Religion and homosexuality are two subjects that are seldom in the same conversation. When they are, the conversation is often a hostile one. But what happens when these two contradicting ideals cohabitate? Beautifully drawn into a memory play, the subjects of religion and relationships are poignantly uncovered in the thought-provoking play, Next Fall.
Directed by Sarah Krantz, A&S ’15, the story follows the relationship between a devout Catholic, Luke (Jared Reinfeldt, A&S'16) and his older boyfriend, Adam (Andrew Troum, A&S '16).
The play opens to a stage full of Luke’s closest friends and family. His divorced mother Arlene provides wonderful and necessary comic relief delivered by Maisie Laud, A&S '16. His father Butch, played Ted Kearnan, A&S '17, is the source of Luke’s religious devotion.
His boss and good friend Holly, who makes candles and gives great advice, is spunkily played by Kate Weidenman, LSOE '16). There is also his mysterious and religious friend Brandon (Joe Meade, A&S '15) and of course, Adam.
The protagonist Luke had an accident. This accident brings all of these people together, but also brings out all the dirty laundry in not just his life, but his family’s as well.
Problems like the fact that Luke hasn’t come out to his family yet, despite promising Adam he would by next fall (two years ago), or that his mother is a recovering addict. Most importantly, Luke’s accident makes them all think about the role that religion plays in their lives. The performances are emotional; they provoke just as much laughter as heartbreak. The alley set is wonderful and efficient.
After everyone reconvenes at the hospital, the audience gets to watch Adam and Luke as they progress through their relationship--from the moment they meet for the first time 6 years ago, to the day before Luke's accident.
The flashbacks are seamless and accompanied by stellar transitional music that carries the audience along in a dreamlike trance, eager to see where the action brings them next.
Adam and Luke delve into each other head on. Even though they don’t have the same beliefs, they have intricate conversations that provide good points for both sides and are a beautiful example of the fact that great relationships respect and cherish differences just as much as they do similarities.
Next Fall goes places where most people have never gone before, especially on this campus. It brings forth the question of whether or not homosexuality and religion can coexist peacefully, and explores the measures some would take to live honestly with both.