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How to Write a New Book for the Bible (Seattle Repertory)

January 25, 2012

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The Seattle Repertory presents the world premiere of Bill Cain’s latest work, How to Write a New Book for the Bible – a moving and candid personal exploration of parent-child relationships and finding peace in the midst of suffering and death. “How to” invites you into the most familiar of places, the family home; yet does so in a fresh, deeply poignant and humorous manner. Bill describes the play as “joyous” and celebrates the fullness of humanity, its peaks and valleys, while discovering sacred moments even within the remembrances of the minutest of acts. It is a wild emotional rollercoaster ride, through the heart, drama and faith of the Cain family; honestly portrayed, complete with imperfections, quirks and an unalterable love for one another.

Unabashed, Bill Cain treks boldly into the arena of drama which is the family, draws us into the frustration, joy and absurdity which is family life and makes us care. It cannot be any easy thing to write such a deeply personal revealing play, but I was pleasantly surprised by how he masterfully integrated faith and family, in such a manner that is so accessible to all. He successfully navigates the razor’s edge between religion and entertainment, the joys and heartbreaks of family life, and the reality of aging and facing death. He does so without backing away from the edge, overly sanitizing it or becoming preachy. He delightfully portrays a family of faith not as stoic automatons, whitewashed saints or joyless ascetics, but full on flesh and blood, wonderfully flawed emotional beings, who at moments are angered, frustrated and make mistakes, while laughing, crying and even cursing without losing sight that God is found in midst of their family story.