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Night, Mother
a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Marsha Norman

COMPANY : Staged Right Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Hanarry Swim and Racquet Club [WEBSITE]
ID# 5265

SHOWING : April 27, 2018 - May 06, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Jessie Cates, an unemployed epileptic with a failed marriage and a deeply troubled son, tells her mother, Thelma, that she plans to kill herself before the night is over. Thelma tries to convince her daughter life is worth living, but Jessie remains resolute.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Brian Jones
Mama Linda Place
Jessie Abra Thurmond
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REVIEWS

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Good Night
by playgoer
Saturday, May 5, 2018
4.0
Marsha Norman’s "Night, Mother" is a strong play that has held up well over the past 35 years. Given its rural location and reclusive cast, even the use of a dialed landline phone doesn’t seem out of place in the modern world. Only a reference or two to old TV shows dates it at all.

In Staged Right’s production, Spencer Estes’ set has the worn look of a residence that has been lived in for years with few updates. Stage left we have a small eat-in kitchen; stage right we have a sitting room. Up center we have a hall opening with a bedroom door. The scenic painting and construction have some rough edges, but the set works well in Brian Jones’ blocking. Janet Conant’s extensive props give the impression of an actual residence, and the linoleum tiles on the floor of the playing space tie in with the overall look.

Lighting and sound get little workout in this play. Other than fade up and down of the lights, few special effects of any kind are called for. Backstage sound does, however, give a nice indication of attic access, not to mention the final, long-anticipated gunshot.

Brian Jones has directed the play with a wonderful variety of levels of emotion. While Linda Place (as the mother) and Abra Thurmond (as the daughter) may not speak every line with complete fluidity and perfect intonation, and while name mix-ups of the offstage characters seem to pop up every now and then, the overall flow and variety of these performances impresses mightily. It doesn’t matter that the two actresses seem to be much of the same age in actuality; in performance, the mother-daughter dynamic is clear and vibrant and heart-breaking.

"Night, Mother" continues the string of Staged Right productions that stray off the well-trod path of typical community theatre fare to present challenging, worthwhile works in a peripatetic production environment that is challenging, to say the least. The emotional truth of "Night, Mother" packs a wallop that remains undiminished decades after its initial production. It’s well worth a trip to Lilburn and 90 minutes on hard metal folding chairs to experience. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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