The booming bedroom community outside a large Canadian city is blown apart when fifteen-year-old Blake challenges long-held views of spirituality and sexuality. A student at the local Catholic high school, Blake confides in her best friend, Tracy, that she feels sexually attracted to her. At first encouraged and then rebuffed, Blake is eventually betrayed. Then, increasingly at risk among her peers, Blake finds the watchful and strict eyes of her Catholic school are no protection.
Vulnerable to collectivized hatred, she remains unprotected by the adults who guard her freedom - her mother, the school principal, the local priest - all respond in different ways, some liberally supporting her emerging sexuality; others quite conservatively vilifying her as a deviant, outside the church and outside the community. Ultimately, they do not act to protect her, and in their inaction, they are absent, truly unable to help. The audience is left with the question: Like these characters, what have we left undone? What ethics surround the absence of acting in response to another's need?
At the centre of this searing drama of bigotry and transcendence is the brutal dehumanization of the other - of both the bully and the victim. The outcome challenges the Roman Catholic church's response to the same-sex marriage rulings in Canada. Leave of Absence won the ACTivist theatre Amnesty International Playwright contest in 2011.
Cast of 3 women and 2 men.
About the Author
Lucia FrangioneAward-winning playwright and actor Lucia Frangione has emerged from Canada's independent theatre scene to take her place as an important, young post-feminist voice on the lives of women in the post-modern world, boldly questioning the institutions of family, religion, and sexual iconography. Her accessible and entertaining plays persist in furthering an intelligent female voice in the theatre, utilizing satire as a tool for critical thought, and tackling complex themes with wit and courage.She is the recipient of the 2006 and 1998 Gordon Armstrong Playwright Awards and won the Sydney Risk playwright award for Cariboo Magi in 2001. Espresso was nominated for seven Jessie awards, toured Western Canada in 2004, and was translated into Polish and performed for a year at Teatr Jeleniogorski in 2007. Lucia's twenty plays have been produced by theaters such as the Belfry Theatre, the Arts Club Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Lambs Players San Diego, Ruby Slippers, Solo Collective, Chemainus Theatre, and Prairie Theatre Exchange.