From LA to Israel: Iris Bahr and What Inspired “See You Tomorrow”  

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Coming August 1-7 to the 14Y Theater is LABA Humor Fellow Iris Bahr, the award-winning star of Dai (enough) and recurring roles on Hacks, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and her original series Svetlana.

See You Tomorrow is a funny and poignant exploration of love, loss, bureaucracy, culture shock and resilience as Iris upends her life to care for her mother after a stroke. Read on to hear in Iris’s own words on how See You Tomorrow came to life.

“One morning last February, I was at home in Los Angeles with my 9-year-old son, video chatting with my mom in Israel. We were giddily planning our first reunion after a year and a half, when my mom suddenly had a stroke – right there on video – before my eyes.

Four days later, I packed up our entire house and moved to Israel to take care of her. Overnight, I was thrust into a maelstrom of full-time caregiving, heartbreak and grief, mind-boggling bureaucracy, good old culture shock, and sporadic displays of resilience. My son, in turn, was launched into a daunting new school system (let’s just say Israeli kids are a bit feistier, shall we?), a life in full-time Hebrew, and overall general chaos.

The challenges were intense and numerous. As one crisis was dealt with, a new one would appear; physical, logistical, emotional. While my mother’s body recovered fully, the stroke brought on severe dementia. It was mind boggling how a brain event that lasted just a few seconds altered her forever, and the ensuing reality of having her present – but not present – was gut-wrenching.

As I waded through my tears, stomachaches and existential epiphanies, the need to find the light and utilize my trusted coping mechanism of humor only grew stronger, and so did the need to share my story. Not because I found it cathartic (on the contrary, working on this piece kept me swimming in a sea of grief with no respite), but because I knew how many people were facing similar challenges, in endless yet similar configurations; whether it be the solitary trials that dementia caregivers face, or only-children face, or co-dependent, guilt-ridden Jews with zero ability to set healthy boundaries or be in functional relationships face.

How many of us have dealt with loss, cryptic doctors, or been on dates with men who discuss their psoriasis over dinner? How many more have had to truly deal with that crazy thing called modern Israeli society? Whether by choice, staunch Zionism, or the Maccabiah games?

My previous solo shows involved me creating and embodying a wide variety of characters with whom I felt deeply connected but was still one step removed. This piece is not that. This is just me, as me, sharing a deeply personal challenge with which I am still contending. I have always combined humor with pathos in my work, but never before has the need for the two to co-exist been so present, both in my work and my life, at the same time.

I am so grateful to be presenting my most raw and vulnerable work to date at the 14Y Theater. The 14Y has been my creative home for years. During the pandemic, my LABA cohort (our theme was HUMOR) and our meetings proved to be not only a creative haven of enrichment, learning and community, but they also opened my eyes to wit in places and sources that were new and surprising to me, only pushing me further to find the light in the most existential and unexpected of places.

I look forward to sharing my story with you all August 1-7.”

And we look forward to seeing all of you at See You Tomorrow. Tickets are available for purchase, and for $5 off, use discount code 5OFF at checkout.

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