We wrote last week about 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche, a stage play performed between April 13th and 22nd at the University of the Incarnate Word. The featured photo above is a scene from the stage production taken on Friday, April 21st, at the UIW Department of Theatre Arts’ Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre building on 4301 Broadway Street in San Antonio. The five actresses at the UIW presentation were students at the university. The play was billed by the school as “a frothy satirical take on the 1950s and its insistence on conformity and good taste even in the face of nuclear holocaust.”
5 Lesbians first appeared in the New York area in 2012. Written by two men, the show, according to a bemused New York Times reviewer “is an audience-baiting sort of show … takes a leap beyond tidy smirkiness into the outer space of sloppier, cruder and far more satisfying nonsense.”
The five actresses dressed in period piece dresses from the 1950s are members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein, all widows, meeting in a fallout shelter in a middle-American town in 1956 on the occasion of the society’s annual quiche breakfast. Vulgar double entendres of a sexual nature are frequent. No meat is allowed in their quiches. Some of their attempts at humor including explicit metaphors: “No Men, No Meat, All Manners; No Sausage in Quiche. Respect the egg!; It’s a wonderful feeling to say ‘I’m a Lesbian’. I really enjoy eating quiche!; God gave me an egg. We will survive!“
The script is muddled by the inclusion in the story of a nuclear blast (it is the time of the scary cold war years after WWII after all) that has destroyed mankind and these women may be the last survivors. The haunting thought releases the women from their inhibitions, considering they may be gone soon as well. What a perfect time to blurt out to all – “I am a lesbian!” This is exactly what the sisters do and because the attendees are also considered members of the Society including the men, the audience is asked to participate and join in a joint expression of sexual freedom, “outing” themselves to everyone in the theatre.
Another reviewer of the same show featured in Tampa Bay last year suggests that “[i]f you’re anxious about your identity, if you need the catharsis of seeing five women avow their lesbianism proudly and unequivocally, then this is the play for you… [c]learly, that’s what the whole play’s been about since its first moment, and a dreadful occurrence in the last minutes just seems superfluous, and hardly climactic. There’s no real ending because the play reached its true peak when the women outed themselves. “
An Alamo Torch reporter attended the play to observe and review the performance. There were sixty seven in the audience, mostly young adults. Her one word description of the show was “disgusting!” I asked her what the photo was about that appears in this article. She replied that “one actress got on top of the table to eat quiche. The image was horrifying to me … as the quiche represents a woman’s vagina. Two actresses kissing profusely and lustfully on stage was distasteful and vulgar, obviously meant to scandalize.”
I contacted the president of the University, Dr. Denise Doyle, by email requesting a phone interview regarding the play. She declined the request. I also attempted to talk by phone with Sr. Walter Maher, VP for Mission and Ministry, but did not receive a call back before publication.
It appears members of the Order of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word are involved in advancing or, at the very least, supporting the homosexual movement’s agenda to mainstream homosexual rights and lesbianism in our city and schools. In 2013 according to an account of the proceedings at the San Antonio City Council chambers during the controversial and highly contentious session where the Mayor (Castro) and the City Council majority voted in support of expanding the city’s ordinance to add sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class, Sr. Elizabeth Riebschlaeger testified on behalf of the ordinance. She announced that she was a Sister of Charity from the Incarnate Word in San Antonio representing all the Sisters of Charity.
Posted on the university’s website is the Sisters’ mission statement calling attention to the Sisters’ and the school’s Catholic roots which began in San Antonio over 140 years ago: “Inspired by Judeo-Christian values, the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and Catholic Social Teaching, the University of the Incarnate Word aims to educate men and women who will become concerned and enlightened citizens within the global community.”
Additionally the university’s commitment to Catholic social teaching is expressed on their website: “Life and Dignity of the Human Person: The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.
“Call to Family, Community, and Participation: People have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.”
We fail to see how sponsoring a play celebrating lesbianism can in any way promote Judeo-Christian values, the Catholic intellectual tradition, and Catholic social action. In actuality the university’s sponsorship of a play promoting lesbianism flies in the face of Catholic social doctrine which clearly states that the traditional family, father-mother-children, is fundamental to the right ordering of society, essential to the common good:
“It is in the family, therefore, that the mutual giving of self on the part of man and woman united in marriage creates an environment of life in which children ‘develop their potentialities, become aware of their dignity and prepare to face their unique and individual destiny'”. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 212)
“The family, the natural community in which human social nature is experienced, makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the good of society.” (CSDC, no. 213)
The university’s service initiatives offered to students and faculty include immigrant outreach, organizing teams to help SAMM Ministries, The Food Bank, Travis Park Methodist Church which has a program for the homeless, Salvation Army, Visitation House for homeless and abused women and children, and a community garden where students and faculty can volunteer to help out in the garden.
Community garden? If the Sisters and university leaders affirm that “human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society”, how about tending to the needs of moms in crisis pregnancies and the thousands of preborn babies every year who are being destroyed in their mothers’ wombs at abortion centers around San Antonio? Wouldn’t volunteering at local crisis pregnancy centers, very good Catholic and Evangelical-led centers who are begging for help, teach their students about a more moral vision for society rather than volunteering at a COMMUNITY GARDEN?
Did the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word promote Judeo-Christian values by allowing a vulgar and morally repugnant and corrupt performance at their university? Performed by their students? How did this show enlighten the minds and hearts of the young people who attended? How did it make a positive contribution to the community at large and for the good of society? Did these students’ parents know this play was taking place? The alumni?
Dr. Denise Doyle, Sister Walter Maher, and the other educators in authority at the university have many questions to answer.
+ + +