Exposition. The story behind the story. Why characters want what they want. Do what they do. Struggle and strive.
Back story can also be those bits of family trivia most people take for granted. A reverence for books. Those funny little quirks or gestures that show up in every generation. A knack for algebra. A talent for tennis. A passion for art, theatre, or music.
When you don’t know your own back story, questions arise. Sometimes they just won’t go away. Playwright Steffi Rubin, just days after she was born, was handed over by her biological mother to her adopted mom, who sat waiting in a taxi outside Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
The journey to find her family of origin began the day she heard the word “ADOPTED” and a lifetime of imagining began. The quest to discover her own back story was the inspiration for “My Other Mother.”
Twelve-year-old energetic, high-spirited Young Teri learns that she is adopted, and the revelation unlocks a universe of possibilities. No longer restricted by the limitations of the family she knows, she begins to imagine her “other mother,” certain that she will find a place to belong within the family of her invention.
Five decades later, Teri reaches out to her sisters Sherry and Sheila only to discover that Mom was not so wonderful and that her sisters are estranged, the result of a long-avoided secret neither one can face. Finding herself in the middle of their struggle, Teri is convinced that it is her destiny to restore their relationship.
An ill-conceived plan, inspired by her younger persona, jeopardizes the fragile connection between Teri and her newly discovered sisters, forcing her to examine the childhood she had, the childhood she imagined, and the one that she might have endured. In despair of never truly belonging, Teri must forfeit her fantasy and accept the facts about her other mother, and about herself.
“My Other Mother” is a work of fiction, loosely based on true events.