Awarding First Prize to Winners of the Best Children's Play Competition

The main event of the Festival is the competition between new plays, premiering during the Festival. The Festival's artistic committee chooses for the competition 5-8 plays out of dozens submitted each year. The plays are nominated for various categories of awards, including Best Play. A team of jurors, appointed by the Festival's Board, selects the winners.

Among the competition's goals: developing the field of children's theater in Israel, improving the quality of children's plays, encouraging original Israeli playwriting   and raising the awareness of young audiences to the theater.


The Best Bear There Is

2022 1

Photo: Rafi Daloia

Play: Tom Khodorov and Chen Gerty

Director: Idan Amit    Ass. Director: Uri Paniri

Choreography: Uri Paniri

Stage Design: Talia Otolongi

Costumes: Shira Wise

Music: Nadav Wikinski

Lighting: Yanir Lieberman

Cast: Moshiko Bitton, Adir Stiebelman, Tamir Ginzburg, Rina Reim, Dan Kuperman

Instrumentalist: Nadav Wikinski

Production: HaKibbutz Theatre, for HICTF

The play tells the story of Barry the Bear, born into a dynasty of masterful karate bears, and destined to follow their footsteps. Yet, covertly he dreams of finding a hobby that he will truly love. Once he discovers the world of music and piano playing, he resolves to try becoming the wood's first bear pianist, against all odds and despite the mockery of his fellow bears. The play deals with the various issues and the possibility to be different from the others and follow one's inner truth.

The show is an operetta for children, in rhyme and music, incorporating live playing on stage. 


"The Magic Letter"


 Photo: Ilan Bashur

Based on Elinor Milchan's book, with immersive and moving video art

Adaptation: Elinor Milchan, Ronit Muscatblit, Ofer Amram

Director: Ronit Muscatblit

Art, Concept and Video Directing: Elinor Milchan

Choreography: Ofer Amram

Design, Editing, Animation and Video Mapping for the Stage: Yaara Nirel

Composer: Avishai Cohen

Decor Design: Zohar Shoef

Lighting Design: Brochy Spiegelman

Additional Video Design: Ron Levin

Production and Ass. Director: Lior Israel

With: Sharon Burstein Bichachi, Ofer Amram

Haifa Theater production

For the first time, Nitai reveals the wonders of writing and decides to write a letter to his mother. The letter embarks on a fascinating journey in which it rolls into the hands of diverse characters on which he leaves a deep mark, until it finds itself rolling back into Nitai's hands at exactly the moment in his life when he needs it.  On the way, the letter meets people who need it as much as Nitai does.

Haifa Arts Foundation presented The Magic Letter with the winning play prize.

The judges' reasoning for choosing the play: "A show that presents the young audience with artistic qualities and a unique theatrical language, combining all media into an exciting and inspiring artistic work."

Ages 4-9. Duration: 50 minutes, plus a ten-minute workshop



My Hugo

 הוגו שלי

Photo: Kfir Bolotin 

After a play by Shachar Sitner and Ronit Kano

Director: Naomi Yoeli

Cast: Jonathan Ben Haim, Ayala Dangor, Ronit Kano

Stage Design, Puppets & Accessories: Hadas Ofrat

Music: Ronit Kano 

Lighting: Dan Krager

Costumes: May Ayalon

Production: The Train Theatre

Direction and production of filmed version: Uriel Yikutiel
Cinematography: Dekel Lazimi Lev, Yuval Weitzen, Daniel Kadosh
Editing: Lilach Chen, Dekel Lazimi Lev, Yuval Weitzen
Subtitle Production: Shimit Nir
Subtitles: Nir Kadima

My Hugo tells the story of Noa and Hugo, her grandpa. Noa really does not feel like doing the family tree project. Slowly, using unique wooden sculptures, shadows, live music and humor, Grandpa Hugo reveals his story to Noa. A sweeping human tale of a time when evil raged in the world, and about the good inherent in humans. The story that Grandpa Hugo tells Noa is full of love and courage and has only good people in it.

The play was based on the life story of Jacques Kano. In memory of François and Maria Knops and Rev. Jan Brujan of Belgium. Righteous Among the Nations.

From the judging panel's decision: "This work captivated us with its magic. On stage is a family of actors, puppets and wonderful music. The artists jointly created a small show with a big heart, which uses a variety of beautiful and delicate theatrical means, and sketches with great detail a unique and exciting experience, full of love, poetry, optimism and hope".

For ages 8 and up and the whole family. Duration: About 50 minutes



Plasticine Prince

                    Photo: Dor Ahahron

Inspired by Dutch author Harm de Jonge's Jesse, ballewal-tsjí

Play: Ra'anan Paz

Director: David Bilenka

Actors: Omer Yitzhaki, Oren Hagani

Decor and Costumes: Merav Danon

Music and Live Playing: Assaf Rot

Lighting: Yehiel Orgal

Production: Goshen Theater

The play recounts the amazing story of Roger and Jesse, two nine-year-olds from different worlds, who become acquainted during WWII. Roger, a Dutch-Christian boy, lives with his parents on the safe side of the city while Jesse, a Jewish girl, lives alone in the ghetto, disguising herself as a boy to stay safe. The two invent a magical kingdom called Plasticine, in which Jesse is the prince and Roger is a brave knight and the prince’s right hand.

Among other things, the jury called it, “a brave, honest and uncompromising work that manages to maintain optimism, lightness and innocence within a complex reality. All ingredients of the production work in harmony to combine one whole piece. Using original elements, the play sweeps the children into a world full of magic and imagination."

Haifa Arts Foundation awarded Plasticine Prince the Best Play award.

Plasticine Prince also won Best Live Music and Best Actress for Omer Yitzhaki.



"Grandpa Aaron and His Rain"

2017 1

Photo: Gerard Alon

Director, adaptation, lyrics: Mor Frank

Actors: Gay Ron, Gadi Por, Betsalel Borukhov / Refael Abas

Visual language and prop design: Maayan Resnick

Stage and costumes design: Kineret Kish 

Music: Betsalel Borukhov, Roy Yarkoni 

Lighting design: Judy Kupferman

​Sound: Yoav Gershon

Movement: Nadav Eilon

Puppet manipulation guidance: Naomi Yoeli

Executive producer: Bar Elyakim

Production: The Train Theater

There is a drought and they are desperate for some rain! Grandpa Aaron tells his friends about the mountaintop cave where the clouds are all stuck.
Grandpa Nahum and Grandpa Yitzchak really don’t believe his story, but they humor their old friend anyway.
The three grandpas, a quick-stepping cow and a light-footed rabbit, all set out on their adventurous journey to the mountain.
Will their joint effort help free the clouds stuck in the cave and bring the much-needed rain?
A comical journey of the imagination inside a mass of cardboard boxes, plus 1500 cows and rabbits!

For ages 4-10. Duration: approx. 50 minutes


"The Magic of Mozart"

הקסם של מוצרט

Photo: Yossi Zwecker

Play: Shai Lahav

Director: Uri Omanuti

Dramaturgy: Daphne Engel

Music: Mozart, Bach

Music editor: Haggai Davidoff

Setting: Batya and Michael Pick

Lighting: Roni Milo

Costumes: Maor Tzabar

Choreography: Claude Dedier

Actors: Dani Leshman, Rodia Kozlovsky, Sivan Sasson, Ruth Resuk/Moran Rosen, Yakov (Flashka) Fishfeld

Wolfgang Mozart is a musical prodigy, but his phenomenal talent has its price: it causes him to lose his childhood and spend time only with adults, or with his piano, and puts in the shade his older sister, who is also a talented musician.

The tension leads to a major crisis, forcing the whole family to learn to get along, and to enjoy the blessings that come with talent.


"The First Kiss" 

הענקת הפרס הראשון להצגה הזוכה 

Photo: Yossi Zwecker

Based on a book by Yoram Taharlev

Poetry and songs by Yoram Taharlev

Adapted for the stage and directed by Yaara Reshef Nahor

Set and costume design by Batya and Michael Pik

Music composed and performed by Omri Dagan

Choreography by Roni Brenstater

Lighting by Yaneer Lieberman

Assistant Director: Keren Shefet

Actors: Amir Shaham, Yoav Amir, Lee Maseeka and Mor Antar

Four teens—two girls and two boys—experience love, disappointment, hope and disenchantment in a charming and whimsical coming-of-age journey.

A theatrical presentation blending live music with movement. The show takes a look at the playful, humorous, naïve and beautiful side of reaching maturity

"Two Flying Giraffes"

ג'ירפה עפה

Photo: Kfir Bolotin

Play (based on books by Nurit Zarhi): Lavi Zytner

Direction and movement: Lavi Zytner

Cast: Moran Kal, Elad Atrakchi

Musicians: Alon Carmeli, Tomer Salem

Musical direction: Alon Carmeli

Set & costume design: Tut Herbet

Lighting: Amihai Elharar

Circus coach: Lia Shen-Tzur

Two giraffes fly into space, only to realize that there is no place like home… together.
Mira and Shira, two extremely funny giraffes, leave their cluttered apartment on a bold adventure. A journey into space.
Where is space? How can one get there? What will they find there?
A play about friendship, full of imagination, magic, wondrous inventions and humor, combining circus acts and live music.
The giraffes discover that all they sought was actually… here.
The play is based on the book series Two Giraffes, by author and poet Nurit Zarchi, and incorporates some of her best songs for children, including I Love to Whistle, I Peeled an Orange, Watermelon Woman and more.

"Yoel Said"

יואל אמר

Photo: Kfir Bolotin

A musical performance inspired by Yoel Hoffman’s book, February is a Good Time to Buy Elephants.

Created by: Ronit Kano

Music and lyrics: Ronit Kano

Director: Marit Ben-Israel

Costume and props design: Tom Krasny

Lighting design: Omer Sheizaf

Artistic consultation: Naomi Yoeli

Acting, singing, live music: Ronit Kano and Gershon Waiserfirer

Production: The Train Theater

Yoel Says is about how the power of imagination can help prevent feelings of loneliness, and bring people together.

Ronit waits for Yoel to arrive. When he doesn’t show up she is sorely disappointed, but in his stead another friend arrives, accompanied by a huge musical instrument.

Together they sing and play the bass, sousaphone, trumpet, flute, ukuleles, and even some miniature musical instruments. Using music and their imagination, they experience together courage and fear, sharing moments of solitude and companionship, quarrels and reconciliation, wistfulness and longing, and finally the great joy of their friendship.

לבד שני השחקנים/זמרים נוכח על הבמה חבר דמיוני – יואל, זה שבגללו הכל התחיל. מאשימים אותו כשצריך, עושים את דברו כשהוא מבקש, רוצים אותו ונמנעים ממנו. המופע מוגש ומלווה בכלי נגינה – קונטרבס, גיטרות, כלי נשיפה, וצעצועים.

"The Hood"

השכונה מסביב לשעון

Photo: Itamar Shikler

La Passionata Svironi Troupe

Conceptualized, written and directed by: Michal Svironi

Design: Yael Sherill-Mohaliver, Michal Svironi, Arnaud Louski-pane, Flora Loyao

Assistant Designer: Nadine Abraham

Lighting: Shootzi

Construction Company: David Harrison

Costumes: Mali Aviv

Actors: Yaara Perah-Reich, Katerina Teplizki-Miler, Amir Dolitzky, Ayelet Shadmon, Anat Hendelman and Michal Svironi

A unique miniature street theater, inviting three spectators to put their gigantic heads into different miniscule houses and dive into short scenes in which they will find themselves as participants, operators and sometimes musicians. An intimate performance that is a one of a kind, surprising, unique encounter.



Created by Roy Segev, Yuval Cohen & Amnon Wolf

Directed by: Roy Segev

Actors: Yuval Cohen, Amnon Wolf, Roy Segev, and Guy Messika
Music: Yuval Mesner
Design: Merav Danon
Lighting: Chaim Beri

What happens when your neighbor doesn’t let you live the way you wish to?  
What happens when something makes you realize the necessity of cooperating with your neighbor?
This moving and humorous non-verbal play portrays two neighbors who discover that their real friend and partner might be… right next door.


"Let's Move"

החופש לזוז

Photo: Kfir Bolotin

Play: Gidona Raz & Sharon Burstein

Directed by: Norman Issa

Stage and costume design: Ofir Hazan & Liron Bliss

Lighting design: Ziv Voloshin

Musical production: Tamer Nafar & Rami Saleh

Actors/Musicians: Yuval Stunis, Raanan Paz, Dana Duneitz, Sharon Freedman, Sharon Burstein and Gidona Raz.

Daniel is a charming hyperactive kid, incapable of controlling his inner wild horse. He is having trouble with school life, nobody wants him as a partner in teams and competitions, he never stops fighting with his mother and he cannot seem to get closer to Noa, the girl he really likes. He is engulfed by feelings of frustration, failure and guilt, until he meets an extraordinary character - a DJ. Together they turn the jumble that's inside him into sweeping rhythmic music that enables him to be reaccepted by his schoolmates.

"When the Shark and the Fish First Met"

בלב הים הגדול

Photo: Kfir Bolotin

Based on the book by Gilad Shalit 

Play: Iris Penn, Uri Omanuti, Ronen Yifrach

Acting and directing: Iris Penn, Ronen Yifrach

Original music: Yossi Ben Noon

Costume design: Yosi Ben-Noon

In the Mediterranean sea the rules are very clear: fish and sharks are enemies and so it has been for years. Still, when a friendship forms between a whimsical little fishy and a curious sharklet, the rules start to change. A perceptive tale told with much humor, accompanied by singing.


"The World According to Alon"

ו"העולם עפ"י אלון"

Photo: Kfir Bolotin

Play: Orly Yehoshua Schwarzberg

Director: Yael Tilman

Music: Ran Bagno

Set Design: Zeev Levi

Costume Design: Aviah Bash

Cast: Idit Teperson, Shosha Goren, Bat Hen Sabag, Or Meir, Shir Shenar

Alon is a different and special boy. He leaves his boarding school and comes home two weeks before the end of the summer vacation, to join fifth grade at a regular school in his neighborhood.

Alon's encounter with his surroundings is amusing, tense, moving, and sometimes impossible. With his original thinking and special ways, he will charm his surroundings in the end, as well as the audience.