photo credit Nashville Repertory Theatre

By Mac Arthur Howard III

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Nashville Repertory Theatre’s production of Bekah Brunstetter’s ‘The Cake’ is telling an LGBTQ+ story that anyone can relate to.

The show is about a conservative baker, Della, coming to terms with and trying to understand her friend whom she loves like a daughter, Jen’s, marriage to another woman.

The play explores the reality that a conservative person has to face when something they never expect, and may not understand enters their life.

“‘The Cake’ is a situation, queen or not, that anyone can find themselves in,” says Lauren
Shouse, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University and director of this production. “It’s something I personally have gone through and I believe that it challenges everyone to look inside themselves and see if they have the ability to overcome preconceived beliefs-even ones they’ve had all their life- to be able to continue loving someone in their lives.”

Shouse, who is herself married to a woman, has dedicated her time and energy to working with this production’s cast. The play only had four parts: Della, her husband Tim, Jen, and her fiancé Macy. Played by Megan Murphy Chambers, Christopher Strand, Mariah Parris, and Maya Antoinette Parris, respectively. This cast comes together to ensure Brunstetter’s story is brought to life while being portrayed both respectfully and with the heart, it was written with.

“This cast has been wonderful to work with,” says Shouse. “Being only a four-person show
we’ve had countless conversations about how we want to convey this message during the
intimate time we’re going to have with our audience and I’m very happy with the results we’ve had.

The Repertory Theatre’s production of ‘The Cake’ opened at the Tennessee Performing Arts
Center in the Andrew Johnson Theatre on October 21 and their closing performance will be
Sunday the 30 at 2 PM. To purchase tickets or for more information about the show, cast, or director, visit