Our second reading (MOM 2.0) took place on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, March 2019!
Young Teri (Rachel Kohen) is amazed at what you can find in the Encyclopedia…c.1962.
Teri (Debbie Mobley) questions the wisdom of telling her sisters she found them online. “Sounds creepy!”
Beverly (Vanessa Kinzey) discusses the frustrations of raising a child she does not understand.
Sheila (Ronnie Clark) and her son David (Jason Guerrero) ponder the Disney-like possibilities of hearing from a newly discovered half-sister.
Phil (Gary Grabau) and Sherry (Ande Kolp) express their concerns over government hacking, leaking and breaching.
Ande Kolp listens as Rachel Kohen considers all the A-words in the Encyclopedia.
The cast and creative team of MOM 2.0! (l to r) Debbie Mobley, Steffi Rubin, Ande Kolp, Vanessa Kinzey, Jason Guerrero, Miriam Kook, Gary Grabau, Rachel Kohen and Ronnie Clark.
February 9, 2019: Cast members Ande Kolp, Rachel Kohen, Deb Mobley and Ronnie Clark sing “Nearer Than I Knew” at Silhouette Stages’ Winter Cabaret.
The cast takes a well-deserved bow after months of dedication and hard work.
“You can discover everything in the Encyclopedia”…right?
YOUG TERI is not sure how she feels when she reads “What to tell your children about sex!!”
BEVERLY explains why she has no answer to YOUNG TERI’s question, “What was she like…the lady who had me when I was a baby?”
SHERRY and PHIL and SHEILA and DAVID have very different responses to TERI’s letter in “Disney Movie/Conspiracy.”
SHERRY and SHEILA begin to look into their childhoods by remembering the happy parts of growing up in “Manhattan.”
But when you go back in your memories the whole past eventually bubbles up.
TERI was hoping for a sister who was “just what she expected,” but can she find comfort in how things really are?
TERI longs for “My Other Mother” while BEVERLY laments the frustration of raising “My Difficult Daughter.”
When TERI finds herself “In the Middle,” she stops the song to ask an urgent question.
SHERRY and YOUNG TERI might have met as kids…in “Nearer Than I Knew.”
TERI learns how close SHERRY and SHEILA were as kids in “Everything Together.” And an idea is planted in TERI’s head.
Disney devotées SHEILA and DAVID encourage TERI to “Be bold and daring.”
BEVERLY tries to impress upon YOUNG TERI the benefits of being practical in “Real World.”
When the sisters confront their shared past, years of repressed pain bubble to the surface.
YOUNG TERI encounters the half-sisters she never knew by taking a trip back in time to an old fashioned soda fountain.
DAVID totally rocks the tail at his long-awaited Disney wedding.
The sisters decide to give it a shot to see if they can fulfill at least SOME of they have each been hoping for!
One more bow at the end of a wonderful night!
Steffi and Miriam express their gratitude to the cast, the director and the audience for being part of MOM!
LOOKING BACK AT THE JOURNEY
LATE MAY: Tech Week
PLACES EVERYONE! There is nothing like entering the sacred space where you meet the lights, sound and (soon!) an audience! With Miriam at the piano and Conni at the helm, we start our run-throughs.
When Tea party sister Sherry and her husband Phil receive unexpected mail from out-of-the-blue possible half-sister Teri Gordon, they are understandably suspicious. Could it be more robo-mail from that clown in the state capitol? Is it another example of hacking into our privacy? Is it the latest evidence of a government conspiracy? Or is it just a letter?
By contrast, Disney sister Sheila and her son David have an entirely different take on Teri’s letter: “It’s kind of like a movie, a Disney movie!—A fairy tale of reverie! A Technicolor fantasy!” They are transported to a world of animated perfection—”A Disney family treat, reliably upbeat, and it looks like we have got a front row seat!” Another chance to return to their happy place!
Director CONNI ROSS, in her “Grand Poobah” chair, has her finger on the pulse of what to emphasize and how to work the pacing of the dialogue (not to mention when to stand and when to sit!).
Conni was one of the first to read a VERY early iteration of “My Other Mother” (working title “Sisters”…yawn) back in April 2016 and has said consistently that she wanted to be part of telling Teri’s moving story.
As co-founder of Silhouette Stages, Conni got Silhouette Stage on board as a sponsor and made this staged reading possible.
In this video Beverly explains to her adopted daughter Teri that she just couldn’t bring herself to face the birth mother when she received her baby for fear of being haunted by the image of that final squeeze…that lingering gaze…that gentle kiss…the sorrow on her face. Young Teri rejects her mom’s cowardly perspective and insists that she WOULD have looked at her.
Playwright Steffi Rubin discusses some of the background for the characters with the cast of MOM. (Sometimes it can be helpful to know exactly what the playwright was thinking.) From there it was up to the actors to decide how to play their parts, adding to the collaborative process of theatre!
The conversation involved the three sisters: Teri, Shari and Sheila, with smart questions about motivation, change of mind, trust, the experience of abuse, burying hurts, the possibility of recovery and the desire to put the past behind us. What a great night of idea-sharing as the scenes and songs took on deeper meaning for everyone from playwright to composer to actors!
Thanks to everyone for “going there!”
In the song “HOPING,” SHERRY, TERI and SHEILA describe their ideal sibling:
“I was hoping for a sister who was just what I expected…”
“I was hoping for a sister who would like to stay connected…”
“I was hoping for a sister sincere and unaffected…”
Who can fulfill such high expectations?
As Teri learns more about her sisters, she begins to find herself “In the Middle,” as Act One concludes with an ensemble number that sets up the inevitable climax of Act Two.
Here VANESSA KINZEY looks over the shoulder of musical director and composer MIRIAM KOOK as LARRY KOMROWER sings “stuck between one and the other.”
The more TERI thinks about it, the more she realizes that despite the discomfort of being “pulled to the left and pulled to the right,” finding herself in the middle of her new sisters does provide a strange yet dysfunctional sense of belonging. Mostly. Except when she is forced to “jump in the fight!”
Adopted TERI discovers that with two new sisters, there’s “A Lot to Figure Out.” (and about a million—make that two million!— lyrics to learn!)
YOUNG TERI considers some pointed advice about how to cope with the challenges of the “Real World” from BEVERLY, her adopted mom, played by VANESSA KINZEY. But avoiding risk is something TERI just cannot do: “I don’t need your permission to stand up and be strong!”
Adding the guys: SHEILA’s son DAVID, played by LARRY KOMROWER, and SHERRY’s husband, played by GARY GRABAU, learn about the sisters’ “wonderful, terrible, happy and scary” childhood in the song “Manhattan.”
Then there was the night of the snowstorm which will be remembered as the craziest rehearsal of all times: online on ZOOM (let’s just say technology is a work in progress). Miriam led the TERIs along with SHEILA (the Disney sister) played by RONNIE CLARKE and SHERRY (the Tea-Party sister), played by ANDE KOLP in the poignant “Nearer Than I Knew.”
At the table read everyone got a bracelet that said, “May as well begin!” Which just happens to be the opening number of MOM and the the first step in ANY endeavor.
The two TERIs (TERI of a certain age and her younger counterpart, ages 12, 14 and 16) played by DEB MOBLEY and RACHEL KOHEN met one another and began with a selfie (yourself…myself…ourself!)