ZOOOO | the Train Theater


You wouldn’t have a clue!

Illustration: Tamar Hochstadter

Illustration: Tamar Hochstadter

Illustration: Tamar Hochstadter

Illustration: Tamar Hochstadter

In the center of Jerusalem, hidden in the green grass of Liberty Bell Park, a new animal exhibit for children and adults was held―ZOOOO!

ZOOOO! was a multi-disciplinary art project where artists of all types and species created sculpted, animated, illustrated, dancing, and even musical instrument-playing animals.

Hadas Ophrat, Israel Prize Laureate for the Performing Arts and Theater for 2016, and Shachar Marom, Artistic Co-Manager for the Puppet Festival, invited festival visitors to wander along the paths of the park and discover animals they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

  • At the entrance to the park, a huge, two-headed animal sculpture stood, while monkey lovers could visit the large cage in the middle of the park where baboons enjoyed thoroughly modern lives, watching TV and eating bananas. Nearby, a troupe of small monkeys swung on the bushes in the wind.
  • In one corner of the park, an actor in spider costume knitted a huge web to trap a dancer dressed as a butterfly!
  • In the sandbox, you could construct a sand cat skeleton or design imaginary animals from sculpted bones, while nearby an elephant with curves inspired by Indian mythology offered giant hugs to passersby, and a winged Sumerian lion rode his bicycle up, up and away.
  • An office became an aquarium, fish swam between shelves, friendly jellyfish floated over the guests head. At one time it was possible to swim without getting wet.
  • Children enjoyed the special petting zoo where they could pet shy, imaginary animals hidden inside boxes ─ but peeking was definitely not permitted!
  • At the animal nursery, visitors could learn how to take care of special live puppet animals and even babysit them!
  • Music lovers were invited to listen to an animal that is itself a musical instrument, and adventure-seekers joined a guided safari tour led by an actress where you could find miniature animals scattered around the ZOOOO! A flock of sheep could be seen enjoying a picnic on the lawn, and brave members of the public were invited to see the comeback performance of Shlomzion, the Judean desert leopardess.
  • Tired and worn out? Relaxation was positively encouraged at the “take me under your wing” corner where one could relax on soft, dove wing-shaped cushions and watch the swans on the lake. But watch out for the crocodile lurking about!
  • If the sun was too hot, there was plenty of shade under the animals’ laundry where animal-print clothes were hung out to dry on wash lines, or you could take a dip in the aquarium and swim with the fish projected on the sides.

Close to the park’s exit, booths were set up by the Society for Animal Rights, along with an exhibition along the northern fence of Liberty Bell Park by the Czech artist, Michael Tchlier, who designed posters for the Prague Zoo.

ZOOOO! was part of the International Puppet Theater Festival, Jerusalem.


Animal and human participants:

Crocodile: Florian Feisel (Germany)| Baboon: Renana Aldor & Dan Hochberg |Monkey troupe: Tamar Hochstadter | Lion with Wings: Elhanan Twito | Spider: Noa Becker | Butterfly: Stav Bar Nahum Frank| Flock of Sheep: Shachar Pollak & Yaron Kerbel | Aquarium: Nili Dvir | Lady Elephant: Nohav Keren | Musical Animal: Yaniv Shentser & Mia Jankovich | Petting Zoo: Natalia Rosenthal | Sand Cat: Rinat Goldberger | Two-Headed Animal: Shay Id Alony | Shlomzion the Leopardess: Michal Svironi | Safari Tour: Rotem Volk | Puppy Garden: Galia levy-Grad ( words by Shmil Maayan) | Poster Exhibition : Michal Cihlář 

Zookeepers: Hadas Ophrat & Shahar Marom

Zoo Maintenance and Operation: Daniella Shenhav

Design and illustrations for the ZOOOO! map: Tamar Hochstadter  

ZOOOO! team coordinator: Tammy Izhaki

Production: The Train Theater

Staged with the generous support of:

  • Israel National Lottery Council for the Arts 
  • Jerusalem Foundation
  • Czech Center Tel Aviv

Zoooo, אין חיה כזוווו