Magazine article American Theatre

The Faith to Let Go

Magazine article American Theatre

The Faith to Let Go

Article excerpt

CALL IT HELICOPTER PARENTING or being a tiger mom, but modern-day parents can be borderline obsessed with their offspring. So what would happen if one of their precious children were identified as a reincarnated Buddhist teacher and asked to go to a Tibetan monastery before they've even started preschool?

That's what playwright Sarah Ruhl wants to know. Her latest work, The Oldest Boy, which plays at Lincoln Center Theater through Dec. 28, explores what happens when the son of an American woman and a Tibetan man is discovered to be a Tulku, a reborn Buddhist lama, and the parents must make the decision whether to send their son to Tibet to fulfill his spiritual destiny.

"It's the first play I wrote since I had twins," says Ruhl, whose son and daughter are now four (she also has an eight-year-old daughter). "I deal with the question of separation every day. Every day I send my kids to preschool. …

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