Before the show begins, there are about 30 people sitting down. There are eight chairs with stands to the left and a water bottle under the right leg directly in front of me. A brief announcement lets the audience know it is time to silence all cell phones, the speaker stands with a certain stiffness and takes a formal bow. As she sits back down, the lights dim and the masterpiece begins.
The actors enter wearing normal, everyday clothing. The narrator begins the play by introducing the first act and the characters within it. As the sound effect of church bells fill my ears, my eyes begin to pay attention to the people in front of me. The beginning scene is of a confession between Maria, the main character, and Father Tom. The actors are referring to their book, but the emotion is still strong. The confession shows Maria’s mental struggle and why she doesn’t know which path to choose.
The second scene begins when Maria’s mother enters. The atmosphere then takes a turn. Sage, Maria’s girlfriend, enters the second scene as well. The two begin to fight about the dislike of Father Tom’s sermon about gay relations being wrong. The mother re-enters and enforces the ‘love of God.’
The next scene begins with a view that had not yet been touched upon. Sage’s family is a family seen to be free-spirited, with such love and compassion. Although that atmosphere seems to be wonderful, Maria and Sage begin to disagree, making the scene shift. Maria’s overall confusion with herself and her purpose is what is holding herself and the love she has for Sage back.
Maria is then faced with a harsh reality. She was shown the two choices she truly had. The first was to lose the church, her tradition and everything she knew for the sake of Sage and their love. The second, was to lose Sage and their relationship. Sage’s role in Maria’s life proved to be special with the amount of support she expressed for her throughout the whole show.
The play then takes another turn. The scene consists of the confirmation of Maria. She is being asked the simple questions when she begins to dose off into the distance. She then snaps back and struggles to say yes. Her next answer was what shocked everyone. She replied no, and claimed she didn’t know if she believed in the holy Catholic Church. Maria’s mother let her beliefs get the best of her and she freaked out.
Once the family was back home the tension just seemed to grow. Maria locked herself in the bathroom and was yelled at by her mother.
“YOU BLEW IT,” she exclaimed. The mother, later, with her anger at its worst, firmly stated, “If you want to stay in this house you better abide by God’s rules.” Maria was shocked at her mother’s reaction
As the play continues, Sage and Maria begin to discuss completely coming out to their family members. They decide to put together a dinner so they can both ‘come out’ and Maria can then explain to her mother why she did not get confirmed.
The dinner arrives and one can tell in facial expressions that the tension from the confirmation is still extremely present. Maria begins to muster up the courage to finally speak, when Sage chimes in and diverts the attention elsewhere. In the initial shock at Sage’s comment, Maria begins to pick a fight. The two go at it when Maria lets it slip that she was trying to come out. The mother, shocked and disgusted, expresses in anger how hurt and betrayed she feels. Her severe passion and engulfed mind wouldn’t release her.
Maria and Sage leave while their parents continue to talk. The parents banter back and forth about whether or not homosexuality is a bad way of life. As the show continues, Maria’s struggle becomes more prominent. She believes she needs to be better, to do better, because her family has made it seem like because of who she loves, she has failed as a person. She is caught in tears, praying by Sage. The two apologize for all of their differences that they have caused and create a plan to fix the broken.
In Maria’s attempts to talk to her mother and to Father Tom, she gets reactions she never would have expected. Maria states to Father Tom during a confessional apology, “you don’t know what it’s like to be committed to something that everyone is against.” Father Tom’s answer took Maria and the audience by complete shock.
He replied, “I joined the church because I knew God didn’t want me to marry the man that I loved.”
This created a little bit of relief, between the idea of church and homosexuality, that the play had created.
It calmed the storm and aggressiveness that was placed upon it in earlier scenes. The talk Maria had with him better prepared her for the conversation she needed to have with her mother.
As expected, the mother stuck to her belief and morals by not leaving her lord’s side. She suggests treatment facilities that Maria can attend to help “get better.” She says that therapists have had positive results, in the hopes that that would pursue Maria to go through with the plan. When Maria disagrees, her mother takes the situation into the direction she wanted to by saying if she doesn’t receive treatment, she is no longer allowed in her house. “God made me gay,” Maria says.
“Then God made a mistake,” replies her mother.
The ending scene is between Sage and Maria. They talk about how the worst is over and their happiness can finally set in. They express the love they have that will never die despite the belief of her mother. Sage then encourages her to never stop showing her mom her true side. “It will hurt to hear your mom’s side over and over again,” Sage says. “Maybe I have to learn something from her then,” Maria replied. The two embrace and the lights dim slowly to a black out.
The lights come back up to the outpour of applause.
Haley Erdbrink can be contacted at email@example.com