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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In Context: Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth runs at BAM from October 28—31. Context is everything, so get even closer to the show with this curated selection of original blog pieces, articles, interviews, and videos related to the production. Once you've seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

Program Notes & Study Guide

Salt of the Earth (PDF)

Study Guide: Salt of the Earth


BAM Blog Questionnaire: Zvi Sahar (BAM Blog)
The Salt of the Earth director draws inspiration from eggs, his daughter, and dystopian novels.

Zvi Sahar (
For Sahar, being an artist means making something that didn’t exist before.

Zvi Sahar on Salt of the Earth (Jewish Plays Project)
In Israel, the phrase “salt of the Earth” means “those who give themselves” for the homeland.

What is Bunraku Puppetry?
The style of puppetry used in Salt of the Earth has a history.

The Art of Reduction: An interview with Zvi Sahar (
The Salt of the Earth director discusses adapting a dystopian novel for his miniature protagonist.

The Road to Ein Harod/Salt of the Earth (Midnight East)
“It’s almost impossible to talk about Israel in a work of art without sounding like a barrage of political slogans, foregone conclusions leading to a dead end...But every now and then, someone finds a way to approach the impossible."

Watch & Listen 

About PuppetCinema (Vimeo)
A new concept of performance, combining cinema, theater, and puppetry.

In Israel, Kibbutz Life Undergoes Reinvention (NPR)
The hero of Salt of the Earth flees to a Kibbutz. Listen to this report on the recent state of the movement.

Bunraku, The Ancient Art of Japanese Puppetry (YouTube)
The puppet in Salt of the Earth recalls this Japanese tradition.

Worthwhile Words

I am putting the hero inside of Jewish texts in order to put him inside of a world where Judaism is just the basis of the world itself, like a fish in water. For instance, the puppet is built from a real military bag from the 1967 war and this is one of the things that was important for me in looking for that material. I wasn't looking to create a puppet that would tell a story about the 1967 war, I wanted to create a puppet that WAS made from the war, that had the story of the war inside of it. —Zvi Sahar

Now your turn...

So how did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below.


  1. Wonderfully staged and acted.

    Totally cryptic.

    I fell asleep for parts of the performance.

  2. Fantastic. My husband and I loved it. Gripping. Creative. Interesting adaptation of the story...
    Technically and visually - so well done!!!

  3. We loved this - extremely effective staging, from the creation of the salt "landscape" to the brilliant manipulation of the uniformed "mummy" puppet to the camera work that transformed the cut-out "sets" into a real world. I need to read the book. As a lover of Bunraku, I would have liked more puppets. And Ein Harod is green, not the Negev: I wish there had been some way to indicate its lushness at play's end.


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