Friday, May 21, 2010

Tearing Up The Slips of Paper: EVERYDAY RAPTURE

It's been about a month since I saw EVERYDAY RAPTURE, so I really should have written about it earlier (sorry!). But better late than never, right? I wanted some time to process it, anyway--there's a lot going on in the show, and it affected me a lot so I wanted to get a little distance.

Going into the show, I only knew that it was Sherie Rene Scott's one-woman show--that's it. I didn't realize it would be autobiographical at all, and I'm glad about that; it let me go into the show without any preconceptions. I generally prefer see shows as cold as possible, anyway, but I think it was important for me to do so in this case. I'm not the biggest fan of one-person shows, or autobiographical shows, for that matter (although I really enjoyed WISHFUL DRINKING).

EVERYDAY RAPTURE is much more than a autobiographical one-woman show, however. Sherie Rene Scott's childhood in Kansas and early experiences in New York provide the framework for the show, but for me it was much more of an exploration of faith and performance. How do you balance a belief that you are a speck of dust with the certainty that the world was created for you?

I didn't grow up a Mennonite, but I am a practicing Catholic so there's much in Scott's upbringing I relate to. My religious education and background wasn't nearly as extreme, and I didn't have the kind of community that Scott apparently did--even in high school, I was the token Catholic amongst my friends--but that grappling with humility is certainly something I recognize. Only for me, it's not "I am a speck of dust;" it's more like, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Or even reconciling "Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe" with the very logical, science-based framework I grew up in (my parents are scientists, I was a high school debater, and I'm dating a med student).

I think the issue of integrating faith and religion into your daily life, is a really important one, especially when they're seemingly at odds with your career or with the way you life your life in general. It means a lot to see someone tackle that on Broadway. And honestly, it makes me so happy to see a Broadway show that takes Christianity and faith seriously. I have so much admiration for Kristin Chenoweth for publicly speaking about her Christianity and showing people that it's entirely possible to be a Christian and work in the New York arts scene and be liberal and love gay people. Not to say that Christians in New York theatre are oppressed, but being a Christian and being conservative, Republican, and/or close-minded have became the same thing for a lot of people in this part of the country, and it's unbelievably heartening to see people actively disprove that.

My hope is that audiences leave EVERYDAY RAPTURE with a deeper understanding of what a person's relationship with religion can be--or a relationship with any belief system, really. I'm going to force my non-theatre loving, culturally Buddhist boyfriend to see it in hopes it helps him better understand that side of me.

EVERYDAY RAPTURE is also about a lot of other things--there's a brilliantly funny/frightening sequence involving a fan on youtube that is packed with fascinating issues--but the crux of the show (as I see it, at least) is what stuck with me the most. I'm looking forward to going back.

1 comment:

  1. I need to see it again as soon as possible. I'm listening to it right now, actually.