This page was last updated March 29, 2017     

The Press
Publishing your book with SAP
Contact Us
Title/Author Index
Rights & Permissions
Paperback on-Demand

Browse Subject

Art History
Cultural & Social Studies
Economics & Management
Geography, Environment & Migration
Jewish Studies
Latin American Studies
Library Studies
Literary Criticism & Linguistics
Middle East Studies
Politics, Media & IR
Psychology & Psychotherapy
Theatre & Drama
Theology & Religion
Women’s Studies
  Alpha Press
Libraries of Study

Asian & Asian American Studies
Contemporary Spanish Studies
Critical Inventions
Critical Voices
Demographic Developments
First Nations & Colonial Encounter
Latin American Library
Peace Politics in the Middle East
Portuguese-Speaking World
Religious Beliefs & Practices
Spanish History
Spirituality in Education

  You are in: Home > Theatre & Drama > The Bible as Theatre  

The Bible as Theatre

Shimon Levy

Author text to follow



Part I Samuel’s Initiation: On the Possibility of Biblical Theatre

Part II Female Presentations: Oppressed and Liberated
1. The Concubine in Gibeah: the Female Body as a Stage-prop
2. Deborah: Anti-Feminism in Text and Stage Directions
3. Tamar: Acting-out a Role Imposed
4. Ruth: the Shrew-ing of the Tame
5. Esther and the Head of the Sceptre

Part III Women and Men, Physics and Metaphysics
6.“The Voice of my Beloved Knocketh”
7. The Educational Theatre of Proverbs

Part IV Prophets as Performers
8. Elisha: Religion, Sex and Miracles
9. Jonah: a Quest Play
10. Ezekiel: the Holy Actor

Part V Leaders: A Theatrical Gaze

11. Moses in Flesh and Spirit
12. Jehu’s Bloody Show
13. The (Unabridged) Play of David and Bathsheba


“Levy is a sensitive, often original interpreter of the Hebrew Bible, and this first book-length treatment opens an interesting dialogue about ‘the Bible as Theatre’.” Choice

“Levy finds within the stories of Deborah, Ruth, Esther, and the concubine of Gibeah a highly sophisticated portrayal of women by ancient writers who, Levy holds, have some strong “pro-feminist” views . . . His viewpoint offers the reader some wonderfully refreshing ways of looking at stories that have been either overlooked or ignored by Christians and Jews alike.

Levy is able to show that traditional interpretation accepted by most biblical scholars about how to interpret the prophesies of Elisha, Jonah, and Ezekiel can be both confirmed and more deeply informed through his “theatrical” reading of these prophets and their stories.

His theatrical interpretations open the possibilities for re-interpreting these stories and posit the possibility of non-standard insights that could easily enlighten the inquisitive mind. His understanding of ancient Hebrew history and culture inform his theatrical study and training in such a way as to give him a distinctively Jewish, yet strongly dramatic methodology for interpreting these ancient stories.

Levy offers in this study an extremely skilful approach to seeing the performative aspects in the stories. Many books and articles have been written analyzing the dramatic elements in various literary and historical writing, but few scholars have shown the exciting insights that Levy presents when he is discussing just how a particular text could or would have been performed before an audience.

A welcome addition to the world of theatrical and dramatic scholarship [it] comes with the recommendation that it is well worth the time to read.” Journal of Theatre and Performance

“Rich and provocative readings of biblical texts.” H-Net; H-Judaic

“This is a book to be read with the Bible at one's side: by treating these texts on a strictly factual, down-to-earth basis, with due reverence but without uncritical devotion, it not only deepens one's understanding of a multitude of cultural, social and historical aspects of its contents, but also re-tells these tremendous stories with riveting detail, emotion and suspense.” Martin Esslin


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
288 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
September 2002
  Illustrated:   No
Hardback Price:
£49.50 / $69.50
Paperback Price:
£16.95 / $32.50

Order book by phone or online

UK, Europe, Asia and Rest of the World:
Gazelle Book Services

tel. 44 (0)1524-528513


United States, Canada:
International Specialized Book Services

tel.  1-800-944-6190




© 2017 Sussex Academic Press   |   Disclaimer