Sunday, November 2, 2008

a few thoughts...

In response to Belinda - thank you for coming to the play and thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts to the blog. it means a great deal.

I understand being turned off by the language and attitude towards God. I'm not a faithless person. I want to respond to you directly, because I think the issue of blaspheming and Jesus is an interesting one.

As you know, out here in the real world there is - of course - nothing wrong with having faith. Many people have it and work on it - and it is an important, daily part of their lives.

There are also people who struggle with the idea of God and faith - and perhaps mourn their loss of belief and react to it violently when confronted by it. The conflict is within themselves. I'm writing about those people.

In my play - the characters are in a great deal of unidentified, unspoken pain - they abuse each other and they are in despair that is generational. The way they talk, think, feel and act whenever God comes up is absolutely accurate to their experience. I'm not trying to proselytize the audience with my personal belief system - I'm simply writing what I know to be true for these people living in the world of this play which includes accurately portraying behavior and speech. They are saying things and doing things purposefully to other characters.

The family in 7 CAPTIVA ROAD has lost their faith and are estranged from each other and God. Even the one character who makes a big show of her religious devotion really has a brittle shell of belief - it is evidenced by her actions in the play. They are all consumed with ineloquent resentment and anger towards everyone and everything - including God. To me - that is an undeniable truth about the human condition.

The unsaid aspect of my play is that there is no room for God in that house. The characters cannot allow it. And so whenever the subject comes up - it is going to be attacked. Imagine if these characters actually challenged themselves with faith? Or allowed themselves to love anyone or God? If God had a chance to be present in their lives - the ramifications would be revolutionary. They would be compelled to honestly confront their pain and their actions and take responsibility for them. I know there are some people who have the strength of character to withstand an undertaking of that magnitude - but these people aren't them. This play is about the 1000 little ways they avoid and deny the truth about themselves, each other and God (in an understated way).

My job as a writer is to reflect what I see as honestly as possible regardless of its potential to offend. I work hard to keep my writing from becoming a stump speech or politically correct. Life and the people living it are often unseemly, uncomfortable and rough. The characters in my play most certainly are. As a result - their speech must reflect their internal emotional/ psychological/ spiritual weather. It's my job to accurately capture it with any and all words.

Thanks again for coming to the reading and supporting LAB and the Barn Series - I hope I've offered a little bit of context.


  1. It's a privilege to read such a thoughtful and detailed response to an audience's frank comment. Thank you Andrea. You talk about the writer's job - a more complex and personal thing than can be described in any one way - but it's clear to me that you're doing it. Don't stop, and good luck.

  2. Excellent writing, Andrea, and the acting was superb. For me the play was not about God missing from people's lives but about a family that is thrown together in what is really an unnatural (but funny, in this case--and funny is therapeutic!) way. One of the conclusions that may be drawn is, to put it simply, "What goes around, comes around." Don't let anyone blackmail you emotionally, but if you do, you asked for it. Another possible conclusion: sometimes the only way to see certain relationships more clearly is to get as far away from them as possible for as long as possible!