre Foyer Gallery. From 2009, she has been developing a programme of private performances for hospitalized children. Her Ma-Inan is a performance characterized as a personal ceremony and was part of the Public Work Project in the International Puppet Festival in Jerusalem.