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Topic: Acting In Questionable Play

<[email protected]> wrote:

I am an actress. A wonderful part in a play has become available to me. It is a truthful play dealing with prejudice and real emotions...with much humor and pathos. It is a play that touches the heart.

However for the first time in my long acting experience, I am confronted with a moral decision. The play and the lines I will have to say are not ones that I would be proud for my children or my grandchildren to hear (even though they will not see this play). My question is, is it right for me to consider taking this part?

Dear Bubbe,

Guess what? All of us are confronted with your exact decision! This world is a 'great play' with fantastic scenery and ingenious props. We all have a wonderful part in it.

But it is an improvisational theater; the lines of the play are ad-lib. I can only tell you how I try to make up the lines for my part. I don't first look at my children to see how they will react to my performance. First, I look at the 'Producer' - the one responsible for giving me the part in the first place.

One should always use 'clean' language, and never utter an offensive or coarse word. Even words such as 'p - i - g' should be avoided when possible.

Your embarrassment in the face of your children is telling. When Joseph's brothers plotted to kill him, Judah said, "What good is it if we kill our brother, and cover his blood?" I heard from Rabbi Yisroel Simcha Shorr, shlita, an explanation of the words "and cover his blood." Judah told his brothers: "However justified we may feel in killing Joseph, the fact that we have to 'cover it up' indicates that, underneath it all, we know it's wrong."

Now, I have a question for you. Will the play be performed Friday night, or Saturday night before dark? No? Good.

May you be blessed with great 'nachas' - pleasure - from your children and your children's children. May each one - following the example set by their Bubbe - become a shining 'star.'


  • Bereshit 37:26
  • Tractate Pesachim 3a

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