Meet the Artist: Mark Novak

Posted by Washington Revels
October 17, 2019

Imagine you live in a rustic European village nestled somewhere in the mists of time…

Life revolves around agriculture and the seasons, and the Winter Solstice is fast approaching. You and your neighbors hope the harvest will carry you through the shortest, darkest days, and as always, your village prepares to keep the year alive with brightly burning Yule logs, hearty songs, lively dances, and cherished stories.

But this year, something unexpected happens! Three wandering performers arrive, and they are unlike any people who have ever visited before — dressed in bright, strange clothing, atop a colorful wagon, sharing their cultural riches in the form of tales, music and dance that you’ve never seen or heard. Who are these traveling Fools that call themselves the Sun, Moon, and Stars?

Meet Our “Stars” Fool!

Mark Novak is a rabbi, storyteller, musician, writer, composer, father, and avid Washington Nationals fanatic (World Series bound!). He is founder and spiritual guide of Minyan Oneg Shabbat, Washington DC’s Jewish Renewal gathering, and co-founder of The MultiFaith Storytelling Institute, whose mission is to change the world one story at a time. Mark and Washington Revels Artistic Director Roberta Gasbarre first connected through Arena Stage’s outreach company, Living Stage, where Mark was music director and Roberta was production coordinator. Both are thrilled to be working together again, and Washington Revels is excited that Mark’s talents will be on display at Lisner Auditorium this December!

Mark’s many websites show the diversity of his creative and spiritual pursuits and you can learn more about them (and him) at:; and Below we’ve selected two videos and an article that give a sense of the joy Mark brings to his work, whether on stage, as faith leader, or even when blessing Washington Nationals baseballs!

NEW! Hear Mark’s Homage to the 2019 Washington Nationals

Blessing of the 2014 Postseason Baseballs

The Mark Novak Band

Washington Jewish Week: Real D.C. Rabbi Appears on ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’

Not only does Mark Novak have a theater background, but he even brings TV stardom to this year’s Christmas Revelswell, OK, 15 seconds of Reality TV fame!

Not every rabbi would take up the challenge of officiating a ceremony on a show like Real Housewives of Potomac, but as you saw in the “Blessing of the Baseballs” video, Mark approaches his calling with a combination of spiritual sincerity and good-natured fun. Learn about his turn in front of the camera in this Washington Jewish Week article.

We can’t wait to experience the palpable energy and enthusiasm that Mark will bring to the role of the “Stars Fool” this December. Join him, along with fellow tradition bearers Karim Nagi and Shizumi Shigeto Manale, and our onstage village of over 100, ages 9-90, as we gather for our most beloved Christmas Revels production of all time. Welcome Yule!

See The Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools”

Never Miss a Blog Post:


Related Stories:

Meet the Artist: Karim Nagi
Posted by Washington Revels

The Fool as Healer
Posted by Washington Revels

The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 2
A blog post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director

Heartfelt Thanks
A guest blog post by Susan Swope (2018 Christmas Revels Walk-On Winner)

Rediscovering a Family Tradition
A blog post by Ross Wixon, Marketing & Development Director

The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 1
A blog post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director

Marking the Shortest Day of the Year
Posted by Washington Revels

Follow us