There is another piece to this story, this musical, this mission. All my life, in my dual careers in teen leadership/Judaic education and this business we call ‘show’, I have created what I needed when I couldn’t find it readily available. Years ago, when no one wanted to hire me as a singer, I played for tips in places that had never thought of featuring live music…until I ever so creatively showed them the logic and brought in the customers. In my role as a Youth Leader, for over twenty five years I have been on the forefront of creating curriculum on topics of ethics, empowerment and self actualization. As I have always shared my deepest self in my music, if I thought it would do even one person some good I have shared my personal experiences with thousands of teens around the world on topics ranging from poverty, emotional abuse, entrepreneurialism, faith and, of course, matters of sexuality and sexual identity.
That’s the other piece. This is a musical comedy about women falling in love. In The Unwitting Wife, the character of Linda is an out and proud lesbian in her ’40s (sound familiar?). The character of Annie is a woman who finds herself struggling with her latent bisexuality. The character of Claire is a heterosexual who no more sees lines of sexual preference any more than she sees lines of color or status. I know these women. But I sure didn’t see any of them represented in any medium of the arts when I was growing up. I did see my first interfaith couple, Jew married to Gentile, in the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie. Not only was this the first interfaith couple in television, but it was the first time I remember seeing a Jewish person represented as just a person, not a caricature or stereotype. If you think these things don’t mean anything, they do. That show only ran from 1970-74 and never reran. I was aged four to eight and I remember gathering around the TV for every episode with my family.
I only came out of the closet 100% to all in 1998, aged 32. At the time I was a Youth Director, a teacher, and had remained publicly closeted for fear of not being allowed to work with children. I got a study in the mail, research that showed the #1 cause of teen suicide as ‘gay and lesbian related issues’. I came out the next day. The Unwitting Wife has the potential to be some kid’s Bridget Loves Bernie, I think.
Wrapping it up…
In addition to the Tiberias Festival, I had originally hoped to take The Unwitting Wife to LGBT Pride Centers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Now, I’m refining my expectations and plan to include only Tiberias, wowing everyone concerned so much that we might return to do the rest next year. But I won’t accomplish that much without the one thing I have never cared about until it was far too late in the game—money. If you’ve gotten this far, you care about me, you believe in my talent and you want to help. Click the link and give what you can. http://tinyurl.com/rebeccatotiberias Remember to type in ‘REBECCA’ in the last box.
In return, I’ll give everything I have to make this a successful mission. Blessings to us all, love and peace,