On hearing news of the change to the controversial covenant at Trinity Western University, Ren Lunicke decided to add performances of the original production of “Blood Relative” to the current tour, specifically for the TWU student and staff audience in nearby Aldergrove.
“My hope is that it will provide some meaningful discussion about how to navigate our value differences in a way that supports us and helps us to feel belonging for both young and old in these changing times,” said Lunicke, who graduated from TWU 12 years ago.
Lunicke of Zir Productions exposes the ongoing dogma about biological kinship and responsibility in the new play “Blood Relative.”
In collaboration with a LGBTQI supportive organization called “OneTWU,” Blood Relative could not be timelier in addressing conflict at the heart of recent political upheaval at TWU, says Lunicke.
Last Monday, the university removed its requirement for students and staff to sign the “covenant,” requiring all students and staff to abstain from sex outside of heterosexual marraige. This policy was the crux of the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to deny the institution’s application to start a school of law.
In “Blood Relative,” Lunicke narrates scenes from life as “Michelle,” a newly married lesbian caught between the secular ideals of a diversity-loving “chosen family,” the evangelical Christian assertion of a superior nuclear family, and an ongoing longing to belong as part of the family legacy.
This is the same ideological conflict on campus today that catches students and alumni and some staff in a values cross-fire.
Lunicke looks back with humour and wit to lament and remember the individual power we all have to ensure that “family will always be there” despite all obstacles.
Shows take place at the Aldergrove-based and LGBTQI-affirming Anglican church Parish of St. Dunstan, Aldergrove. Pastor David Taylor, who recently adopted a child with his same-sex partner, was the first to perform a same-sex wedding for TWU students.
Tickets have been subsidized by the performer to be affordable for students and staff. There will be post-show discussions after each show about the intersection of faith, sexuality/gender, and belonging with special reference to building bridges between “value differences” and the inter-generational divide.
Performances are Sept. 10-12, at 7:30 p.m. Ticket are $5 for TWU students, $10 for seniors and TWU staff, and $15 for others, sold at the door only.