Birthmark by Stephen Orlov
BIRTHMARK is a genre blend of family drama, political thriller and dark comedy about the relationship between two Montreal diaspora families, one Jewish and the other Palestinian. The story thematically explores the complexity of how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over birthright and homeland abroad effects racial profiling and youth radicalization in Canada.
David Stein, a secular Jewish writer whose wife had died shortly after giving birth, is shocked when his only child, Nelson, announces his plan to join a remote ultra-Orthodox settlement outpost in the West Bank. David tries to sabotage the plan by finally revealing to Nelson that he might not be Jewish because of a mix up at a fertility clinic with the egg of Jamila Hassan, a widowed Palestinian immigrant teacher.
Jamila balks at taking a DNA test, fearing its hurtful impact on her adopted Palestinian daughter, Hana, a student activist.
The uncertainty of Jamila’s DNA test and the mystery surrounding Hana’s disappearance abroad drive the plot suspense, as conflict builds with unexpected twists toward life-or-death scenarios for both families.
Produced by Montréal Arts Interculturels Theatre, November 2018
Secondary roles can be doubled by a single 5th actor.