Breaking Bread

Distilled Theatre Company presents

BREAKING BREAD by Joshua Smalley

I wanted to do something a bit different this week. This radio play written by Joshua Smalley is a fantastic, albeit hyperbolic, encapsulation of the tension that exists between the Christian and LGBTQ communities. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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Full Transcript

Sounds of a busy kitchen.

KASEY. Alright, honey. Time to cut the ham!

RYLAN. Each Johnson matriarch has been an excellent meat cutter. That’s why we’re either divorced or gay.

KASEY. Rylan. They’ll be here soon. Everything has to be perfect.

RYLAN. I’m on it, babe. The service today was—soothing. The lady next to me was so calm she had her eyes closed. I checked her pulse. She was alive.

KASEY. WHAT?

RYLAN. PASTOR ALBERT WAS NICE.

KASEY. He compared Jesus to a Chevrolet.

RYLAN. WHAT?

KASEY. NOBODY PRAYED OUT LOUD. NO TONGUES. ON EASTER!

RYLAN. I LIKED IT. MORE SUBDUED THAN YOUR OLD CHURCH.

KASEY. WE GOT LOOKS. WHEN YOU PUT YOUR ARM AROUND ME.

RYLAN. REALLY? I DIDN’T NOTICE.

We should try and find an accepting church.

KASEY. Please don’t start with this again.

RYLAN. Who knows? Maybe there’s a fellowship that’s open and affirming.

KASEY. Apostolics are not open and affirming. I won’t go to some United Methodist

RYLAN. I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.

KASEY. We’re going to find an Apostolic church. If it was good enough for my gran-gran, it’s good enough for me.

RYLAN. We can try that church in Middleburg next week. I heard the pastor’s only sixty years old.

KASEY. I’m tired of the jokes already.

RYLAN. Kidding! Stop worrying. It’ll take time. We’re in a new house, a new neighborhood, a new city. A new state—

KASEY. Ohio: cornfields and people who look bored.

RYLAN. You’re a strong, blonde, force of nature. And I’m an incredibly handsome gym teacher—think of the kids we’ll make. Their pictures in frames above the fireplace… Stockings at Christmas full of candy… I’ll dress up as a ridiculous gigantic bunny for Easter… We can make a thing of it every year. With or without your family.

KASEY. Don’t.

RYLAN. Kiss me.

KASEY. I think that’s them coming down the street!

RYLAN. Breathe.

KASEY. These mashed potatoes need butter! Where’s the butter?

RYLAN. Next to the cutting board. By your left hand.

KASEY. Am I crazy, inviting over complete strangers for Easter?

RYLAN. They’re our neighbors. You said Dalitha accepted without even thinking about it.

KASEY. Tuh-leetha. Isn’t it weird they didn’t already have plans?

RYLAN. We didn’t have plans.

KASEY. We have an excuse. What if they’re just rolling out of bed?

RYLAN. Then he rolled out of bed and into a three-piece suit. They came from church.

KASEY. They still could be Chreasters. What is she wearing?

RYLAN. Everybody’s a Chreaster compared to you.

Strapless dress and a head wrap. Lord help us.

                Three loud knocks.

KASEY. Answer it!

RYLAN. Relax.


                Door opens.

Howdy neighbors!

TALITHA. Hellll-ooo—Oh! We’re hugging?

KASEY. Sorry, I’m a hugger! He is Risen!

TYSON. He is Risen. Nice to meet you, Kasey.

KASEY. Nice to meet you, Tyson!

RYLAN. You must be Dalitha.

TALITHA. Tuh-leetha.

RYLAN. I’m sorry. Talitha. Your dress is lovely. And your head wrap? Gold is your color.

TALITHA. Thank you! Great to see you again Kasey, baby. Thanks for having us.

KASEY. Of course. You’re so sweet, giving us a housewarming gift. The least I could do is invite you over for some good country cooking!

RYLAN. We love candles, especially around a hot bubble bath.

TALITHA. I do too! I ask Tyson to come in but he’s usually asleep.

RYLAN. Tyson, you sure look suave. Pleased to meet you, sir.

TYSON. Nice to meet you, too.

And you’re Kasey and Rylan’s—sister?

RYLAN. Me—? Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m Rylan. Kasey’s girlfriend.

TYSON. Oh. I’m sorry. Um—I didn’t recall knowing you were—I thought Rylan was a—man.

KASEY. It’s alright!

TALITHA. That’s embarrassing. I told you, Tyson honey, it was Kasey and her partner Rylan.

TYSON. That could mean anything. You should have elaborated.

TALITHA. Oops.

RYLAN. No, we’re sorry. We obviously didn’t make that clear?

KASEY. No, we did make it clear.

TALITHA. I’ll take the blame for this one, guys. I just assumed Tyson would be excited to see some diversity in our neighborhood.

TYSON. Talitha, please. I am, of course, around many gay people—even lesbians! Well not so much lesbians, more gay men, but I’m certainly around many L-G-B-T-Q-M-or-whatever sorts of folk at Case Western, so I don’t want you to think it’s any issue—it’s not—I’m certainly an ally of your community, and—

TALITHA. An ally doesn’t have to say he’s an ally, dear.

TYSON. We have the rolls you asked for. And some vino. It’s been a long day! Ushering wears me out.

RYLAN. Oh… wine!

TALITHA. I’ll need some, too, being around this guy all morning. I only go to church on Christmas and Easter—thank God.

KASEY. That’s really sad.

RYLAN. Kasey calls those folks Chreasters.

KASEY. Oh, Rylan. I don’t really say that.

TYSON. That’s a good one, Chreasters! I like it.

RYLAN. Yes, you do—

KASEY. Well, guys, why don’t you come on into the living room—since we’re all just standing here. Welcome and happy Easter! Rylan and I are so glad you could join us. We hope we didn’t intrude on any of your plans, I know in my family this holiday is special—

TYSON. Not at all. Most of our family is back home, in upstate New York. We moved here from the City. That’s where we met, dated, got married…

KASEY. Wow, New York City! I don’t think I could live there. Prostitutes on every corner.

TALITHA. That’s not true. I miss it. Tyson and I met at an Obama rally. We left for his job—and five long years later, here we are.

TYSON. Through the ups and downs. Significant ups and downs. How long have you two been together?

RYLAN. It’s only been a short while, but it’s felt like we’ve always known each other—hasn’t it, babe? She resisted at first (she still does sometimes), but I am persistent…

KASEY. If nothing else, she’s persistent.

TALITHA. Aw. Are your families out of state?

RYLAN. We’re from Tennessee. My family’s on vacation this year, in the Bahamas—without me!

TALITHA. Jealous. And yours, Kasey? What is your family doing for Easter?

KASEY. Um. They are probably celebrating like they usually do—in Tennessee. They don’t travel much.

TYSON. They didn’t want to come and visit you guys?

KASEY. No.

RYLAN. Maybe if I had my breasts reduced I could convince them I’m a man… Then they might come!

KASEY. I apologize for Rylan’s sense of humor in advance. Especially about my family.

TYSON. The layout of your place—it’s the same basic shape as ours, except this wall is over there…

KASEY. Yes, sorry it’s so empty right now—we’re still unpacking. Which is unusual—I’m the most organized person I’ve ever met.

RYLAN. You should see the bathroom. There’s a label on my toothbrush.

TALITHA. Did you need any help with dinner?

KASEY. Oh, I nearly forgot! Um, no need to help! Just give me… a… minute…

Sounds from kitchen.

TALITHA. These Easter decorations are—cute. I think I saw them at Dollar General.

Sounds of construction, off.

RYLAN. I’m not a fan of all the construction in the neighborhood. I can’t get any peace.

TYSON. It never ends, even on Easter. It’s ridiculous. It feels good to sit down… My feet are killing me.

TALITHA. He sounds like an old man. He’s 36. This painting. It’s so—large.

RYLAN. Big ol’ Jesus. Ain’t he gorgeous?

TALITHA. He’s certainly—something.

TYSON. You two go to church?

TALITHA. Tyson, they have a painting of White Jesus on the wall.

KASEY. Of course! I tell Rylan all the time, I lived in my church. Fun story—my mother’s water broke while she was teaching Sunday school, and the hospital was so far away, they delivered me in the church auditorium! Stopped the service and everything!

RYLAN. I can confirm: she tells that story all the time.

TYSON. That’s incredible. I wish Talitha would go with me more…

TALITHA. I wish for a lot of things.

RYLAN. Tyson, Kasey was telling me you work at Case Western?

TYSON. Yes! In the religion department.

RYLAN. Ah, okay. Interesting. Kasey invited a religion expert.

TYSON. Well, I don’t know if I’d say, expert

TALITHA. I can confirm: he does. Often.

RYLAN. What church do y’all attend?

TALITHA. –Tyson attends—

TYSON. Calvary Baptist, on Main Street.

RYLAN. I’ve met one or two Baptists. They were from South Carolina. They chewed tobacco.

TALITHA. Tyson can say he’s Baptist all he wants. His real religion is wine. And not in the ceremonial sense—

TYSON. Talitha’s religion is having the last word.

KASEY. Dinner’s ready!

TALITHA. Do you need help—

KASEY. I was thinking we’d do it family-style, is that okay? We don’t have much furniture yet—

TYSON. That’s alright. Kumbaya.

KASEY. I’ll turn on some music.

                Jungle music. Drums. Chants.

TALITHA. What in the hell!

TYSON. What is that?

KASEY. I’m sorry, I’m sorry!

RYLAN. Kasey—what the—? Why’s that on your MP3 player?

                Jungle music ends. It’s replaced by some light Mozart.

KASEY. It’s—um—music from Ghana. In my World Music class in college, we listened to music in all different languages. I like to—it comforts me. Anyways! Talitha, this is random, but I just love your name.

TALITHA. Thank you.

RYLAN. What’s it from?

TALITHA. What’s that supposed to mean?

RYLAN. It’s not, you know, the usual kind of name.

TYSON. It’s biblical, actually.

RYLAN. Of course.

TYSON. It means “little girl” in Aramaic. Jesus brings a child back to life, and He uses the phrase talitha cumi.

TALITHA. I need to be brought back to life.

RYLAN. My name isn’t biblical. It’s English.

TALITHA. To be honest, I’ve never met a woman named ‘Rylan.’

RYLAN. It’s not common, but I like the masculine energy. My parents had good foresight there—

KASEY. Especially for Catholics.

KASEY and TYSON laugh.

RYLAN. Lots of Catholic hostility in this household.

TALITHA. This all looks yummy, Kasey.

RYLAN. I’m starving. I’m glad my girl’s a domestic.

TALITHA. “A” domestic? I think you mean just “domestic.” “A” domestic is a house worker—

RYLAN. I know. Like fifty years ago, a lot of African Americans would call themselves “a” domestic. For their profession.

TALITHA. Um, sure. You could say that. I wouldn’t say it, but I guess you just did.

RYLAN. I did. It doesn’t mean that’s what I meant about Kas—

KASEY. What are some of the Easter traditions everybody grew up with? I’ll go first. Twelve days before Easter Sunday we would open one “Resurrection Egg” each day to tell the story of Easter. Each egg had something different inside it. There was the plastic donkey for Palm Sunday, the tiny perfume bottle for Mary pouring perfume on Jesus’ feet, the small cracker for the Last Supper—

TYSON. I loved the Resurrection Eggs!

RYLAN. Never heard of it.

KASEY. There were twelve eggs, and the last one you opened on Easter—it was empty?

RYLAN. I thought Easter eggs were some bullshit made up by Hallmark.

KASEY. Mouth, please—

RYLAN. Speaking of Easter eggs! We’d hold vigil for Christ on Saturday and boil, dye, and decorate the dead baby chickens that night. Then Christ would rise the next morning… but more importantly we’d escape from church to go on Easter egg hunts with the whole neighborhood, find hidden baskets full of chocolate bunnies, and then dinner, family dinner, was the biggest you can imagine—

TYSON. My mother cooked supper—ten times the size of this one—Pineapple-glazed ham, deviled eggs, butter biscuits—We’d invite over half the church, she’d make me help, our house was small, people spilling out at the seams… the girls would still be in their Easter dresses, some of them brand new, playin’ volleyball and spillin’ out… peaches and cream for dessert…

TALITHA. And the ceremonial wine—

TYSON. What the hell are you talking about—

KASEY. My family’s Easter dinners were always tiny, just me and my family.

There was music. And singing. Before, during, and after. Spilling out the seams.

Because He is risen.

TYSON. …Amen. He’s the real reason for the season.

KASEY. One hundred percent.

TALITHA. Excuse me, but this ham is so moist.

TYSON. Do you have wine glasses? I almost forgot, the wine!

TALITHA. I’m sure you did. These mashed potatoes are so buttery. The rolls are from Whole Foods, sorry about that. I don’t cook.

TYSON. How about we bust it out? It’s expensive. Wine for everyone?

RYLAN. Whole Foods, huh? Fancy.

KASEY. Oh my gosh, you know what? We forgot to pray. We forgot to pray!

TYSON. But… The wine…

TALITHA. Forget the wine, Tyson!

KASEY. Would you mind if we said a prayer over the food? Real quick. Rylan? Would you do the honors?

RYLAN. Sure. Lord God, thank you for today—

KASEY. Let’s hold hands.

TALITHA. Uh—do we have to?

TYSON. And where might you have the corkscrew?

RYLAN. Lord God, thank you for giving us this meal. Thank you for Kasey, who prepared it for us. Thank you for our—um, wonderful neighbors, Talitha and Tyson. All this we pray through Jesus—

KASEY. “O Lord Jesus Christ—Who  upon this day conquered death, you are our fountain of love: Fill us with thy love—“

TYSON. I found it! Oh shit—

“Absorb us into thy love, Compass us with thy love, That we may see all things in the light of thy love—“

KASEY. “Speak of all things in words breathing of thy love, Be kindled day by day with a new glow of thy love—“

RYLAN. “–Until we be fitted to enter into thine everlasting grace—“

KASEY. “–thine everlasting love, to adore thy love and love to adore thee—“

RYLAN. “OUR GOD AND OUR ALL. Even so, come lord Jesus—“

KASEY. “–Jesu!” Amen.

TYSON. Amen!

RYLAN. Amen. Thank God.

TYSON. Alright! Some wine for you, and you—

KASEY. Wait, no—

RYLAN. Kasey hasn’t had a drink her entire life. Now I don’t drink either.

TALITHA. Do you miss it? Tyson would.

TYSON. Talitha, enough—

RYLAN. I’d be lying if I said ‘No.’ Especially in college, I was a wine connoisseur—

KASEY. But she doesn’t do that anymore. It’s a sin.

TYSON. Is that part of your religion?

RYLAN. What isn’t?

KASEY. We’re Apostolic-Pentecostals.

TALITHA. Apos—what?

KASEY. Also called “Oneness” Pentecostalism.

TALITHA. Um—okay—

RYLAN. So many words for the same thing. Funny, huh? Ha, ha.

TYSON. So interesting—I’ve never met anyone who practices. Let alone a lesb—um—someone as young as you!

KASEY. My great-grandmother was a hard-core atheist after the war, but everything changed when she received baptism during a revival—

TYSON. It’s part of a more general movement to go back to the early church in Acts—

TALITHA. Don’t all churches want to be like the church in the Bible?

RYLAN. You would think…

KASEY. Maybe in theory, but in reality—most people who think they’re believers are not—

TALITHA. Wow. And you’re the judge of that?

KASEY. No, it’s not our place to judge what’s in somebody’s heart.

TALITHA. But you just said—

TYSON. The big thing with Pentecostals is the moving of the Holy Spirit—

KASEY. Once you’re baptized in the specific name of Jesus Christ, fully immersed in the water—

TALITHA. The moving of the Holy Spirit?

TYSON. People receive spiritual gifts. Speaking in tongues and healing the sick.

TALITHA. Speaking in tongues? Healing?

RYLAN. Welcome to my world.

KASEY. If anyone is sick or has something other wrong, the Elders are called to anoint them in oil and—

TALITHA. Come on, that doesn’t actually work.

KASEY. I’ve seen it.

TALITHA. This has to be some sort of joke. What do tongues sound like?

RYLAN. It sounds super-strange, like, like… babies babbling.

KASEY. Once someone is baptized, and they truly believe, they experience an overflowing of the Spirit, a reverence—

TALITHA. You speak in tongues?

KASEY. I have before.

TALITHA. Do it.

TYSON. Talitha—

KASEY. It is only used during prayer.

TALITHA. Oh, so you can’t do it.

KASEY. You can’t do it on demand, you just do it. You learn a whole new language just like that. And it kind of sounds like a tribal chant, like something out of Africa.

TALITHA. You did not just reduce thousands of complex African languages into one “tribal chant”—

TYSON. It’s an interesting way to describe it. Like a poem—the Holy Spirit’s language as an interconnective agent between the West and the Third World—

TALITHA. The Third World? You’re pulling my leg, right?  So, you take these old traditions, that steal from my family’s ancient traditions, and you think you own them, and sit here and tell me—and you too, Tyson! Like you own them because you have $150,000 in school debt for being so educated about them—

RYLAN. They don’t really sound like babbling babies. They just sound retarded—

TYSON. Well at least someone here is trying to act like a family! Instead of being a fucking homewrecker!

KASEY. MOUTH PLEASE!

                The music plays.

TALITHA. That painting of Jesus. What’s the story there?

RYLAN. Um, it’s my grandmother’s. A family “heirloom.”

TALITHA. It’s too bad Jesus wasn’t white.

TYSON. Talitha, what’s gotten into you—

TALITHA. Weren’t we talking about it Tyson, baby?

TYSON. That’s not polite dinner conversation—

RYLAN. We’re past polite dinner conversation—

TALITHA. Tyson was so passionate about it—threw me off! Haven’t seen any real passion from him since we moved to Ohio

TYSON. Christ, Talitha. I’m sorry I can’t live up to your passion—

KASEY. Don’t use the Lord’s name in vain.

RYLAN. Kasey: language police.

TYSON. I’m going to pour myself more wine.

RYLAN. I want a glass.

KASEY. Rylan.

TALITHA. The other day, Kelly Smith pulled a Megyn Kelly and said on Fox News that—

“Historical” Jesus is irrefutably white—isn’t that right, Tyson?

TYSON. Yes. It really miffed me, because it’s factually untrue—

KASEY. Rylan, don’t touch that glass—

TALITHA. Realistically, He was a—what was He—?

RYLAN. Just one. For today. Jesus turned water into wine.

TYSON. A Jewish Galilean man who was born and raised in the Middle East—

KASEY. I can’t believe you—

TALITHA. But, like, in the middle ages—

RYLAN. Sh, I want to hear what professor has to say—

TYSON. –In the sixth century, Byzantine artists started portraying Him as white-skinned, middle hair parted, and bearded. To make Him less—ethnic-looking.

TALITHA. Mmmmhmmmm… I know that’s right.

TYSON. By fifth century A.D., big guy Constantine all but ensured that this image of white Jesus would spread as the Romans dominated Europe—

RYLAN. It’s just a painting—

TYSON. They loved their pretty boy not-brown deity with flowing long hair, blue eyes, and a halo…

TALITHA. Amen, Tyson, amen! Preach!

KASEY. You can’t just say it’s that—and that’s it!

RYLAN. I think I could apply for a doctorate after this—

KASEY. Shut up!

TALITHA. She has teeth!

TYSON. And then you have the Crusades against the Muslims—

TALITHA. Our brethren!

KASEY. Please, let’s just sing a song—

TYSON. No artist would make their deity look like the enemy. No! Write them off! Their heart is as black as their skin! They are evil! Colonize, enslave, kill, kill, kill them!

TALITHA. Justice! Justice! That’s the man I MARRIED!

KASEY (Singing). “When the Sav—ior was praying, in the garden of Gethsemene—“

RYLAN. It’s an antique, it’s old—my grandmother gave it to me—

TYSON. You’re MARRIED to him all the time! Not just when you want to be. You can’t just switch it on and off, on and off—

KASEY (Singing). “He said—‘Loving Father, if You will let this cup pass from me—‘”

RYLAN. It’s on the wall, in your face—but I would never—well, what’s wrong with white Jesus anyway?

TALITHA. I left that man behind in New York City.

TYSON. Between the steam coming out of your ears, and your guilty eyes, I have whiplash.

KASEY (Singing). “How deep—was His sorrow, when Jesus was praying alone.”

TALITHA. Ladies. Are you planning on getting married?

RYLAN. Um—wait, what?

KASEY. No. We’re not talking about that.

TALITHA. No, no, no!

RYLAN. We’re on the path to getting married. But Kasey is scared.

KASEY. Hard not to be when you’re stuffing it down my throat!

TALITHA. Do y’all want kids?

TYSON. Stop—

RYLAN. I get my subscription to Gay Parent every other month.

KASEY. She’s kidding, she’s—

TYSON. You would have children without getting married?

TALITHA. Scandalous—

RYLAN. Why not? Straight people do it all the time—

TYSON. Well, gays have a choice. If I was gay I wouldn’t touch kids until I was married. It’s not natural—

RYLAN. Did you just say us having kids is unnatural?

TYSON. Most lesbians wait—

KASEY. Excuse me?

RYLAN. Well, some of us don’t want to wait until we’re forty to have kids—

KASEY. I never said we had to wait that long—

TYSON. The lesbians I know—

RYLAN. The one lesbian you know—

TALITHA. Tyson thinks family-this, family-that, and drinks when he doesn’t get his way. I share a bed with cabernet sauvignon—

TYSON. It’s better than sharing a bed with a cheap-ass gas station 40!

TALITHA. TYSON SUPPORTED PROP 8.

RYLAN. You supported Prop 8?! Fuck you!

TYSON. Leave me alone!

KASEY. Rylan, you’re drunk!

RYLAN. That’s what happens when you don’t sniff anything stronger than rubbing alcohol for three years!

KASEY. You drank four beers a night, you were out of control—I saved you!

RYLAN. Four beers? Do you know how many my dad can knock back?

TYSON. Looks like someone can’t hold their wine.

RYLAN. Tyson? EAT ME. I’m fucking queer, I do whatever I want without your black homophobic mansplaining ass telling me—

KASEY. RYLAN—

TYSON. Leave me the f*** alone, f*****!

TALITHA. TYSON—!

RYLAN. HOW DARE YOU—

TYSON. Talitha, you’ve made this dinner a disaster—

KASEY. I JUST WANT US ALL TO BE RESPECTFUL—

RYLAN. DEFEND ME, KASEY!

KASEY. –AND HAVE A NICE FAMILY EASTER DINNER!

TALITHA. No, you did that yourself!

RYLAN. Your view of family is demented—

KASEY. LIKE WE USED TO—!

RYLAN. Who’s we?! I’M THE ONE WHO’S PICKED YOU UP!

TYSON. You lash out to make yourself feel better. About what you did. About breaking your vows.

RYLAN. I’m your family now!

KASEY. You—you—don’t even understand. You hate your family. You—you—f***ing HATE my family. F*** YOU!

TALITHA. We didn’t have sex for SIX MONTHS—

RYLAN. I don’t want to hide in the closet with you anymore.

KASEY. What? What do you—

TYSON. I put a roof over your head! I have given you a life!

RYLAN. Kasey. I want to create our own traditions!

TALITHA. It’s not the life I want!

A wine glass shatters.

RYLAN. S***! My slacks!

TALITHA. Oh my God!

TYSON. God dammit.

RYLAN. These were my favorite pair. They’re ruined.

Jungle music.

TALITHA. Not this again.

RYLAN. Turn this shit off.

TYSON. IT’S SO LOUD! I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINK.

TALITHA. I CAN’T TAKE THIS!

RYLAN. KASEY!

KASEY. IT’S THE ATUMPAN! It means “talking drum,” and it’s from southwestern Ghana!

TYSON. It sounds angry—

TALITHA. It’s fantasizing—

KASEY. They’re speaking the Twi language, not “African.” It’s not my culture, but it’s my drums. MINE. I learned about it. I’ve sat in my room with my headphones and danced to it over and over, praying to God, letting my tongue roll, and my eyes fly up into the back of my head!

RYLAN. Babe, you’re not making—

KASEY. IT’S MINE. IT’S MY MUSIC. MY CHANTS. MY JESUS. MINE. HE DOESN’T EXIST IN BOOKS. HE DOESN’T EXIST IN ANGRY RANTS, IN DEAD CHICKENS—HE’S IN THESE DRUMS.

Go ahead. Ignore me. All of you. I know you want to. Ignore me.

RYLAN. Kasey.

KASEY. I’m too much. But I’m not—without my family. My church. My daddy, my ma, my little sis—they just walked out. One by one. When I told them. About you, Rylan. One by one. In a TGI Friday’s.

KASEY. I don’t want to think anymore. Just feel. And belong.

RYLAN. You belong with me.

TYSON. It’s not the same. Bonds, rituals… They link us. Ground us. Without them—we’re just floating. We grab onto something else, something ugly, to survive—

TALITHA. My family didn’t go all out—but my daddy tried to make Easter special. Especially after Benjamin passed away. My older brother. We cooked a big lamb. Daddy was so particular when he picked it out from the grocery. Had the recipe down to a tee. Mint. Garlic. Ground pepper. Rosemary. And this specific olive oil from southern Sicily—no other one would do.

We’d pray—him, my ma, me, and my other brother Tyreke. We’d hold hands and say grace. Short and sweet. It was empty to me though. Without Ben.

KASEY. Without the drums underneath, the words on top are harder to follow.

TALITHA. Glass breaks. And you can’t line the pieces back up.

RYLAN. But you can pick up the pieces. Hold them close.

KASEY. Glue them together. Like stained glass.

TALITHA. Stained glass… Sounds church-y.

TYSON. It’s gorgeous outside. The sun is setting.

RYLAN. Look at that. No more construction.

TYSON. They’ve gone home.

KASEY. It’s funny how the shoveled-up dirt reflects the yellow, orange, and pink in the sky.

RYLAN. If only there weren’t so many clouds.

                The jungle music fades.

TALITHA. If this is what your prayers sound like, Kasey… It’s truly—truly—beautiful.

END OF RADIO PLAY

Credits: Written by Joshua Smalley. Directed by Kristan Seemel. Starring Aaron Ballard, Barron B Bass, Cameran Hebb, and Isabelle Pierre. Sound engineering by Liz Regan. Sound design by Lisha Brown. Sound editing by Tyler Grimes. Play development by Tyler Grimes. Artwork by Andrew Singer. Hosted by Pip Gengenbach. dtc radio theme by Spencer Robelen, all other music and sounds used with permission from Audioblocks.

From https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/dtc-radio