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Past Tense

A story contemplating death, grieving, and whether or not there is pie in heaven.

Notes from the Performer:
I’m excited for you to meet my dad. He is imperfect and wonderful. I never imagined I would have to live so much of my life without him.

Death is tragic and common and scary and ridiculous and confusing and funny and inevitable. Considering it is something we will all face, we spend very little time thinking about it. Until we have to. Until our friend walks away from a car accident, or our sister finds a lump, or the phone rings in the middle of the night. The last few years of my life I have spent my time thinking of little else. In one decade, I watched my father die and found my brother dead. Then I pulled a dead man out from under a car and then another brother died.

Watching someone die is horribly beautiful. And grief is unexplainable. It comes in trickles and waves and changes you forever. Having had a really good look at death and feeling grief down to the bottom of my soul, I still have very little clarity around it. It remains a mystery. I think death is a crappy way to get to heaven.

Art is an affirmation of life, a rebuttal of death. That is why I created this.

This play is for my father, Albert Lieske (1927-2004). He was a good man – and they’re hard to find.

“One of the most moving pieces of theatre I have seen.” – Karen Johnson Diamond

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