Nissim Aloni (1926-1998), one of Israel's leading dramatists, was born in Tel Aviv. He fought in the 1948 War of Independence and then began publishing stories in the soldiers' weekly, Bamahaneh. Aloni studied history and French culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and then spent a year in Paris, where he became closely acquainted with the new European theater. His first play, Most Cruel the King, based on a biblical story, was produced by Habima Theater in 1953. After his return from Paris, he wrote and directed The King's New Clothes, which represented a total revolution in Israeli theater. In 1963, he founded the Seasons Theater, which was active for three years.
Aloni's work was critically acclaimed and enjoyed a popular following. He wrote and staged 12 plays, and published one collection of short stories during his lifetime. His play, Eddy King, has also been adapted for the screen.
Aloni was awarded The Nahum Zemach & Menahem Gnessin Prize for Most Cruel the King (1955), The Kinor David Prize for Playwright
of the Year three times (1964; 1971; 1976), as well as for
Director of the Year (1971); the Govinska-Baratz Prize for The Bride and the
Butterfly Hunter (1967), the President's Prize for Aunt Lisa (1971), the Tel Aviv Prize for
stage arts (1971), the Meskin Prize for The American Princess (1982),
The Bialik Prize (1983), the Scheiber Prize (1987), the Rosenblum Prize for
stage arts (1993), the Ada Ben Nahum Translation Prize (1994), the Israeli
Theater Prize for Lifetime Achievement (1995), the Israel Prize for Theater
(1996) and the Israeli Theater Prize for Translator
of the Year (1997; 1998). In 1992, he became an Honorary Fellow of the The
Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, Jerusalem.