Wine and Little Breads by Armin Wiebe
When Louella, the preacher’s wife, calls on Oata to investigate rumours of her sinful justice-of-the-peace marriage, small talk about dresses, rings, noodle machines, and shower gifts from mothers-in-law rapidly relaxes into playful theological questions such as “Must we be thankful that we are born bad?” and “Are you feeling the rib?” When Oata reveals that a childhood prayer makes her think of God as a cauliflower, Louella blurts out that the same prayer makes her taste wine and little breads. Thus begins a revealing of the darkness lurking behind the surface appearances of family and community as victims break silences and find strength to confront perpetrators and their enablers.
Run time: 70 minutes
Content note: Contains references to unwanted pregnancy, abuse of power, incest, mental illness
Cast size: 6 actors
Male roles: 2
Female roles: 4
"The world in which Wine and Little Breads inhabits so completely is one unfamiliar to the jury, and yet felt so immersed in through this play. Drawing us into a rarely-seen world, that felt specific, and detailed, the play gave light to the very private world in which silences and secrets were finally spoken. The claustrophobia induced by the play, through the women’s circumstances was palpable and stifling. Although the play is set in the 60s, among a particular closed-off religious community, the systemic abuse experienced by these women felt all too familiar and relevant."
- 2019 Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition Honorable Mention.