Welcome to this very special holiday episode in which we present Sanctuary: A Radio Play, an annual Thanksgiving tradition at Our Hen House! This special performance marks the world premiere of John Yunker’s Sanctuary at New York City’s Symphony Space during the Culture & Animals Foundation’s Compassion Arts Festival. We were thrilled to have been a part of this witty, engaging, and incisive production that portrays the different journeys we embark on when we begin to learn about animal exploitation. Here at Our Hen House, we are longtime proponents of theater as a tool for vegan advocacy; the medium serves as a lens into human behavior and allows the audience to safely explore their feelings around animal equality and why they choose to eat animals.
A dark comedy, Sanctuary tells the story of Richard (John Frusciante) and Lisa (Mariann Sullivan), a happily married couple whose blissful retirement to small-town Oregon is thrown into disarray when Lisa suddenly decides to go vegan and insists on celebrating Thanksgiving without a turkey AND alongside her new friend and animal activist, Meg (Jasmin Singer). Husband Richard invites his unsuspecting buddy Charley (Michael Harren), who also happens to be the local exterminator, in the hopes of forcing Lisa to stick with the traditional meal. The resulting tensions soon push relationships over the edge. Sanctuary tells the story behind the struggles and joys of navigating vegan ethics around loved ones who don’t quite understand. (Sound effects are by Emmy winner Eric Milano.)
“When we think of animal-rights activism, we often think of protests. But equally vivid conflicts are taking place over dining room tables and in restaurants and at barbecues.” – John Yunker
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This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at awfw.org.
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The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.