Hanna Rovina (1889-1980)

Hanna Rovina came from a Hasidic family. In her youth, while on a course for Hebrew kindergarten school teachers in Warsaw, she met Nachum Zemach, who at the time was a young Hebrew teacher. In Warsaw he founded the "Habimah Ha'ivrit" ("The Hebrew Stage") Company and suggested to Rovina that she act in Mark Arenstein's "The Eternal Song". Later Rovina also played in Chekhov's "Marriages". During the First World War, she left Warsaw and her theatrical activities and returned to being a kindergarten teacher. Towards the end of the war, in 1917, she joined a company of Hebrew speaking actors which Zemach had gotten together in Moscow. Zemach approached Stanislavski, the greatest Russian director of the time, and asked him if he would take the new company, "Habimah", under his patronage. StanPislavski was excited by the idea and suggested that one of his proteges, an actor and producer names Vakhtangov, be the company's instructor. Under Vakhtangov's direction, Rovina reached one of her artistic peaks, playing the part of Leah in An-ski's "The Dybbuk" (then entitled "Between Two Worlds"). The atmosphere at rehearsals is recalled by Chaim Nachman Bialik, who had translated the play into Hebrew. "Habimah's acting overwhelmed everyone who came within its orbit...perhaps it was the ecstasy stemming from some spring of invisible fire..."
In 1928, Hanna Rovina emigrated ęto Palestine with the rest of the Habima company, and became the "First Lady of the Hebrew Theater". She played many roles, including the young Jewess in Gutzkow's "Uriel da Costa", Mrs. Elving in Ibsen's "Ghosts", the mother in Yigal Mossensohn's "Be-Arvot ha-Negev" ("In the Negev Desert"), Jokasta, in Sophocles's "Oedipus Rex" and Tzrua in Nissim Aloni's "Most Cruel- the King". Rovina played all these roles to perfection. Her performances excelled in their grandeur, their nobility of spirit and their sincerity. In 1956 Rovina was awarded the Israel Prize for the Theatrical Arts.
On the stamp appears three portraits of Hanna Rovina from different periods in her life. On the tab of the stamp we see a drawing of the "Habimah" Theater and at the bottom of the tab a quotation taken from An-ski's "The Dybbuk".

Biography taken from the material of the Israel Postal Authority-Philatelic Service.