Julia Sweeney On Letting Go Of God
Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.
Julia Sweeney (God Said, "Ha!") performs the first 15 minutes of her 2006 solo show Letting Go of God. When two young Mormon missionaries knock on her door one day, it touches off a quest to completely rethink her own beliefs.
Known for her four-year run on Saturday Night Live and her powerful solo shows, Julia Sweeney is carving out her own territory in entertainment, one that moves between the personal and the political, the controversial and the comical. Her most recent piece, Letting Go of God, traces a spiritual journey that takes an unexpected turn toward science (a turn that, incidentally, also led her to TED) and ends with atheism.
In this, as in all her performances, Sweeney projects a warmth and sincerity on stage that's unmatched in today's theater; you immediately feel you're chatting with an old friend. And this gift of intimacy allows her to achieve the impossible: an utterly disarming show that honestly confronts the most controversial topic of our times. Her earlier shows, God Said “Ha!” and In the Family Way also garnered praise and prizes for their pairings of humor and poignant truth.