The Stage is the first and only English-speaking performing arts community in Tel Aviv. Behind the phenomenon is co-founder and CEO Maya Hagoel, who with a background in business and a fervent interest in the arts was able to guide this new venture to the success it has found. We explore the ways in which The Stage is providing unique opportunities for English speakers with a passion for performing.
The idea for The Stage was born when Maya Hagoel and six other friends got together over brunch on a Friday morning and after sharing their frustration with how few opportunities there were for English-speaking performing artists, decided to change this and form their own community. Since its establishment in October 2013 The Stage has continued to grow, with new members joining all the time.
What makes The Stage so unique, suggests Maya, is its sense of community and the fact that it is shaped by its members. Anyone who is interested can get involved, no matter how much experience or training in the arts a person has, and ideas for future events and productions all come from within the community. In true grassroots fashion there was even an ‘Idea Generation’ meet-up recently where attendees could either suggest ideas for new community events or just find out how they could become involved in future projects.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Stage is not a business: all members are volunteers and proceeds are only used to fund future events or productions. This means that its members are truly passionate about what they do. The Stage provides a variety of opportunities to become involved. From professional productions to workshops to social events, there is something for everyone.
On The Stage
The artistic vision of each large scale production is often alternative and original. For example, in their minimalist version of The Vagina Monologues, the director Asher Gelman used the 13 actresses, as scenery as well as props, with each wearing a different color.
In March, The Stage in association with Amber Gitter put on the much awaited Hauptmann. The play is based on the controversial trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann; an innocent man falsely accused of the murder of the infant son of aviator Colonel Charles Lindbergh in 1932. Against the backdrop of a media-controlled USA, Hauptmann retells his story of the events before being sent to the electric chair. Producers of the show welcomed the challenge of casting just six actors for the twenty-seven parts in this modern drama.
To demonstrate its versatility, The Stage has also produced a large scale musical show entitled Miscast: A Musical Revue. Miscast was the first musical by the performing arts group and featured many popular songs from Broadway hits such as Wicked, Grease, Phantom of the Opera and The Book of Mormon. Keeping true to The Stage’s desire to challenge itself and stray from the conventional, all characters were miscast; a man is cast as a woman and an older actress plays a sixteen-year-old girl. After a sold out run in December, The Stage brought the show back with new numbers and some old favorites just a few weeks ago for another run.
Their upcoming show of Hanoch Levin’s Bachelors and Bachelorettes will arrive in the fall, and to put a new spin on things it will be translated into English. The idea of bringing a well-known Israeli playwright to light in English stemmed from one of its community members, Uzi Razzin, a professional actor and director by profession, who will direct the play.
Workshops and Community
In addition to putting on large-scale productions, The Stage also holds workshops for those who are interested in honing their skills or starting a new hobby. The classes, about to start their fourth semester, include acting, musical theatre and improvisation. Based on surveys, even the types of workshops are inspired by what the community is looking for and Maya anticipates that future projects will include dance, film and an a cappella group.
For those looking to combine socializing with entertainment, there are also community meet-ups such as The Slam Series – free monthly poetry and story slam events run by Karen Lerman. These are mini productions where the more intimate atmosphere allows anyone to perform a poem or story based on themes such as ‘Turning Points’ and ‘White Lies’. Judges are picked at random, creating an informal and inclusive environment, and rank each contestant out of ten. The winner of each slam is then entered into the Grand Slam competition.
In July, The Stage held their first ‘One Act Play’ festival. This was the chance for the audience to see six comic one-act plays in one night, all less than twenty minutes long! In an attempt to involve as many member of the community as possible, each play had its own actors, producers, directors and backstage assistance. Maya notes that this flagship project has become an annual event and the production team has just started taking submissions for this year’s festival, set to be held in August.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.