Before the Bomb


Daithe title of Israeli-American comic Iris Bahr‘s 2008 one-woman play–is a Hebrew word that means “enough.” Dai also sounds like an English word, die, which is a chilling and emotional summary of the play: It covers the final seconds in the lives of eleven people sitting in an Israeli café, just before a suicide bomber strikes.

Over the course of the play, Bahr portrays all eleven characters, from a Zionist extremist to a Palestinian mother to a Christian tourist who hopes that his visit will bring about the Rapture.

“Israeli society is grossly misunderstood by anyone not living in Israel,” says Bahr. She often portrays a raunchier side of Israeli life–her character Svetlana the Russian Prostitute was a YouTube hit. But when Bahr puts her mind to it, she can find the humor, and the humanity, in any situation.

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