Gony Paz, interdisciplinary creator, performer, puppeteer, puppet director and teacher, graduated from the Jerusalem School of Visual Theatre and won the Jerusalem Foundation Prize for Excellence. She also graduated from the Holon School of the Art of Puppetry and the School of Medical Clowning, and in the past 10 years she has puppeteered and done voiceovers in a wide range of stage productions and television shows for children and adults. both independent & Repertory.
Amongst them Little Monsters, Red Bend, Sesame Street, Suddenly a Knock on the Door. Her productions of ‘Sweetie You Ain’t Guilty’ premiered at Tmuna Festival in 2016 and the children’s play Night Journey with Michal Ben-Anat, produced by the Train Theatre, premiered at the 2016 Jerusalem International Puppet Theatre Festival. Both productions are currently shown regularly on stages across Israel and abroad.
For years I perfected my ability to be unreadable to the outside observer. I thought my secrets were safe with me, but there was a glitch in my brilliant plan: from time to time my unreadable face became pink – I BLUSHED. Blushing is like discovering you are buck naked in the middle of a vibrant marketplace, it makes you reveal to the whole world the most private, embarrassing shameful things:
I blush – everybody knows I lied.
I blush – everybody knows I envy, I farted, or I had sex.I blush – everybody laughs and then banish me to a deserted island, to live in shame forever.
After years of fear, I decided to embrace it. Mainly because I discovered that sincerity, humanity and vulnerability touch our hearts. We are moved by the things we can’t control. We are scared to death to encounter intimacy but we love it!
With that in mind I sculpted a cast of nude puppets and teamed with the actor & puppeteer Yosef Sweid. Together we explore the subject, we animate our puppets in front of a live video camera, revealing the tiny nuances of human motion and emotion. Together we blush, as we fail again and again to hide behind our puppets.
- Created, designed and performed by | Gony Paz
- Co-creator & performer | Yusef Sweid
- Dramaturgy | Yair Segal
- Puppets | Gony Paz
- Premiere | November 2019
- 21-28 November 2019, premiere within Tmuna International Festival, Tel-Aviv
- 27 September 2019, sneak peek of the work in progress, BAFF Festival, Basel.
Sweetie You Ain't Guilty
“Sweetie You Ain’t Guilty” is a reflection on the personal experience of sexual assault and its consequences, in order to create a stage work that does not reconstruct or perpetuate the assault, but seeks to enable a more subversive observation of the subject and create a space for the performer and the audience in which transformation can take place.
How does it work? Gony walks in, takes a note out of her pocket, takes a wireless microphone and hands it to someone in the audience. He/ She begins to read, the text is written in the first person and serves as a voice-over for Gony while she acts on stage. The same mechanism will repeat itself during the show again and again. Each time someone else will read. Each time someone else will be Gony and Gony will become someone else.
The play is a ceremony – a test of courage in which all the means, even the fictitious ones, are kosher. From sea girls to Kurt Cobain and Uma Thurman – all the superpowers are recruited to go to a duel with the assailant and to settle once and for all (or maybe every time again and again?) The question of the victim.
It is a work that gives room for virtuosity and magic but also reveals weaknesses, humanity and simplicity. It aims to take the performer out of the comfort zone, to be in an intimate and exposed place on the stage, while allowing others a similar experience.
The work premiered at Tmuna Festival 2016
- Created and Performed by | Gony Paz
- Artistic guidance | Anna Zakrevsky, Raz Weiner, Yair Vardy
- Lighting design | Amir Castro
- Text editing | Raz Weiner
- Artistic and production consultant | Mai Eilon
- Photography | Dana Meirson
- Video | Daniel Pakes, Ophir Ben Shimon, Dana Pomerni
Iris Paz Bareket, Erez Yardeny, Rotem Elroy, Chihiro Ishiyama, Omri David, Ana Sgan-Cohen, Faye Shapiro, Kurt Cobain, Michal Ben-Anat, Ira Avneri, Sigal Bergman, Yair Vardi & Tal Yahas, Nava Zuckerman.
A special thanks to the dedicated people of Tmuna Theater and to my dear surprising family.