The Gifts We Leave: Declaration of Love Episode 1


The Declaration of Love Project is an anthology of 11 short audio pieces written by North Carolina playwrights all inspired by the same writing prompt — “declaration of love.”

Episode 1, written by Michael Ivory, Jr. is titled The Gifts We Leave.

Every time John visits with his grandmother, she insists upon teaching him of the gifts that his family has always known and used to guide them. John begins to wonder about his grandmother’s intentions, and when he finally works up the nerve to question them, loving revelations are bestowed alongside his family’s secret ways. A tender and affirming family drama.

Declaration of Love is an Artist Soapbox production, co-produced by Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane, and sound designed by David Hill.

The Gifts We Leave was written by Michael Ivory, Jr.

Directed by Aurelia Belfield

Performed by: Yolanda Rabun (Grandma Violet) and Sai Graham (John).

Transcript of The Gifts We Leave

If you’re eager for more audio fiction pieces by Artist Soapbox, be sure to listen to all 11 episodes of the Declaration of Love anthology and check out our full length audio dramas THE NEW COLOSSUS and MASTER BUILDER, available everywhere you get your podcasts.


Michael Ivory, Jr. (Playwright, The Gifts We Leave): Michael is a native of Miami, FL. His writing often revolves around the “everyday magic” that defines Black people’s creativity and ingenuity. It is for this reason that he likes to write of powers, dreams, and the secret ways Black folks love their way through hardship. Michael is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University, focusing on fiction. 

Sai Graham (Actor, The Gifts We Leave): Sai is a Raleigh native. He has been seen in shows at theaters such as North Carolina Theater (In The Heights, Mamma Mia!, West Side Story), Theatre Raleigh (The Scottsboro Boys, Bud Not Buddy), and more. Sai has many shows/projects coming next year! Sai plays John in The Gifts We Leave.

Yolanda Rabun (Actor, The Gifts We Leave): Yolanda  is an award-winning professional equity actor skilled with an exceptional natural talent for storytelling. She has accolades of Best Lead Actress (Archy and Mehitabel, Member of the Wedding, and No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone) and Best Ensemble (Twelfth Night, Crowns, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Chaunesti Webb’s I Love My Hair) to her credit.  She is also credited as a “Renaissance Woman” given her accolades as wife, mother, Corporate Executive, Senior In-House IBM lawyer, BMI and ASCAP, singer-songwriter and publisher, motivational speaker, political scientist, community youth activist, touring and recording artist, and music entrepreneur.  Yolanda lives at the speed of passion and challenges everyone to hold on to your dreams! Social Media: @yolandarabun Yoland plays Grandma Violet in The Gifts We Leave.


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LISTEN to our newest audio drama THE NEW COLOSSUS. The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.

LISTEN to our 2019 audio drama MASTER BUILDER. MASTER BUILDER tells the story of the rise and fall of Helen ‘Sully’ Sullivan, an intensely passionate and ambitious architect who designs outrageous homes for the very rich. It was inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892. 

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