A play currently running off-Broadway in New York serves as yet another example of the trend towards authors who explore the subject of interfaith relationships. But in “Next Fall,” playwright Geoffrey Nauffts takes the subject one step further by placing an interfaith relationship in the context of a same-sex relationship. According to the New York Times:
With this drama, then, Mr. Nauffts has delivered what may well be the first artistic exploration of interfaith marriage within a same-sex context. While heterosexuals of various faiths or none at all have long struggled to reconcile religious identity with personal fulfillment, the advent of same-sex marriage is now bringing this kind of tension to gay men and lesbians.
“Next Fall” embodies the polarities in the form of an evangelical Christian and a fervent atheist. But the tensions between Adam and Luke could easily be translated to those between adherents of any two religions.
Just as numerous books were released this summer about Jewish interfaith relationships, Nauffts play is clearly a reaction to a noticeable trend; namely the high rates of interfaith dating/marriage in the LGBT community. That’s why JOI has been working more with this particular segment of the Jewish community. We want to help identify and address the additional challenges that arise in a relationship already facing certain obstacles.
As the Times notes, the universal themes of “Next Fall” are relevant to any community touched by same-sex and/or interfaith relationships. As we work towards creating a more inclusive community for interfaith, LGBT, and all others on the periphery, maybe seeing these issues expressed on stage can help generate more dialogue and perhaps lead to a greater understanding of the diversity of the Jewish people.