Batya Casper

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I am a director and teacher of theater, trained to manipulate conflict for dramatic effect. What a glib endeavor compared to the blood and tears of real life. I've lived in Israel intermittently since early childhood, have watched friends and family struggle, question, sacrifice their children


I've live in Scotland, England, Israel, South Africa, and on both coasts of the United States. The most influential figures on my adult life, other than my late father, were Churchill, Golda Meir and Nelson Mandela. The one person in the world I do not want to be like, but actually want to be, is Meryl Streep, in fact I'm thinking of bribing or bullying her into selling me her soul for the next life (she's almost used it up in this.) My major literary influences were the Bible, the ancient Greek tragedians,Shakespeare, Dostoevsky - especially Crime and Punishment, Ibsen, Pirandello and Brecht. I very much admire the works of Athol Fugard.  I've been tortured by and riveted to every word by Elie Wiesel. I love all the works of Barbara Kingsolver, especially the Poisonwood Bible; and I was overwhelmed by Nicole Krauss' The History of Love. I'm a director, theater teacher and actress, and have  directed both in the US and in Israel, including Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Athol Fugard’s Playground, both mentioned in my recently released novel, Israela. I earned a BA in English literature, and I have a Masters and a Ph.D. in theater Arts from UCLA.

I have lived in Israel intermittently since early childhood. Have taught Hebrew literature and biblical studies at an adult education center in St. Louis and Hebrew to adults in Boston. I also worked as an Assistant to the Cultural Attache of Israel in Boston, as the coordinator of educational programs for exchange students between U.S. and Israel.

Currently, I am a writer. My new novel, Israela, was recently released and is available on amazonbooks.My previously published works were Electra: A Gender Sensitive Study of the Plays Based on the Myth, Jefferson N. Carolina, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1995, and "Passion Play," a poem in Psychological Perspectives, 2003. 


Birth Place: Edinburgh,  Scotland


Hidden by Batya Casper
A child is raised by her grandfather, and by a grandmother who sleeps her life away in their living-room chair. No one will tell the child who her parents were, or why they preferred to die without her in the desert than to stick around and watch her grow...

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Israela by Batya Casper
Israela is a story of three women and their loved ones torn apart in a country at war. It is about love, secrets and betrayal; but also about hope and heroism, about Arabs saving Jews and Jews healing Arabs; about a family desperately seeking the right path....

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Electra: A Gender Sensitive Study of the Plays Based on the Myth by Batya Casper
In this book, I studied the deep structure of the Electra myth and applied it to plays as early as those of Aeschylus,Sophocles and Euripides, through Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet,to as late as Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class.Along the way, I took note of the historical/political climates which provoked the writing and rewriting of the Electra theme, the same play appearing ...   

Short Stories

Bacground Material for Israela
 by Batya Casper
Background material, not included in Israela. A letter written in late 1940s,Israel....

 by Batya Casper
Short short Story about a woman in church....

The Gavel
 by Batya Casper
Too old for the sweet stuff...
 by Batya Casper
This is a short story, different in tone from Israela, which I've spun from Israela's background information. ...


"In my heart, I call to their mothers, 'Take your sons to your houses. Bind them to your chairs; gag them, blindfold them if necessary until they grow calm. Then teach them, for they have forgotten, about peace, about the blessed life, about a future—a present—without pain.' Beneath their prayers, in their morning cups of coffee, beneath their love-making and their child-rearing, and in their sorrow, especially in their sorrow when burying their dead, I hear the simmering of heating souls; I smell the charge of armies, of lives exploding uselessly into smithereens. I sit in mourning over a disaster still to come." In Israel, the lives of three women interweave with the story of their country. Ratiba, an Israeli journalist, turns her back on her heritage to marry an Israeli Arab. Her sister Orit, an actor, lives alone and longs for her lost sister. Elisheva is a nurse who dedicates her life to the wounded and the dying. As their lives unfold, the three women find themselves facing choices they would never have envisioned.

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 Batya Casper
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Member Since: Feb, 2012

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