Soulo Theatre's THE CLERGY PROJECT to Play The Kraine Theater

By: Jun. 12, 2017

FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade in association with SOULO Theatre will present a one-night only performance of The Clergy Project, directed by Tracey Erin Smith, on Monday, July 17 at 8pm at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery).

Tickets ($25) may be purchased in advance at The performance will run approximately 70 minutes, followed by a special talkback event.

A Priest, a Minister and a Rabbi walk into a theatre...The punchline comes in the form of the eternal question each faith leader poses at the start of The Clergy Project, an original show that takes a funny, fearless look at contemporary life behind the cloak, from award winning director Tracey Erin Smith.

In the Priest's case, the question posed is "what would Jesus do?', while the Rabbi ponders "what would Moses do" and the humanist Minister wonders what Sartre would do?

Father Daniel, Reverend Shawn and Rabbi Elyse - two gay men and a woman - answer those questions, and share stories about being called to ministry and challenges of congregational life. They share life-changing moments of deep sorrow and pain, of personal joys and struggles in faith, and of the times they bent rules. They reflect, too, on navigating social prejudice and inflexibility. (Daniel came out to his congregation a week after he got married, and Elyse became a Rabbi when there were no female Rabbis in Canada).

The Clergy Project is the brainchild of theatre visionary Tracey Erin Smith who wanted to see if the clergy from different backgrounds had similar stories and to humanize clergy for the public and their congregant. She searched high and low for the right people, from the most varied backgrounds and had 6 participants confirmed. Then, 24 hours before the first rehearsal, 3 of the 6 clergy dropped out, saying it was too risky a venture for them to engage in. What was left were three brave souls, from very different backgrounds, willing to expose what life is really like on their side of the pulpit and the incredible view they have of life from a front seat.

Father Daniel Brereton (Anglican Diocese) was ordained in 1998, serving parishes in Oakville and Hamilton, before moving to Toronto in 2005 to begin doctoral studies in Christian Spirituality. Daniel has served several parishes in Toronto, worked as Coordinator for Toronto PFLAG and Administrator for the Guest House of the Sisters of St. John the Divine. He has worked consistently for the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the Anglican Church. He is currently Priest-in-Charge of St. John the Baptist, an ethnically diverse parish in Mississauga and has an active ministry as a Spiritual Director.

Rabbi Elyse Goldstein (City Shul) was ordained in 1983 and came to Toronto to be Assistant Rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple. For her first three lonely and glass-ceiling-breaking years, she was the only female Rabbi in all of Canada. She was the first female President of the interdenominational Toronto Board of Rabbis and is the author of four books on Women and Judaism. Elyse started a new downtown liberal congregation four years ago called City Shul, which is now bursting at the seams. Wife of Baruch Sienna, mom of Noam, Yonah and Micah, she is also an intrepid traveler, a passionate cyclist, a foodie, and a force to be reckoned with!

Reverend Shawn Newton (First Unitarian Congregation) received a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry at the University of Toronto/Toronto School of Theology. In the course of his preparation for ministry, Shawn served five different congregations, including the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas; Arlington Street Church in Boston, where he was administrator; the Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill, Massachusetts, as a student minister; the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, Ohio, as the Killam Fellow; and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley, as Assistant Minister. Shawn loves to travel, to take in theatre and classical music, and to explore, with his husband, Bob, the fascinating array of neighborhoods in Toronto.

Tracey Erin Smith (Director) is an award-winning performer, writer and teacher who believes in crazy-wisdom and practices reverent irreverence. Smith is the founder of the award-winning SOULO Theatre Company, the Artistic Director of Toronto's SOULO Theatre Festival, SOULO NYC and the Co-Founder of the Totnes SOULO Theatre Festival in England. Smith recently won a Broadway World Award for her latest solo show, MEMENTO MORI. Her play The Burning Bush! was Critic's Pick in BackStage Magazine NYC, a two-time winner of 'Best of the Toronto Fringe Festival', and the 'Audience Choice Award' in New York City's FRIGID Festival. Smith presents SOULO Theatre Workshops internationally. Visit for more.

'FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade is a theater development group with a focus on new work that produces a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater every season. FRIGID's Resident Artist Program offers a home to a select group of Independent theater artists, pooling together a great deal of talent and energy. FRIGID New York grew out of the annual FRIGID Festival, the first and only festival of its kind in New York City to offer artists 100% of their box office proceeds, and Horse Trade Theater Group, a self-sustaining theater development and management group. Go to