(1892 - 1980)
Hannah Rovina, known as the First Lady of Israeli Theater, was born in Russia
and trained as a kindergarten teacher. In 1917 she joined a Hebrew theatrical studio in
Moscow, which was to form the basis of Habimah, and thus became one of Habimahs
founding members. Her role as Leah in An-skis The Dybbuk in 1922 earned her a
reputation as a leading actress, renown which increased as she toured Europe and the
United States with Habimah.
Rovina moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1928 and her work in the theater established her
reputation as Israels leading actress. A picture of her from The Dybbuk became one
of Habimahs key publicity photos. Known for her deep voice, regal carriage, and
impressive performances, she was famous in the international theater community as
well. Her range of performances spanned Hebrew productions, Shakespeare, and
classical plays. Memorable roles by Rovina also include several mothers, as in the
mother of the Messiah in Pinskys The Eternal Jew; the title role of Brechts Mother
Courage; and Jocasta in Sophocles Oedipus the King.
Rovina was awarded the Israel Prize in 1956 for her contribution to Israeli theater.
Sources: The Pedagogic
Center, The Department for Jewish Zionist Education, The Jewish Agency for
Israel, (c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, Director: Dr. Motti Friedman, Webmaster: