by Joel Bernbaum & Kayvon Khoshkam
The Kindness of Kevin Barteski
by Nicole Nattrass
A Jew and a Muslim walk into a bar...
My Rabbi is a comedic drama about two Canadian best friends who go on spiritual journeys that change their lives forever. A thought-provoking story about the lines between faith and friendship. At a time when fighting in Gaza is intensifying, My Rabbi looks a global politics through the eyes of two young Canadian men -- Arya, who is Muslim; and Jacob, who is Jewish. Inspired by the creators' real-lif friendship (Kelly is half-Iranian, half-Irish, and Bernbaum is Jewish), this unflinching and heartfelt comedic drama gives a uniquely personal and Canadian perspective on the complex issues around the clash of Judaism and Islam. It is a play about the connection between two boyhood friends, but at its heart it is about Canadian identity and how that relates to the battle between old world politics and religious boundaries. As a young man Arya travels to the Middle East in search of his cultural identity while Jacob goes on to become a rabbi. As their spiritual journeys lead them in divergent directions, the differences they laughed over and celebrated in their youth become a source of friction. Their lives are changed forever when the age-old battle manifests in their respective communities.
Nicolle Nattrass is a proud & active member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She has served on the National Board for PGC as a National Representative for Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands since 2016. From 2008- 2012, she served as Deputy Chair to the Womens’ Caucus to both playwrights, Tara Goldstein and Marcia Johnson, as Chairs.She has also served as a Juror for the 2008 Theatre BC’s National Playwrighting Competition and the Stage West Pechet Family Comedy Award in 2015. Her plays have enjoyed professional productions with Firehall Arts Centre, Kay Meek Centre, Chemainus Theatre Festival, Theatre One, Sunset Theatre, UVIC’s Phoenix Theatre, VIU Malaspina Theatre, The Belfry Theatre, Presentation House Theatre, Shuswap Theatre and many more smaller venues. Her very first play, Brownie Points (Boldly Going where no Brownie has gone before) was nominated for “Outstanding New Play” & “Outstanding Performance” at the 1998 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. It also received an American premiere at the Red Hen Feminist Theatre in Ohio. Nicolle has also written for radio/film & tv having adapted her first solo show into a CBC radio pilot series(1999), Boldly going where no Brownie has gone before, an award winning short film, Brownie Points directed by Nathan Garfinkel which garnered Best Short Comedy at the 2003 Magnolia Independent Film Festival in New Orleans as well as Best Short Film at the Vancouver Island Film Festival. Nicolle also adapting her comedy duo, The Drama Queens for tv in a comedy series, She Kills Me (APTN-TV).