The play, We’re Already Home, started as part of a series of activities for the Interfaith Bridging Project, which brought together representatives of a number of faith groups and the general community.
Now the play, which was presented in Vernon earlier this year, has been published, there is interest across Canada in staging it, and a book launch is scheduled for Saturday.
“When we had the book launch in Regina, some scenes from the play were performed and people were talking about full productions. We’d like to do productions around the Okanagan,” said Arnie Hayashi, one of the authors, with Lorna Tureski and Terry Jordan with advice from Sana Mohammed and Muhammud William, imam of the Vernon Mosque, and Mollie Bono, representing First Nations.
The play, set in a fictional small Canadian town, tells the story of two families, one Muslim and one Christian, who have their misunderstanding but ultimately discover that their differences are no barrier to friendship and being good neighbours. The First Nations character represents the land where both families have made their homes and the spirit of life that influences everyone. The character is mischievous, like many First Nations legend characters, and can behave in unexpected ways, like life itself.
“This is a tool to continue the work of the Interfaith Project and we would like to see it in schools, libraries and public performances to help people take that step to find out about and understand all faith communities. Many times, people do want to reach out but they don’t know how to do it. The project provides that,” said Tureski. “People of all faith groups, or of no particular faith group, are spiritual beings facing the challenges of life, living their faith and achieving their dreams and goals while living peacefully together.”
Mohammed also wants to see the Interfaith Bridging Project continue.
“We want to find a way to do the projects, presentations and community events. We might be able to get more funding or do the events with an affordable charge,” she said. “I was happy to help the actors who played the Muslim characters understand Muslim families and the traditions and reasons for them so that they could do their characters more effectively.”
Hayashi noted that he has learned that faiths have more in common than what is divisive.
“Each person and family is trying to live a good life. We all love are children and want to raise them to become good citizens within our faiths and the larger community. Respect is the important thing. We are happy to have the book launch in Vernon because there are so many people here who have had a part in the project over the past two years, so many more than we could name,” he said.
The cover of the published play is a collage made by Jordan.
The We’re Already Home book launch takes place Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural Centre Hall, 4895 Bella Vista Road, Vernon. For more information contact Hayashi at 778-475-2233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Some scenes from the play will be presented. We’re Already Home is published by Wild Sage Press. For more information see www.wildsagepress.biz.