The Cain and Abel Project

I'm currently developing a new work with Patrick Barrett and Tommy Crawford inspired by the myth of Cain and Abel. The Cain and Abel Project (working title) is a new play with music, which explodes and explores one of the most ancient and disturbing stories of humanity. The tale of Cain’s vengeful killing of his brother Abel is a story of firsts—the first birth, the first murder, the first human encounter with death. This myth incorporates many of the most basic and enduring of human themes: jealousy and hate, family and inheritance, love and the quest for understanding. Drawn from the Biblical tradition, subsequent mythologizings by a host of cultures, and more contemporary re-imaginings like Steinbeck’s East of Eden, the play recounts and refracts through the prisms of devised text, poetry, and music the birth of the world’s first pair of brothers, their struggle to balance the wants of their God and the needs of their blood, and finally the murder of Abel. We follow Cain’s banishment into guilt, loss, and perhaps in the end some reconciliation with the forces that drive him. Tradition holds that we are all descendants of Cain, and this piece seeks to lay bare the ignoble and often unsightly truths, as well as the beautiful burdens, that this complex inheritance lays on our shoulders.