Bobbie: A Historical Family Drama by Trudee Romanek
Bobbie follows the story of Canadian sports icon Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld and her family as they try to put their difficult beginnings in 1900s Russia behind them to build a life in Canada. A story of perseverance, it explores bias and genuine allyship while celebrating Bobbie’s unparalleled sports achievements — world records in numerous track events, two Olympic medals, Canada’s Female Athlete of the Half Century — and shedding light on the considerable obstacles she faced as a female, a Jew, and an immigrant, obstacles nearly as relevant today, sadly, as they were in the 1920s.
Based on the true story of Bobbie Rosenfeld
Keywords: Olympics, antisemitism, Bobbie Rosenfeld, Canada, women, female athlete
Produced by Theatre by the Bay, Barrie ON, 2023
Genre: Drama, Historical, Biography
Run time: 110 minutes
Suitable for students 12+
Content notes: This play deals with the topic of bias, antisemitism, and othering in general. It is intended as a call to arms for audiences and an opportunity for them to recognize societal injustice, see their own current role within that, and consider their own actions.
The script includes off-stage violence that is heard.
It also contains the derogatory term "k*ke," though a note explains the circumstances under which it can be changed.
Playwright is not Jewish and sought the assistance of two cultural consultants and a mostly Jewish creative team whose insights were invaluable.
To ensure that Jewish and Yiddish cultural elements, pronunciations, etc., are respected, it is essential that any production seek similar guidance from within or outside their production team.
Cast size: 4
Male roles: 2
Female roles: 2
FANNY OR BOBBIE Naturally athletic Jewish girl, from respectful 15YO with long dark hair to feisty, determined 24YO champion sprinter, the antithesis of demure
MORRIS/TEDDY Fanny’s older brother; also plays Evelyn’s brother Teddy; unnamed runner; Amsterdam reporter
SARAH/EVELYN Fanny’s mother; also plays Fanny’s friend Evelyn; unnamed runner; Mrs. Weintraub; Alexandrine Gibb; Jean Thompson
MAX/MR. STEWART Fanny’s father; also plays Evelyn’s father journalist father, Mr. Stewart; unnamed runner; voice; politician; announcer voice-overs.
NOTE: Producers may wish to cast a third female actor, with one playing Sarah, Mrs. Weintraub, and Alexandrine, while the other plays Evelyn and Jean.
"An original Canadian play about the audacious tenacity of the female human spirit. ‘Bobbie’ marks an essential recognition of one woman’s contribution and value to the world of sport in this country...Bobbie Rosenfeld’s unconquerable spirit in her need to play sport marks Romanek’s script one for the Canadian theatre canon."
- Joe Szekeres, Our Theatre Voice