The Brute Impact of Motherhood (or Absence Thereof) on Artistic POV

ON WOMEN'S ISSUES - by G.L. Horton

Your account of your play fit in with some musings I've been having, occasioned by the warm welcome from the Hovey audience of both my "Autumn Leaves" and (even warmer, I admit) Miriam's "Noodle Kugle", which is about the "first date" of widowed grandparents and explores their relationships with grown children and grandkids. Also by a meeting with the talented dramturg-director and the brilliant actress about possible revisions for my new piece in the Blacksmith House Minifest. Both these wonderful women, theatre pros in their forties and never parents, just don't "get" the weight of the brute fact of motherhood for my character, or the depth and complexity of the associated ambivalence.

It occurs to me that, specially at the development level, there are far fewer parents in the theatre than in the general population. Plays that focus on mother-child relationships that emerge from this process tend to be from the POV of the child, often present the older generation satirically or two-dimensionally, and are harshly judgmental toward the parent's failings.

The largest single demographic segment of today's audiences, OTOH, is women with grown children. (08/16/99)


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