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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 29, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 18
'The Architecture of Family & the Art of Self-Discovery'
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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'The Architecture of Family & the Art of Self-Discovery'

On Friday & Saturday, May 6 & 7 and May 13 & 14, at 7:30 p.m. at All Pilgrims Christian Church (500 Broadway E. at E. Republican St.) Stephen Marshall-Ward presents 'The Architecture of Family & the Art of Self-Discovery' - a transformative story of coming out, rebuilding family, and celebrating life together.

What is it?
'The Architecture of Family & the Art of Self-Discovery' is a multi-media production that tells the story of how one man, rooted in fundamentalism, came out to his family and how they navigated the path of becoming the loving, supportive family they are today.

The production will feature video interview clips of the family, live original choral music, and sets designed to usher the audience into the narrative. It will be an evening of documentary-style film alternating with stunning, original, live choral music featuring the voices of reSound, a Northwest Chamber Ensemble, and Dave Beck, cellist.

The family's story
Stephen was born into a fundamentalist home, the son of a Baptist preacher. Though he gave the appearance of being the perfect preacher's son, he knew early on that he was gay. He stayed closeted out of fear and shame, eventually attending and graduating from militantly fundamentalist Bob Jones University with his high school sweetheart Brenda. The two married shortly after graduation and started a family. Eventually Stephen confessed his orientation, and after years of incredibly destructive conversion therapy trying to 'fix' Stephen and save their marriage, they divorced.

For some families, this is where the story ends: everyone walks away bitterly, feeling hurt and betrayed. In the Marshall family, though, this is where the story truly starts.

Soon after the divorce, Stephen met his now-husband James, and they have been happily partnered and married for over 15 years. Through those years, Stephen, James, and Brenda created a strong, new relationship based on honesty, love, and support while raising Stephen and Brenda's two sons.

The culture wars in the United States have been growing increasingly divisive, but Stephen's family proves that reconciliation and mutually supportive relationships can be created and nurtured over tremendous rifts if people are willing to listen, love, and forgive.

We want this story to be an example to broken families, even deeply shattered ones, that it is possible to heal and love each other.

Who's involved?
The production is being presented in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. All are invited and encouraged to attend, including the following who might be most interested: people who are struggling with marginalized identities, the families of such people, and members of churches that are grappling with issues of sexual identity.

Why 'Architecture of Family?'
You can think about building family the same way you build a house. Is the foundation strong? Is it open and light-filled? Is there enough room for everyone? Whether it's biological, adoptive, or chosen family, the principles are the same.

Who is the show for?
The production is being presented in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. All are invited and encouraged to attend, including the following people who might be most interested: people who are struggling with marginalized identities, the families of such people, and members of churches that are grappling with issues of sexual identity.

Tickets and more information
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2513577 or architectureoffamily.bpt.me. For more information, please visit www.architectureoffamily.com. You can also find us on Facebook (Facebook.com/ArchitectureofFamily) and Twitter (@ArchOfFam #archOfFam).

'The Architecture of Family' is a project of the Institute for Social Change through the Arts (ISCA), a ministry of All Pilgrims Christian Church.

Courtesy of The Architecture of Family Project

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