Every family creates a sacred story out of love. In Bill Cain’s poignant new play, a man moves in with his mother when she becomes too frail to care for herself. Their reunion heals old wounds, opening a heartfelt and humorous new chapter in their relationship. From the award-winning author of Equivocation and 9 Circles, this timeless tale celebrates a mother’s love and a son’s devotion. Respected director Kent Nicholson comes back to the Bay Area for the world premiere of How to Write a New Book for the Bible.
“Bracingly personal, smart, funny, affecting…A sharp wit and penetrating intelligence are only to be expected from the author of Equivocation and 9 Circles, the two most recent winners of the annual Steinberg national new play award…The most unusual—for most family dramas, American and otherwise—aspect of the play, though, is how nice these people are…The degree to which we like all these people, and the various doctors and others, not only draws us into the way they handle the natural process of dying but also strikes a refreshingly unique chord. Even their squabbles are endearing, not to mention funny. [Director Kent Nicholson] enhances the appeal with crisp, clear and seductively smooth stagings on Scott Bradley’s ingeniously lovely set of suspended windows, lamps, curtains and shards of glass.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“[Bill] Cain has still created a profound meditation on the shared narratives that hold a family together through the vagaries of life and death. The intimacy of his remembrance gives this memory play its shattering resonance. The playwright is giving a blessing to his family in the form of theater, and there’s no denying the beauty of that ritual…The little details that make up a life, the way his dad read all the books he did in high school or the way his elderly mother snuck smokes in the toilet, shimmer with a universal power. We recognize ourselves or those we love in the minutiae of this family’s life…It’s in the quiet moments that Bible reaches us the most deeply. That’s when the play opens the door for our own inevitable reflections on the cycle of life.”—San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
“Sometimes you experience a work of art—for me that art is usually theater—and it connects you with something bigger and more powerful than your individual experience. You connect with the other audience members, the actors, the designers and, especially, the writer. When that connection is made, the communal heart of theater is so alive, so vast and so inexplicably moving that transcendence does, however temporary, seem a viable option. Bill Cain’s How to Write a New Book for the Bible is one of those experiences…Cain’s drama is about family, his and mine and yours. The more specific the details of his family—good and bad—the more his family resembles yours. The details themselves may be different, but somehow in the sharing, everything his family does and goes through somehow relates to you and your family. This is an extraordinary play.”—Chad Jones’ Theater Dogs
“Stunning…Some plays are more beguiling and moving than you expect them to be, at least upon hearing the basic outline, and that’s definitely the case with Bill Cain’s How to Write a New Book for the Bible…Bible is a meditation on suffering, and family that somehow manages to be incredibly funny at the same time…Cain’s point is that every family’s story, or at least every death, deserves this kind of holy recording. It’s a loving tribute, and at many moments a painful one to watch. But as Cain says in the program notes, ‘I think of the play as joyous,’ and when you hear the audience laugh for the fiftieth time in two hours, you’ll understand.”—SFist