1927 - 2008

Eli Sinai - Stage Designer, and Tutor 1927 - 2008

Eli Sinai was born in 1927 in Kenigsberg, Germany, as Ludwig Schotenberg.

In 1939 Eli immigrated to Palestine. He studied in Pardess Hanna, and in Kibbutz Yagur he acquired his training as a carpenter. In 1948 he took part in the Israeli War of Independence.

In the early fifties Eli studied Fine Arts at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem, became acquainted with the theater world, and participated in the activities of amateur theatrical groups. His theatrical activity at that time was a mixture of acting, designing posters , and working as a junior stage designer.

In the mid fifties, in addition to his activity in the stage design workshops and as a minor actor in the Cameri productions, he started working as a stage designer for the Zirah innovative theater, under the management of Michael Elmaz.

In 1959 he returned to Germany to study Stage Design at the Munich Academy. In the early sixties he designed theater, opera, and television productions in Germany (Koblenz).

In 1965 Eli returned to Israel. From then on he designed dozens of productions in all of the established theaters. For several years he also acted as the House Designer of the Habima National Theater. Included among the many productions designed by him are a selection of classic plays (Shakespeare, Mollier, Ibsen), modern plays (Brecht, Williams, O'Casey, Ionesco), and many first time productions of Israeli plays (Yehoshua Sobol, Yossef Bar-Yossef, Shulamit Lapid, Motti Lerner).

Eli Sinai was involved in more than 150 plays during his activity in the Israeli Theater. In most of these productions he designed both the scenery and costumes.

In 1996 Eli was awarded the Moshe Halevi Award for Stage Art by the Tel-Aviv Municipality.

Eli also taught Stage Design for many years in the Theatre departments at the Seminar Hakibutzim, Beit Zvi, and at Tel-Aviv University.

His extensive experience gave him the ability to formalize precise teaching methods, which assisted his many pupils to attain professionalism and discipline.

For many years, Sinai headed the Association of Israeli Stage Designers, and was the Israeli representative at the International Theater Organization.

Eli Sinai passed away in February 2008 after an extended illness. He was he was eighty years old.















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