The last thing my grandfather said to me was, “If I don’t make it, tell my story.”
When asked about the inspiration for the play, my grandfather’s farewell to me is the only anecdote that comes to mind. Certainly, my grandfather was cavalier in his request. But he didn’t realize that playwrights take last words very seriously.
It is both my pleasure and my sad duty to welcome you to Pillars of Salt. It is my sad duty because I’d prefer it if I never had to write this play at all; it is my pleasure because the artists who comprise Holy Blossom Stagecraft think it is a story that deserves to be told.
The play I set out to write, a play about my grandfather, became instead a play about mothers, a play about the women left behind.
It is by no means an autobiographical play, despite what my mom tells you at intermission. But it is
a play written from a place of loss. It is a play that tries to be both tender and aggressive. It tries to examine a wound that we all have to tend to at one point or another. It tries to explore our nearest and (even though, at a shiva house, they don’t necessarily feel like) our dearest. It tries to find the humour and the hope in the wake of a loved one’s death.
I hope that it succeeds. And I hope it is a play that my grandfather himself would like to watch for a couple of hours.