Rabbi Rabino

Renowned Argentinian director Vivi Tellas kidnaps reality, placing two Conservative Rabbis onstage to perform their own autobiographies – ranging from jokes to Jewish food to their opinions on Charlton Heston’s “The 10 Commandments.” On the threshold where simple reality transforms into performance, RABBI RABINO captures pieces of theatricality outside the theatre, placing them onstage in a unique context where audiences can connect with the Rabbi’s world in a whole new way.

Vivi Tellas, Director / Julie Kline, Collaborator / Dahlia Fischbein, Collaborator / Rabbi Hyman Levine, Performer / Rabbi Moses Birnbaum, Performer

Vivi Tellas has been at the cutting edge of the Argentine theater scene since 1980, first as the originator of Teatro Malo (Bad Theater) and since then as the director of a succession of innovative stage productions. Tellas has continually explored and tested the limits of theatrical practice and institutions. Her original contributions include Homenaje a Xul Solar (1989), Europera V (1995), Los fracasados del mal (1992), and a groundbreaking interpretation in collaboration with artist Guillermo Kuitca of La casa de Bernarda Alba (2002). Since 2000 she has worked on the Archives Project, a cycle of radical stagings of everyday life in Buenos Aires, directing her real-life mother and aunts (Mi mama y mis tias, 2003-4), recreating her driving lessons in the Automovil Club Argentino (Escuela de conduccion, 2006-7), imagining a conversation between the writer Edgardo Cozarinsky and his doctor (Cozarinsky y su medico, 2005-2006), and exploring Buenos Aires nightlife in Disc Jockey (2008). Vivi Tellas founded and directed the Center for Experimentation in Theater of the University of Buenos Aires. Between 1998 and 2000 she was in charge of the Stage Arts section of the Recoleta Cultural Center. Between 2001 and 2008 she was the Artistic Director of the Sarmiento Theater, which she transformed into the experimental space of the Theater Complex of the City of Buenos Aires. In 2008, she taught the seminar “Family Theater,” first in London by joint invitation of the National Portrait Gallery and Shunt, the legendary performance space, then in Dublin by invitation of the Project Arts Center.

Co-Production of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and PS122
Director: Vivi Tellas
Collaborators: Julie Kline and Dahlia Fischbein
Performers: Rabbi Moses A. Birnbaum and Rabbi Hyman Levine
Stage Manager: Mei Ling Acevedo
Research in Buenos Aires: Pablo Chernov
Associate Producer: Julie Kline
Video/Photo Documentarian: Dahlia Fischbein
Production Photos: Pascal Perich
Postcard Design: Horacio Gallo
Vivi Tellas’ website: Mei Iudicissa

We invite you to stay after the performance to enjoy some Kosher refreshments with the performers.

Director’s Note:

As a Jewish person without a Jewish education I always felt very curious and had great attraction to the whole mise en scene of the synagogue. As a theatre director this feeling was enough to make me think of starting my research on the “Rabbi’s world”, as part of my documentary work. I am looking for the most theatrical moments in the life of a Rabbi, and to examine certain questions…
Is theatre true?
Rabbi Murray said that God is a voice.
Rabbi Ellen said God is “feeling right”.
Rabbi Jan said God is memory.
Rabbi Moshe said God is being Jewish.
Rabbi Hy said God is the essence.
How does a person get to be a Rabbi? Is there a sign?
Is there a moment of revelation?
What does it mean to be a Rabbi? Is it a responsibility? A calling?
Moses heard God’s voice for the first time coming from The Burning Bush. A bush that never burns down.
Are Jewish jokes the best jokes on earth?
What does it mean to be chosen?
Why is Hollywood a Jewish invention?

Thanks to Alan Pauls, Rita Pauls, Richard Etkin, Sylvia Molloy, Beba Eguia, Stefan Kaegi, Anthony Hampton, Sarah Cameron Sunde and New Georges, Roberto Cambeiro and A.R.T./ New York, Judy Bowman, Brian Long, Eugenia Furneaux-Arends, Brian Miskell, Kathryn Hathaway, Denis Butkus, Daniel Talbott, Mashinka Firunts, Laura Nicoll, Morgan Nichols, Myron Gold, Rabbi Murray and Clare Stadtmauer, Rabbi Jonathan Blake, Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Lisa B. Segal, Arthur Strimling, Rabbi Jan Caryl Kaufman, Rabbi Rolando Matalon
Special thanks to Vallejo Gantner and David Van Asselt

This production is sponsored by Apple & Eve Juice

Wed, Jan 5 9:30PM / Thu, Jan 6 6:30PM / Sun, Jan 9 6:30PM / Tue, Jan 11 6:30PM / Thu, Jan 13 6:30PM / Sat, Jan 15 9:30PM

Help PS122 Go Green by viewing your Rabbi Rabino program online!

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