STEPHENVILLE (April 1, 2016) — The Theatre at Tarleton State University will present Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Night, Mother” at 7:30 p.m., April 5 through 9 at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center.
The play centers on Jessie Cates and her mother, as the two discuss Jessie’s decision to commit suicide that very evening.
“The things we women know best,” Norman has explained, “have not been perceived to be of critical value to society.” The mother-daughter relationship is a “perfect example of that.”
At the play’s outset, Jessie announces to her mother, Thelma, that she is going to kill herself. Norman has described the 90 minutes that follow as “the fight of their lives.” Thelma exhorts, cajoles and pleads with Jessie to abandon her plan, but Jessie remains implacable.
Jessie feels trapped in the house she and Thelma share. Her husband has abandoned her; her son is a delinquent. She blames her epileptic fits for her failings as a wife and mother, and for her inability to hold a job. She also blames the epilepsy for rendering her unconscious and out of control, to be handled and observed by others.
The cast and crew set the play in Stephenville. Thelma and Jessie could be someone you know or have seen at a local retail shop or wandering around the courthouse square. Freshman theater major Cathryn D’Amore plays Jessie, and junior theater major Morgan Hill takes on the role of Thelma.
Tickets for the performances are on sale from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays now through April 5 in the Fine Arts Center Box Office.
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