Memphis, TN – Mothers and Sons opens February 12 and runs until February 28, 2016, in the Next Stage at Theatre Memphis. At turns funny and powerful, Terrence McNally’s Tony-nominated play portrays a woman who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son's partner; he is now married to another man and they have a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led.
Jerry Chipman directs this production with an appreciation of the message of the script that puts the core element of acceptance through the passing of time into context. “I hope the play will attract a young audience, because in some ways, it is a chronicle of a time and a tragedy that, with ongoing medical advances, is already becoming less and less familiar. And for another audience segment, I hope the play successfully conveys and contrasts the damage of a closed minded individual unwilling to accept society's changes against the positive image of a loving and forgiving survivor. I hope the play's open ending will leave audiences thinking about and wondering what will happen to these characters who have to live side by side but come from such different worlds. “
The talented cast includes Karen Mason Riss as the mother, Greg Alexander as her son’s former lover, Chase Brother as the current husband and Holden Guibao as the son. Mason Riss’ and Alexander’s characters are an extension of the story, André’s Mother, a 1990 American film drama that was broadcast on PBS stations nationwide as part of the American Playhouse series. In that plot Katherine, the mother, directed her rage at her son’s partner whom she could never accept and her own mother who was much less judgmental of her son’s lifestyle.
Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch proclaims the importance of this Mothers and Sons as something that helps establish balance and resolution. She says, “There are social changes that mark and define generations and with the current events involving marriage equality being one of those strong markers, this play addresses how we all got here, lest we all forget the tragedies of our lifetime. A great element of theater is to challenge us to think and this play has a message that questions what it takes to change society. “