The Lavender Railroad by Lawrence Aronovitch
Imagine a world in which homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. “The Lavender Railroad” is a play in two parts that mirror each other (science and faith; male and female) as they address common themes of hope and redemption in the face of impossible moral choices.
In Part 1 (“Safe House”), a gay fugitive, Sebastian, has been rescued by a mysterious older man who calls himself Mother Courage. Sebastian is a brilliant young mathematician whose research into “fractal logic” holds the key to bringing down a totalitarian government intent on exterminating all homosexuals. Mother Courage offers Sebastian passage on a “Lavender Railroad” if he will share his knowledge with those who oppose the government, but Sebastian fears that Mother Courage may betray him to the government instead.
In Part 2 (“Ex Cathedra”), a nun working for the Papal Nuncio in Japan is called into a meeting with a female security commander and is surprised to discover that she is a former lover. The commander claims she is seeking refuge from her own government via the “Lavender Railroad,” which she suspects is operated by the Catholic Church. As the two reflect on their shared past and the choices they have made since then – including the commander’s decision to abort their child – the nun must now choose between trusting in the commander’s sincerity or avoiding what could be a disastrous trap.
Year Printed: 2016
First Produced: 2011 by Evolution Theatre, Ottawa, ON
Running TIme: 100 minutes
Male Cast: 2
Female Cast: 2
Audience Age: General Audience
Suitable for School Performances: Students age 16+
Keywords: LGBT, gay, lesbian, thriller, politics, dystopia, mathematics, religion, faith, fractals, Japan, Portugal, science