By Caroline Turner Cole• Jude 1:20–21, Jude 1:23
Cast of Characters
STEP ONE PERSON, mid-30’s
STEP FOUR/FIVE PERSON, late-20’s
STEP TWELVE PERSON, mid-30’s
Note: Cast should be entirely female. Race is irrelevant.
Lights low. There is music. Three actors enter from different entrances and meet center.
Playwright Caroline Turner Cole explores Jude 1:20-23 through the lens of addiction and the path of recovery in this one act script with a reading performed by Stacy Ann Strang, Alexandra Hulme, and Taylor LeBaron.
Vocal Performance Featuring
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
This piece is a mix of my own experience and an image that kept reappearing grotesquely in my head as I read through Jude. While I am not an alcoholic, I have been through the 12-step program with a group of wonderful ladies as a way of discovering and recovering from co-dependent tendencies. It dramatically changed my life, how I relate to other people, think of God, sin and myself. While the program was originally created to help alcoholics get sober, it translates beautifully to work for any kind of addiction. And if we’re truly being honest, we’re all addicted to something – some things are just more culturally appropriate than others.
Jude tells his readers to “show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh”. To always show mercy first, but to simultaneously not condone behavior that is harmful or hurtful. This garment stained by the flesh kept lodging itself in my brain as a sweater soaked in vomit. A garment more literally than figuratively stained by the flesh. Stinking, rotting, putrid, something you’d plug your nose to avoid and want to help your friend out of as soon as humanly possible. In this piece, this garment comes into play at a character’s absolute rock bottom point. The point that moves her to finally admit her weaknesses and seek help and recovery. At some point or another, most have had a similar moment, that moment where we realize we can’t do this life on our own, the moment we finally ask for help or guidance from a friend, a group, or God, the moment that changes forever the path we’ve been on and propels us in a new, better direction.
My prayer is that this piece reminds you of those moments that changed you and the moments you helped changed others; that it moves you towards your next life changing moment and reminds you to look upon other struggling humans first with mercy, then plug your nose and get that sweater off them.
Caroline Cole is a theatre maker based in Dallas, TX. She works as an actor onstage and behind the voiceover mic, a writer, and a teaching artist. She is a proud playwright and actor with The Aviary, supporting local playwrights and creating an incubation space for new plays. Caroline studied theatre at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, CT, finished her undergraduate degree in theatre performance from Rice University and graduate studies in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She firmly believes that nothing delights our Creator more than his creation being creative and is humbled by all the opportunities she has been given to tell stories. www.carolineturnercole.com