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

Make a Splash

September 9th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

OHHHH How I love it when my LA church is just SO VERY LA, as an LA church must be, for its survival. No judgement, church, I too do things to blend in, like ‘wearing workout pants to office’ and ‘eatting lattacino kale’ and ‘paying a person named Lauren to put needles in my face.’ MOST RECENTLY:

Baptism: A purification, an sprinkling or an immersion, a sacred right of transformation, of rebirth, a dedication of one’s life to Christ; OR A CHANCE TO PUBLICLY SHRED GNAR WITH ONE’S FRIEND’S AND JUST REALLY CAL OUT BROS WITH SOME GUAC

(NOTE: I ACTUALLY TRULY LOVE THIS)

Posted in a lot, faith, how interesting, LA angst, YAY | No Comments »

Find it, and Look at it

August 28th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

What is the word for when a writer remembers a quote from something written and it inspires them, but the quote is from something that they themselves wrote? OH RIGHT, NARCISSISM. I keep thinking about these lines from my play The Oregon Trail, in which a young girl is VERY BEGRUDGINGLY traveling cross-country with her sister and Dad.

MARY ANNE: C’mon Jane. Look at the bright side.

JANE: I’m tryin ta. But I just don’t see it.

CLANCY: Find it and look at it.

I keep shouting this at myself in my head. Whenever I feel myself start to drop into anything like self-pity, which sometimes feels like a hot tub full of gummy bears, a warm place I’d like to be. Look at the bright side. Keep turning the thing around or wandering around it until you find it. FIND IT, AND LOOK AT IT.

Posted in a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, faith, generally, hmmmmm, the making of babies, trying too hard, Uncategorized | No Comments »

What I need to Hear

July 8th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

Yesterday, a Sunday morning:

  • I wake up, feeling a need to go to church and be quiet and reflective and pray
  • I Go to church
  • Okay, yes, I get there a few minutes late, but I take my program humbly, receptively, sneak in through the back door
  • I WALK RIGHT IN MID-DEDICATION OF BABIES
  • (For the non-church going readers: this is when new parents bring their babies on stage and dedicate themselves, as parents, to raising their Baby in the church, and the pastor blesses the baby, and the baby pretends to answers questions and all of the childless mothers of Gilead in the sanctuary turn to brownie batter and melt out of their seats and die)
  • I consider TURNING THE OTHER WAY AND RUNNING OUT OF THE CHURCH, and being quite noisy about it on purpose, maybe slamming through some doors, so that everyone knows my pain, and then sits there, putting two and two together
  • I decide, instead, to quietly, respectfully take a seat towards the back and cry quietly, respectfully while the babies are dedicated
  • I Listen to the Pastor as he tells the congregation that this couple in particular prayed and prayed for their daughter Rose; that she was a gift, not an assumption
  • I realize how badly I needed to hear this
  • I sit there, quietly, hearing everything else I needed to hear

Posted in a lot, faith, ha, hmmmmm, the future, the making of babies, the whole world, the worst, whining, women | No Comments »

Rachel Held Evans, 37

June 4th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

This remarkable person died last month. I somehow managed to not hear about her until AFTER she died, which still feels absurd to me, as her life’s work was questioning her faith while also living in it, finding space within her religion (Evangelical Christian turned Episcopalian) for the marginalized, but mostly — BECAUSE SHE DECIDED TO LIVE A WHOLE YEAR OF HER LIFE AS A BIBLICAL WOMAN AND WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT, LIKE SHE SLEPT IN THE YARD WHEN SHE GOT HER PERIOD AND CALLED HER HUSBAND MASTER, to both honor biblical traditions but also dig into their ridiculousness. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS PERSON? I have since ordered all she’s written, and plan to spend as much time as possible bathing my brain in it. So far, from what I’ve learned from her, this resonates with me the most: Living in faith is better than living in fear. But also, her death has given me a weird gift. She died at the age of 37, a few weeks shy of her 38th birthday, after complications from an infection. I’m turning 37 next week and I’ve been wearing this fact around like a big wet dress. I own 37 but don’t love that I’m becoming it with no kid or motherhood in sight. But reporters and writers  keep calling her YOUNG as they list her profound accomplishments, which makes me feel old but still young, still much to do, much to learn.  And learning Everything this dear person ever wrote and thought is next.

Posted in a lot, faith, famous people stuff, hmmmmm, i am lucky, life, love | No Comments »

Taking Notes

January 27th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

As an adult, I have a sort of casual, magical  relationship with church. I like the feeling of showing up when I want, wearing what I want, crying because no one knows me, leaving after I slip some money into the plate. It’s a nebulous relationship, still forming, still deciding itself, but I keep feeling pulled back, especially when I need to pray. But most of all I think I REALLY RESPOND TO THE SERMON NOTES FORMS:

Clean and crisp and waiting for words that won’t elude you. All you have to do is pay attention. It reminds me of elementary and middle school when to find the answer, the One answer, you just have to Listen. I always leave the sermon with some words that resonate for the rest of the week. Today: ‘Step into Fear. Know that God was there before you.’  And also, from Mother Theresa: ‘To be faithful in Little Things is a great thing.’ And ‘one time, on Palm Sunday, we let a Donkey in the church. Are YOU the donkey in the church? ‘

 

Posted in faith, hmmmmm, i am lucky, life, the whole world | No Comments »

good man’s prayer

August 14th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

The visiting Pastor at the Church I’ve been hitting up on and off (and other action words you should never use for Church) told a really great Pastor joke on Sunday that I must share here, if only to make #pastorhumor a thing.

‘A man prayed to God: Lord, I’ve been a good man today. I haven’t stolen, cheated, or lied, I haven’t envied, lost my temper even once, I haven’t judged or scorned. But Lord: I’m about to get outta bed in a few minutes, here, and Lord — after that, I’m really gonna need your help.’ 

 

Posted in a lot, awesome, faith, words | No Comments »

Andrea G.

April 24th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

As I may have mentioned here before, I tend to read most of my reviews because a.) GOSH, I LOVE PAIN  and b.) I truly feel like I can learn from them,  if I read them with one eye open  (keeping the other eye that scans every moment and room I’m in for reasons to doubt myself carefully closed.) I happened upon this review of the Chicago production of the Cake the other day, and for reasons I decided NOT to unpack in a middle of the night email to the critic, it upset me deeply. I let it go for a few days, then yesterday, decided to revisit it, because again, I LOVE PAIN and also because with the initial sting having settled, I wanted to see what I could learn, as I’m still tweaking the play. And lo and behold, an angel woman named Andrea G. had left this beautifully articulated comment on the review  (my favorite parts in bold):

You are missing the point. Hear me out. There it was- my life on the stage. That NEVER happens. The real side of being a gay woman. Finally something REAL. You still have to love your family. You still have to reach across the table. Because we still need to live in our current lives. Della is lovable because most of the time your family member is lovable. I have a ton of Dellas in my live. And I wish I could be braver like Jen and work through them all. But you choose those like Della who really love you and you work it through. So you both grow. And it HURTS. Are you not gay? Or are you not a woman? Because that is the way women deal with things. Slowly and painfully. I’ll give this, then you give that, slowly. If you are really really lucky it ends well. I am still bruised as I am sure every lesbian who left the theater. You say it is intellectually and emotionally unnutritious. That is INSANE. This is family not the government or your job. You have to give people time to change, reevaluate and change some more. Dissuading others from seeing it because it doesn’t fit into the cookie cutter liberal “should,” is keeping people from actually seeing their lives in art. Not a fantasy of how life should be, but how it is. Because the play you are asking for wouldn’t hit home for me. It is a fantasy for me- where I sit down with my aunt and have a conversation about identities It wouldn’t be emotional because it would never happen. Because that is what your said privileged people do- conversations about identities. Not us poor blue collar folks. And your attitude towards Della is elitist and condescending. Yes she is a bigot. But your (and Macy’s attitude) is not so nice either.

ANDREA G., you are why I write plays. Thank you for speaking for me, with me.

 

Posted in arrogant art things, awesome, faith, family, generally, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, the writing of drama plays, theater, women, words | No Comments »

Re: the end of days

December 6th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

TRUMP RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL STOP

YET ANOTHER SIGNIFIER OF THE COMING OF THE END OF DAYS, AS PREDICTED BY THE BOOK OF REVELATION STOP

ALSO THESE ICE CREAM BARS MADE OF GUMMY BEARS ARE CLEARLY ALSO A SIGN STOP

NO REALLY LET’S ALL JUST STOP

Posted in a lot, faith, i am scared, the future, the whole world | No Comments »

All of the C’s

October 3rd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

My Co-worker shared something from her Rabi’s Yome Kippur service that I love and keep reflecting on, and so I’ll share it here: The Four C’s. When it comes to your relationships, do not:

Condemn

Criticize

Complain

Escalate Conflict

Pondering these four actions did make we wonder, though, what is LEFT, since those four things are oftentimes, like, most to all of communication. And so, I’ll add the 4 C’s of DO’s. Thou shalt:

Cuddle

Clarify

Chop garlic and sautee with your vegetable of choice

Posted in a lot, awesome, faith, generally, hmmmmm | No Comments »

Light

September 1st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on (wo)man’s search for meaning, I can’t stop thinking about this NYT picture of some people in Houston taking in vibrant sunlight for the first time in days:

Just as we all paused life and watched the eclipse a few weeks back, here are these people, rejoicing in a vast, shared thing. I’m not going to go as far as to say that perhaps God sent Harvey to humble us, and bring us together, but, okay, yes. MAYBE DID GOD SEND HARVEY TO HUMBLE US AND BRING US TOGETHER?   I acknowledge that this is a dangerous statement, as surely, most of the people who lost their homes in the floods were already humbled, already together. They did not need to lose their worldly belongings to be reminded of what they already knew. And It’s not lost on me that the flooding affected already poverty stricken, black and latino communities, and there are definitely other communities who are in greater need of being humbled. But still, I want it to be more than just wind forming over an ocean. I want it to have meant something. It’s not my job to determined said meaning, as I was not affected by the storm, but I can’t help but try. I just might look at this picture until it find it.

Posted in faith, generally, i am lucky, i am scared, i have peace, the whole world, tout, trying too hard, words, worrying | No Comments »

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