Production contemplates reconciliation

OTTAWA, ON—Should the Church apologize to the world for its failings? Does it have anything to apologize for?

These are the questions that playwright Megan Piercey Monafu is currently asking people across Canada. The We're Sorry theatre project is a documentary-style production, fueled by interviews about the "confusing or positive, hurtful or helpful" experiences that Canadians have had with Christianity.

"I think the process of interviewing for the piece has been a spiritual practice for me," she says, "Just sitting down and listening to people. Understanding them without either agreeing or passing judgement.

"One day I did two interviews back-to-back. The first was with a man who thought everything good in the world came from the Church. The second thought organized religion was the root of all evil in the world. And I was able to see reason in both perspectives."

The production is sponsored by 9th Hour Theatre Company. So far Piercey Monafu has done a little more than half of the 40 interviews she hopes will comprise the piece. She will be conducting interviews into spring 2013, with a goal of talking to someone from every Protestant denomination, as well as people of Roman Catholic and Orthodox backgrounds. She then hopes to workshop the script with actors this summer and mount the production in Ottawa next winter.

"Mostly I hope the play will make people at least consider the Church's role in reconciliation with our culture," she says. "In many church settings I have been a part of, we are often seen as being in opposition to our culture, fighting against our culture. But culture is made up of individual people, and individual people have good reasons for either appreciating or not appreciating the Church."

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