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Night Mother

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'night mother

8:00 p.m. every Thu., Fri., Sat. until August 31, 5:00 p.m. every Sun. from August 31 until August 31

Human beings tend to share a defiant attitude toward death. As a reflection of our aversion to mortality, just look to theater where the threat of death lurks as the ubiquitous source of tension. Setting a stark contrast, playwright Marsha Norman's emotionally wrenching drama 'night, Mother goes the opposite direction by presenting a scenario wherein the main character matter-of-factly courts her own death. The person is question is Jessie Cates, a middle-aged woman whose life has spiraled into a free fall of unrelenting disappointments and heartache. An epileptic whose life has been persistently shadowed by unemployment and estranged relationships, Jessie has come to believe that suicide is the only option worth considering. Before putting her fatal resolve into practice, however, she is opposed by her elderly mother. Coexisting in a household defined by routine, Jessie's mother derives comfort from the very same monotony that her daughter experiences as misery. Asking difficult questions about emotional bonds that connect us to one another, this staging by Urban Samurai Productions looks unflinchingly at a life bereft of inner peace or physical relief and considers the worth of enduring in such conditions. This piece might not offer any easy answers, but such ambiguity only reinforces the disquieting reflections of a swiftly unraveling life.

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