Baker offered a job creating a same-sex wedding cake in play that touches on hot topic

Don't think of Bekah Brunstetter's “The Cake” as sharply drawn commentary on a buzzy topic. Yes, the play does concern a Christian baker who must consider what her beliefs are and how they compel her to act when she's offered the job of baking a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But it muddies the water a bit, both in plot and in character study.

The young woman who wants the cake baked for her wedding is someone with whom the baker had a surrogate mother-daughter relationship, presenting all manner of challenges to both women as they grapple with their differences in the face of their love each for the other.

“The cake is the immediate concern,” said Shelley Delaney, who directs for Tantrum Theater's production (it closes its run at Dublin's Abbey Theater this weekend). “But it's really about that human dynamic, about relationships, about parents and children, about if you can come home again, and about how fractured we are as a society.”

“Della [the baker] is so richly portrayed. She's a hard person not to love as she struggles in a very real way and asks hard questions,” Delaney continued. “And Jen [the young woman] is just torn in two.”

The play's humanity finds a voice in light, comedic moments throughout, as this struggle plays out in front of the audience.