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Actor on Shabbos


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Kislev 15, 5774
Hello! Hypothetically, if a community actor wanted to perform in a non-equity (unpaid) stage play on Shabbos, would he/she be allowed to do so, provided they don’t break any melachot? It would be done for their own enjoyment and not for any sort of compensation. Thanks!
I will also answer hypothetically The way you describe things, if there are there are no "melachot" – no Shabbat violations are being done it would seem okay. For example I would see no problem of somebody giving an educational skit on Shabbat to students in a camp or the like . However, I would assume that tickets are sold in such a place, and there is a non-Shabbat environment around you. Also, it is possible that people may possibly travel to see the performance and indirectly Shabbat desecration may be caused. Therefore, it doesn’t just end on your side. There are also educational issues, of people who know you would hear here that you are acting on Shabbat and wrong conclusions may be made. Therefore, I would ask your local community Rabbi and give him full details. Kol tuv
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