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9 Plays with Remarkable Mothers

By Nekesa Mbadiwe Date: May 09, 2019 Tags: Lists and recommendations

Mother’s Day is upon us. No matter how you feel about your own mother, I think we can agree that this day is a time for reflection and consideration. So, why don’t you curl up with one of these reads which all feature mothers and complex family relationships?  

Hilda’s Yard by Norm Foster 
Set in 1956, Hilda Fluck and her husband Sam are enjoying their new lives as empty-nesters. Hilda plans to spend the day hanging laundry when both of her adult children, Janey and Gary, literally fall into the backyard to hide from their problems. What ensues is a funny and heartwarming play about family and what it means to be a parent.  

The Last Wife by Kate Hennig 
A contemporary look between the marriage of Henry VIII and his final wife, Katherine Parr. Kate is torn between love and duty; between her marriage of obligation to Henry, her affair with Thom, and her desire to educate her adopted daughters. This retelling is a compelling observation of power, patriarchy, politics, and women’s rights. 

How Black Mothers Say I Love You by Trey Anthony 
When thirtysomething sisters Claudette and Valerie travel home to see their dying mother, Daphne, they’re still holding on to the pain of being left behind. Daphne left her daughters in Jamaica when she moved to the United States to make a new life for them and in that time she remarried and had another daughter. With all three women under the same roof, the family is forced to confront their emotions while they still can. How Black Mothers Say I Love You is full of humour, love, and the complex, complicated perceptions of immigrant mothers.  

The Invention of Romance by Conni Massing 
The Invention of Romance contrasts the very different romantic stories of Kate Carmichael and her mother. While Kate is, frankly, a romantic train wreck who has ironically been tasked with mounting an exhibit about the history of love, her long-widowed mother rekindles a romance with a man she co-starred in a play with sixty years ago. When Kate finds a missing piece of her mother’s past, she sets out to complete a happily ever after. 

The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble by Beth Graham 
Iris Trimble is barely holding it together when she learns that her mother, Bernice, has Alzheimer’s. While Iris’s siblings Sarah and Peter have opposite reactions, she copes by making a favourite childhood dish. The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble is about mental illness and family dynamics. 

Sunday in Sodom by Jordan Tannahill 
She’s referred to in the Bible simply as “Lot’s wife,” but in Sunday in Sodom, Edith describes how her husband welcomes two American soldiers into their house while she’s also caring for her daughter, granddaughter, grandmother, and cousin. The arrival of the new guests sets off a chain of events that lead to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And in a moving declaration, Edith sets the record straight as to why, after being told not to, she looked back upon the destruction of her hometown and turned into a pillar of salt.  

This Is How We Got Here by Keith Barker 
A year after the suicide of their son Craig, Lucille and Paul’s marriage has begun to break down. As they search for a way to honour their son, Lucille’s sister Liset and her husband Jim refuse to talk about their nephew. The ties that keep the four together as sisters, best friends, and spouses are strained by grief and guilt… until a visit from a fox changes everything. This Is How We Got Here is a play about family, grief, and guilt.  

The Femme Playlist & I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me by Catherine Hernandez 
Both plays focus on what it means to be a radical queer brown mother. In The Femme Playlist, a woman remembers the time in her life when she became a mother, what immediately came after, and raising her daughter. And then I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me is a guide to healing and mourning for women, written after Catherine and her daughter left an abusive relationship.  

Good Mother by Damien Atkins 
The Driver family is struggling after an accident robs them of a mother. Told over the course of two years, the family tries to cope and rebuild while caring for her while she tries to regain her memory. Good Mother examines the bonds that keep a family together and changes that can tear them apart.  

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