Israeli artist, performance artist, writer, visual artist, sculptor and formerly puppeteer. Ophrat Hadas, who holds a degree in literature and philosophy (l975), studied Bunraku theatre at Osaka University, Japan (1984-1986). Ophrat is one of the founders of The Train Theater (Teatron Ha Karon) in Jerusalem in 1981, and was its first director. He was the artistic director of the International Festival of Puppet Theatre Jerusalem from 1986 to 1990 and founder of the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem in 1986. Ophrat has trained a generation of professional puppeteers in Israel through his work as a teacher in the Theatre Arts Department of Tel Aviv University (1979-1983), and at the School of Visual Theatre (1986-1993). He taught at the Puppetry Arts School in Holon (2010-2012). Many of the puppeteers currently active in Israel were his students.

An interdisciplinary artist, Ophrat performs, writes, sculpts, designs the sets and stages. For over two decades, he wrote and directed his plays, creating an experimental theatre. His shows have been performed by the Box Theatre, which he also founded, and The Train Theater and Habamah theatre. Presented at festivals in Israel and abroad, his productions have earned several prizes and, in 2008, he received the Culture Ministers prize for Israeli artists.

His plays include: A Hunger Artist (after Franz Kafka, 1980), Alice in Wonderland (based on Lewis Carroll, 1980), The Parasite (1981), Street Segment (1982), Icarus (three versions, 1983, 1986 and 1990), A Jerusalem Good Boy (1984), Behind the Fence (by Haim Nahman Bialik, 1990). Ophrat also designed Don Cristobal of Federico García Lorca, designed and directed Billy Doll by Denis Silk, Sławomir Mrożek’s Enchanted Night, Richard Farber’s Mr. Death, and Ben Amos’ SarahA Stubborn Woman. Ophrat creates confrontations between the live and the artificial in order to examine the threshold of life. This choice has an essential poetic value.

Hadas Ophrat was the first president of UNIMA Israel (1984-1991). Since 1994, he has presented his multimedia installations and performances throughout the world. He is the author of many works, has published an autobiography, Ever Never (Tell Aviv, Gvanim Publishing House, 2004), a DVD, Eight Performances 2000-2005, Conversations with a Puppet, On contemporary Puppetry (Tel Aviv, Sal Tarbut Artzi Publishing, 2008), Too Much Reality, On Performance Art (Tel Aviv, Hakibutz Hameuchad, 2012) and two books of poetry.

(See Israel.)