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'Night Mother

a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Marsha Norman

COMPANY : Theatre On Main [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre On Main [WEBSITE]
ID# 2627

SHOWING : January 18, 2008 - February 02, 2008

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

‘Night Mother is a tour de force conversation between a mother, Thelma, and her daughter, Jessie, who has just told her that she is going to commit suicide at the end of the night. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Marsha Norman is a taut high-wire act that leaves you spellbound as Thelma tries to convince her daughter not to go through with it and Jessie sternly insists. Thelma and Jessie are extremely dimensional, deep characters with an achingly believable relationship. Through the course of their conversation it becomes apparent that there is a yawning chasm between them despite their seeming closeness, and while Thelma thinks that the two can put it right Jessie doesn't believe it -- or want to try. The fierce, emotional back-and-forth between Mother and daughter keeps you on the edge of your seat.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Carolyn Choe
Jessie Carolyn Choe
Thelma Teresa Harris
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REVIEWS

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'Night Mother
by batmike66
Monday, January 28, 2008
5.0
I saw 'Night Mother' last Friday (02/25/08)at Theatre on Main and I can't recommend this show enough! Teresa Harris and Carolyn Choe give two of the best performances I've ever seen. Sometimes when you know the actors in a show, it can distract you when you're seeing the performance. Not so in this case. Carolyn and Teresa bring these characters to life so brilliantly that I only saw a mother and daughter trying to make sense of a dramatic choice the daughter has made.

If this play doesn't move you to tears, you might want to seek professional help. It is a beautiful show dealing with a very sensitive subject matter. Never becoming preachy, the story comes across with such a natural feel, you will forget you are watching a play. Within the first few moments, I felt like a I was sitting in the living room with these two characters watching what should have been a private moment for them. You identify with these characters. You feel for each one of them but in profoundly different ways. I promise, this play will make an impact on you. If anything, it will get you to think about your own life and the people you love.

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The Truth in "'Night Mother"
by rayfast
Saturday, January 19, 2008
5.0
Tonight I went to see Marsha Norman's "'Night Mother" at Theatre On Main in Acworth. It was an amazing experience.

The script is a masterpiece. I hope someday to be able to write so well. The dialogue is natural. The characters are believable. The story is sensible. The theme is captivating. Jesse, divorced and living with her mother, informs her that she has decided to end her own life. Having walked a path very much like the one Jesse walks in "'Night Mother," I'm compelled to suspect that the author has "been there."

Teresa Harris plays Thelma, Jesse's mother. Teresa is a marvelous actress, capable of carrying an audience through a broad range of emotions in a remarkably short time without jarring or confusing them. When she acts, she does so on every level of consciousness, and a few subconscious ones. She doesn't just say her lines, she lives them, and engages her audience to live the part vicariously through her. I've seen her in comedic roles and intensely dramatic ones, and I don't know that I've ever seen anyone make a role more real and bring a character to life the way she does. Her performance in "'Night Mother" is exemplary of that.

Carolyn Sheppard Choe directs the show and plays Jesse. Having directed a production of "'Night Mother" before, she writes in the director's notes in the program, "Seventeen years ago I couldn't imagine how life for Jesse could be so empty that she would want to kill herself. Today, I still can't." Yet, as one whose life contains a chapter strikingly similar to what Carolyn portrays on stage, I found her interpretation so profoundly and eerily genuine that I was moved to tears.

I was warned before going to see "'Night Mother" that it was depressing. I can see why it would be for some - perhaps for many. But, because of how I was able to connect with Carolyn's character, I was able to connect with who I was at another time in my own life. Watching it from the outside was a revelation to me that was, in certain ways, liberating.

Suicide is a deeply personal, menacingly complex issue that few can relate to or understand. It's so much more than what it appears to be on the surface. Marsha Norman's script and the performances of Carolyn Sheppard Choe and Teresa Harris succeed in pealing away some of its façade to reveal the dilapidation underneath without compromising the dignity of the precious, tortured souls afflicted by it. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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