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Sunday May 16th

Review: 'The Cake' is universal, according to 'This Is Us' writer Bekah Brunstetter

Christine Mirzayan, Julia Gibson and Jenny Latimer star in PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of “The Cake” by Bekah Brunstetter. Photo courtesy of HuthPhoto.
Buy Photos Christine Mirzayan, Julia Gibson and Jenny Latimer star in PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of “The Cake” by Bekah Brunstetter. Photo courtesy of HuthPhoto.

"The Cake" by UNC alumna and "This is Us" writer Bekah Brunstetter has been captivating PlayMakers Repertory Company audiences since opening night and will continue to until its final show. 

This play takes a very heated political issue and makes it just a little more human.

It tells the story of one woman's moral dilemma as she tries to figure out what she truly believes is fair and just. Rooted in her religion, cake baker Della (Julia Gibson) must decide if she will bake a cake for a young lesbian couple's wedding. 

The couple, Jen (Jenny Latimer) and Macy (Christine Mirzayan), also have their own problems coming to terms with their own belief systems.

Brunstetter said she wanted to write a play that extended empathy to those with conservative views.

“To me, playwriting is an opportunity for me to figure out how I feel about things and for me to put myself into a place where I’m forced to have conversations I find difficult in my actual life,” she said.

"The Cake" does force audiences to have conversations about things that may be difficult or uncomfortable for them. Centered around sex, sexuality and religion, it definitely fits in with PlayMakers' theme this year, “A Season on the Edge.”

Longtime actress and current student in UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program Jenny Latimer plays the character of Jen. Latimer describes the show as “a love story, but not just of romantic love.”

This show tells the stories of not only romantic love, but also a family love that gets tested when moral beliefs don’t quite match up.

Rehearsal days for PlayMakers' shows are long, but show director Jeffrey Meanza said, “It is so personal. You want to work on it just enough, but not enough to over rehearse it.” 

Brunstetter wrote this play to begin facilitating these types of conversations with her audiences and “hopes people come away with just a little bit of hope and a little bit of empathy for those who have different views.” 

Latimer said she feels the same way about the audience's takeaway.

"I hope that people can remember to really see the people around them and see them as humans who have all had shattered dreams and disappointments,” Latimer said.

Brunstetter ended her interview by saying that “cake is universal” and that, ladies and gentleman, is important to remember.

"The Cake" will be running through Oct. 1 at the Paul Green Theatre.

Tickets and more information can be found at www.playmakersrep.com or by calling the PlayMakers box office at 919-962-7529.

@alliebecca

arts@dailytarheel.com

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