About the Studio
| Aims and approach:The acting student’s progress in based not only on his talent but also upon his mental and physical makeup. Acting is a very individualistic profession, and each actor must discover his own way in the art.
Classes at the Nissan Nativ Studio, therefore, contain no more than 15 students. In larger groups, the student cannot receive the personal attention he requires in order to develop the approach that best suits his personality and gifts.
Although Israel boasts widespread theatrical activity, as a small country it can only absorb a limited number of neophytes. Since the Studio considers it irresponsible to admit candidates who do not stand a reasonable chance of becoming professional actors at the end of their studies, only a limited number of new students are admitted. The four-part entrance examination, which ends with a concourse, is very vigorous. At the Tel-Aviv studio alone, over 500 candidates apply; only 15 are accepted as students.
The new student enjoys individual attention, personal treatment, vast patience, and many hours of assignments designed to nurture his unique personality and help him realize his potential. For certain classes, students are divided into two or three teams, each with its own teacher. And in special cases, the student may receive private tutorials in addition to the normal curriculum.
Life at the Studio may be extremely intense, but there are opportunities for income-producing work as well, enabling less economically privileged students to attend. The class schedule allows first- and second-year students, in addition to their 42 hours-per-week course-load, to work part-time during morning hours. By working, the student remains immersed in life’s realities, which he may later portray on stage.
During the third year, however, the workload is particularly heavy — some 65 hours per week — and the student’s presence is required at the Studio throughout the day. There is therefore no opportunity to earn money. In order to financially assist third-year students, as well as needy first- and second-years, a scholarship fund has been established.
The student may remain enrolled in the Studio as long as he shows progress.
While the Studio’s teaching method encourages original thinking and an independent approach suited to the student’s personal taste, special emphasis is placed on teamwork, which requires understanding and consideration of others, willingness to cooperate, and a great deal of mutual trust and respect.
Students form a close-knit bond with the Studio. Years after finishing their studies, many graduates still consider it their home.
Time and again, the Studio’s methods and thinking have been affirmed. Almost all graduates join theatre, cinema, television and radio companies, or are working as directors or teachers themselves. Both domestically and internationally, this is a unique achievement.
Nissan Nativ immigrated to Israel from Holland and grew up in Kibbutz Mishmarot.
After studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at the Habimah Studio, he joined Kalman Gilad’s Lahakat Hatzeirim theatre company.
During the War of Independence, he served as an Infantry Company Commander. “When taking a Batallion Commanders’ course,” he remembers, “I noticed interesting affinities between military and theatrical thinking.”
Later, Nativ studied pantomime in Paris with Etienne Decroux, and joined his company. Before returning to Israel, he studied directing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in England and television direction in Holland.
Back in Israel, he was active as director in various theatres, production companies, and the Israel Festival. He joined Habima, Israel’s national theatre, and became director of its drama school. He also directed for Kol Yisrael, Israel’s state broadcasting authority, staging mainly original and experimental plays.
In 2008, Nissan Nativ received “Israel Prize” for his achievements and significant contribution to Israel calture and theatre.
Sadly, our beloved Nissan Nativ, passed away on 20th on April 2008, just two weeks before the ceremony.
The Studio is Israel’s leading institution for the training of new generations of actors. Studio productions are for all intents and purposes professional, and many have been purchased by professional theatres, permanent theatres and production companies, where they run unaltered and with their original casts. Such productions include:
At international student theatre festivals, the Studio won first prize at:
In 1985, the Studio won the David’s Harp Prize awarded by the Minister for Education & Culture for the production of All My Sons, Except Naomi. The play won the Best Theatre Performance of the Year award, the first time the prize was awarded not to a professional theatre company but to a drama school.
The Studio is regularly invited to participate in Israel’s two major theatre events — the Acco Festival and the Israel Festival.
Many of the studio’s graduates have won Academy Awards for outstanding acting in theater, cinema and television.