Welcome to this special holiday presentation of Sanctuary: A Radio Play, an annual Thanksgiving tradition at Our Hen House! This performance marked 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 open our eyes to animal exploitation. Here at Our Hen House, we are longtime proponents of the arts, including theater, as a tool for animal advocacy; this funny, and moving, play serves as a lens into human behavior and motivation and encourages the audience to safely explore their feelings around why they choose to eat (or not to eat) animals.
*We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of the play this year by offering the written script! Click here to read the script for Sanctuary: A Radio Play.*
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 getting 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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Don’t forget to check out Our Hen House’s other podcasts: The Animal Law Podcast, The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and the Antiracism in Animal Advocacy Audio Series.
The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.