The Cake closed yesterday, which is not to say that it is the end: the play is (with different cast / director / designers) is moving onto Playmakers in NC, the Warehouse Theater in SC, La Jolla in SoCal, The Alley in Houston, and hopefully a few more. And also, it will never really be Over, as there will always be cake, and if there’s not, I truly do not know if I want to live in that world. I’ve had plays close many times before, but this one was particularly emotional. It’s always sad when a play ends, as it will never be again, or least, not with the same people, in the same space. But also, this wasn’t just any play. Not only did I get to work with actors who read my mind, made me feel and look smart, captured my laugh-then-tears-then-laugh tone that some aren’t sure how to navigate, but also, I got to work with my husband, and witness first hand the depth his heart and work ethic and creative intelligence.
If that weren’t enough, I got to put voice to icky and complicated questions and contradictions that exist in my head, let them out of my head and into the world, and discover that so many people wrestle with the same things. I helped a liberal audience find empathy for those whose beliefs are different from their own, I helped evangelical audience members feel understood. I walked a divide and gave out cake. And if THAT weren’t even enough – I got to make people feel good, feel hopeful and open, which, given how things currently are, feels important. And so, if all of THOSE things weren’t even enough, I got to fully realize that fact itself: that plays are important. They are only important SOMETIMES. They cannot always be important. Sometimes they are selfish and indulgent or too long or too vague and or too ambitious. But sometimes they effect people. If, at the end of my life, this is my one play that did just that — if this was as good as it gets –I AM SO VERY GOOD WITH THAT.