Marriage Equality In Bekah Brunstetter's The Cake

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In the world of theatre, a place which tends to be reserved for liberal expression and socially progressive content, Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake appears to be somewhat of an anomaly. This is not to say that the play condemns or lacks representation of the social matters which are so commonly highlighted in contemporary theatre. In fact, The Cake very thoroughly explores the unceasing debate surrounding the topic of marriage equality. However, Brunstetter’s thoughtful characterization forces audiences to consider a perspective that is rarely supported, or even acknowledged, on the stage. The Cake centers around a conservative, southern baker named Della (Julia Gibson) who possesses a strong affinity for always following the rules. However, these rules which she lives by differ significantly from those of Jen (Jenny Latimer), the daughter of Della’s late friend. At the beginning of the play, Jen returns to her hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she asks Della to bake a cake for her wedding. What seems to be a simple task quickly becomes the source of conflict for the play as it is revealed that Jen is engaged to the fiery, outspoken Macy (Christine Mirzayan), who just so happens to be a woman. In following…show more content…
Nevertheless, this judgement of the character is neither intended by the playwright, nor is it supported by Della’s overall charismatic nature. From the moment she declines to bake the cake, Della experiences an internal struggle which forces her to weigh the sanctity of her religion against her love for Jen. It therefore becomes evident through the progression of the play that Della never once possessed any malevolent intent for Jen or Macy due to their sexuality. Rather, she is, quite possibly for the first time in her life, forced to personally acknowledge and respond to a belief of significant difference to her
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