Hanoch Levin, by almost general consent, is Israel’s greatest playwright. He was born in Tel Aviv in 1943 and studied at Tel Aviv University. His work includes comedies, tragedies, and satirical cabarets, most of which he directed himself. He received numerous theatre awards both in Israel and abroad and his plays have been staged around the world. Levin died of cancer on August 18, 1999. He continued to work even in the hospital, nearly to his last day, but didn’t have time to finish the staging of his play The Lamenters. During his lifetime he composed sixty-three plays and directed twenty-two of them. His plays, treating universal themes largely surpassing Israeli or Jewish realities, have been translated into over twenty languages.