bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

what food once was

December 6th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’ve been abandoning all extra-curricular creative responsibilities the last few days, and spending every waking non-work moment reading this dear lady’s book:

It’s part memoir, part cookbook, which is my new favorite kind of book. Vivian grew up in Deep Run, a one stoplight town in Eastern NC. Rejecting her country upbringing, she high-tailed it to NYC, started working in restaurants, and eventually moved back down south to open a restaurant (the now award-winning Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC / JULIEN AND I HAVE RESERVATIONS FOR JANUARY / OMG / oh PS also she has her own TV show A Chef’s Life, Peabody award winning, so maybe check that out too end of sentence no really, she’s great.) Once back home, she went through this beautiful transformation, embracing her and homeland and its foods. It’s a beautiful story that I hope it emulate with my own life and writing. You often don’t appreciate what formed you until you’re older. I just want to write NC plays and pair them with her regional bread puddings forever. Chapter by chapter, local food by local food (sweet corn, summer squash, butter beans, etc.) She takes us through her family’s rich history of farming, and shares family recipes. Here’s my favorite, Hoarded corn:

Hard to read, but the first ingredient is an afternoon. She recalls her family harvesting sweet corn together in their tiny kitchen, working together and quickly to get it off the stalk and into bags in the freezer before it spoiled, saving both the kernels and the sweet corn milk. This corn would them feed them throughout the year in a zillion different forms. She really hits this point home:  families used to have to prepare their food together. They were forced to gather, to be together, out of necessity, but then, as Vivian also points out — this is the time when families used to talk to each other. Hands busy with activity, then talking, sharing to fill the air. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said 100 times before, but isn’t it sad that because our food became simpler, easier to access, we talk to each other less? That makes me sad. And Hungry. And sad. But flip side: because we spend less time preparing food, our hands and brains are free for innovations that save lives and expand the universe and invent customer care robots that will eventually dominate us A LA SPOILER ALERT SEASON FINALE OF WESTWORLD BUT NO EVERYTHING’S FINE OKAY BYE OFF TO PRETEND IT’S STILL 1943 / SHUCK SOME SWEET CORNS.

Posted in a lot, books, family, food, history, hmmmmm, where i want to live | No Comments »


November 3rd, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

Growing  increasingly excited to head up to Portland this weekend for what appears to be a BIG AND BEAUTIFUL PRODUCTION of my play, the Oregon Trail, at Portland Center Stage.

Excited for actors and moments and rose garden and brunch but mostly just for the wagon. LOOK HOW REAL THE WAGON IS.


Posted in generally, history, how interesting, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, things that I Have | No Comments »

there is no tragedy without hope

June 30th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on Louis C.K. for president — I’m listening to his latest interview on the Marc Maron podcast, and he reminded me that these masks that adorn the walls of high school auditoriums and the shelves of Times Square gift shops and the biceps and lower backs of theater nerds are actually comedy and tragedy, not comedy and drama. Like every other person who writes somewhere between those two spaces, I get annoyed at that constant question: do you write comedy or drama? Is it a comedy or a drama? Buried in that question is our desire to be clearly told how to feel by the art we are consuming, which I find limiting. Can’t you feel all of the things at once?  He goes onto say that tragedy does not necessarily mean depressing — because there is no tragedy without hope. Isn’t that wonderful? Okay yes, in a tragedy, the hope is oftentimes eradicated. But at least it was there in the first place. At least it was allowed to be.

Posted in a lot, famous people stuff, generally, ha, history, hmmmmm, how interesting, the writing of drama plays, theater | No Comments »

Decision making with Herodotus!

September 30th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

From The Histories, RELEVANT STILL:

They are very fond of wine, and no one is allowed to vomit or urinate in the presence of another person.


If an important decision is to be made, they discuss the question when they are drunk, and the following day the master of the house where the discussion was held submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober, it is reconsidered afterwards when they are drunk.


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September 23rd, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’ve been reading some Old Norse poems from the Elder Edda,  YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU DO. My favorite so far are from Sayings of the High One, which is basically an advice column penned by Odin the God of War and also star of American Gods him very self. He’s gruff, practical, amicable,  and definitely thinks you should eat before you hang out with friends so that you’re not starving.

Some personal favorites:

A stupid man stays awake all night pondering his problems; he’s worn out when morning comes and whatever was, still is.

Moderately wise a man should be — don’t wish for too much wisdom; a man’s heart is seldom happy if he is truly wise.

A man does well to eat a hearty meal before he visits friends, or he sits around glumly acting starved and finds words for very few.

Get up early if you are after another man’s life or money; a sleeping wolf will seldom make a kill nor a warrior win lying down.
Drink ale by the fireside, skate on the ice, buy lean steeds and bloodstained swords, fatten horses in the stable, a dog in your home. Never trust what a maiden tells you nor count any woman constant; their hearts are turned on a potter’s wheel.



Posted in awesome, books, boys, factual smarts, faith, history, hmmmmm, how interesting | No Comments »


July 4th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

My Fellow Americans! On this sacred day, 239 years since the thirteen colonies claimed independence from England: LET US CLAIM OUR INDEPENDENCE AT BREAKFAST. Screw you, Kashi cereal and egg white omelette! WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, INDIA? THIS IS AMERICA! Count your blessings, that there are Grocery stores, that you have Walls, that there is sugar, that there are pancakes!  Let us eat Bisquick! Let us Shake n Pour pancakes,  stuff them full of  blueberries and strawberries sprayed with growth hormones and dye! Let us douse the whole affair in Cool Whip, whose main ingredients include high fructose corn syrup and patriotism! ASK NOT WHAT YOUR BREAKFAST CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHY YOU ARE ALREADY TIRED AND IT’S ONLY JUST AFTER BREAKFAST OKAY SO TAKE A NAP

Posted in ....ew, a lot, awesome, food, ha, history, hmmmmm, holidays, i am lucky | No Comments »

how to leave without leaving

January 17th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

After a tough week, Jammerson and I got the heck outta dodge, and went to the Getty, a beautiful museum complex seated on a hill above the city. I’ve somehow never been, even though I’ve lived here over two years (WHAT?! THAT’S TRUE.)  It’s kind of like stepping out of your life and onto another planet where the breeze is perfect and there are adorable Asian children everywhere.  Today was super clear and smogless:  an ideal day for gazing, contemplating the Big Questions, like: are painters less driven / gifted now, since the craft is no longer as valued? and I wonder if there are Sandwiches somewhere?, and spacing out, in general.

Without even really knowing what I needed or was looking for today, I found it all.

These busts of ‘Ideal Women’:

My next Bed:

And quality time with this guy.

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“You can never know where you are Going…

January 10th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

……Unless you know where you’ve been.”

Reading this AM about this incredible lady, Amelia Boynton Robinson, pictured here, beaten unconscious on Bloody Sunday (subject of Selma).

Today, she is 103:

and too old to travel from her home in Alabama to LA for the premiere of the movie, so Paramount brought the movie to HER. High five, Paramount. I love it when you can really feel the humanity behind a movie. From her CNN interview:

“I was brought up by people who loved others,” she says. “I love people. We had no animosity. We had no feeling that we hate anyone.” And there was yet another factor. People are not born racists, she says. They are trained to become that way. That’s what happened to the white people she confronted in Alabama 50 years ago.

She believes she has lived so long because God intended it that way. That she is not through talking to young people and setting them on the right track. Until a few years ago, she was still standing on her feet giving speeches. America, she says, has made great strides. She beams at the fact that a black man serves as her president and is considered the most powerful man on Earth. A framed photograph of Barack Obama hangs on her wall, as does a letter from him expressing warm wishes for her 103rd birthday. But this nation still has a long way to go in dealing with race, she says. She’s been keeping up with the news of the past few months — Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, Missouri. Eric Garner’s in New York. Tamir Rice’s in Cleveland. They take her back to a time she knew before, back to Jim Crow. She says a whole new generation has been stirred by these cases of police killings. She hopes young people will pick up the reins of a struggle her generation launched. All her life, she has been extremely proud of her roots, a mixture of African slaves, Cherokee Indians and Europeans. But if you ask her about her race, she is apt to answer like this: “I am a member of the human race.”

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‘Old’ Salem

December 26th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

For a laugh, try taking a Brit who went to Cambridge, which was established in something like the year 1100, to Old Salem, where there is now a bridge with a commemorative plaque boasting its year of origin:


(But really some of the other parts of Old Salem are actually old.)

(Like the video about the Moravians in the gift shop is probably from 1993.)

(But also some of the buildings are actually old.)

(But the bread is not old and so I ate all of it.)

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13 Years

September 11th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on we will never forget: Nowadays, you can google and see anything. All sorts of  everything. As 9/11’s pass, I think more and more about the kids who lost parents — who barely were people when it happened –and as they grow older, as they learn the internet, what are they told? Do they do google image searches? Are the pictures strangely comforting? Do they have conspiracy theories? What story makes sense to them? Does it ever make any sense at all? Will it? When they’re old will they all sort of come together, drink beer together, marry each other?

Posted in a lot, history | No Comments »

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