Why I’m doing Sordid Lives

Kyle said it at auditions; this play is a church play.  That is, it’s about grace – how God reaches into our sordid lives and offers not only acceptance, but redemption.  Sure … most church-goers in Baytown will be offended by the use of foul language as well as the sordidness of these characters – an irate and drunken wife; an adulterous husband; an institutionalized, homosexual transvestite; the guitar-playing ex-con; and a sex-craved, pill-popping therapist.  Among all of these characters the young, gay actor in New York seeing his 27th therapist seems the most “normal.”  Of course all of these characters are exaggerations of me and you and the people we know and love.  They are personifications of our sordid selves.  When we laugh at these people, we subconsciously acknowledge our own foolishness, and when we cry with them, we confess our own brokenness.

Yesterday, my prayer-partner asked me what I hoped for out of this show.  I told him, I expect that there may be someone in the audience who will actually experience a touch of grace while watching the show.  We’re praying for that.  You see, all of these sordid lives come together at the end of the show in a church – not a funeral home – and Bitsy Mae, the ex-con, sings “Peggy’s favorite hymn.”  She tells us (not with these precise words) that Jesus showed up at the bar late a night to a bunch of drunken, hurting people, and brought them friendship.  Isn’t this the point of the incarnation … what Christianity is all about?  Christ showing up as one of us, in the midst of our sordid lives, and offering hope.

Oh, I know that plenty of people will be offended by this play, not unlike people were offended by the scandalous Jesus of Nazareth.  Sure it’s “unclean”, but then, aren’t we all, really?

Please consider coming to see the show … we open on Friday, March 31.  Shows run Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons for two weekends.  Tickets are on sale at the box office.  Go to the BLT website for more information.