Israeli celebrity host/actor Jason Danino-Holt was chosen as playwright among 10 writers for a new project called “Starting Point” for Mifal HaPayis, the national lottery of Israel. The project aims to create the infrastructure to support playwrights during their writing process through grant funds and dramatists’ support.
Danino-Holt is mostly famous for being a correspondent for the biggest entertainment show in Israel, “Good Evening with Guy Pines”, and became an international YouTube sensation last year for his candid interview with Hollywood director Peter Berg. He studied at Tel Aviv’s famous Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, specializing in Theatre. Jason came out as gay in Israel in 2008, and in 2011 took part in a reality TV show called “Connected,” in which he was looking for true love. He documented the process in video diaries.
Danino-Holt returned to the theater last year with his debut play – “Edipalit” – which centered around a 50 year old tormented Diva. The play was described by the critics as “camp” and “wild” (see below a photo of Jason with the main character in the play)
The artistic committee of the Mifal HaPayis program chose the 10 out of 226 proposals received. The ten playwrights will each receive cash advances worth NIS 30,000 as an investment in the development of the play. Also, the playwrights will be accompanied by professional guides who will help them in developing and writing the play. For the first development phase (which will last about three months) each of the writers will receive an advance of NIS 15,000. At the end of the first stage, the committee will select the plays that will continue to the second development phase and then the writers will get the rest of the grant.
Doolin Melnick, Director of Culture at Mifal Hapais, said that the project, which is being held in conjunction with “Working Group” organization, is intended to encourage original quality Israeli drama writing by providing financial support and professional playwrights.