Thursday, April 22, 2010

Questions My Mother Can't Answer


Sunday May 10th 7pm
Bruce Mitchell Room
520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor
(between 36th and 37th Streets)

New York, NY 10018

($5 suggested donation)

I got the idea to write "Questions My Mother Can't Answer" (a working title by the way) after one of the performances of my last solo show, "You Got Questions? I Got Answers!" That piece was a documentary theater collage derived from the interviews I conducted with 8 New Yorkers about when they feel the most isolated and when they feel the most connected. A friend of mine brought her mother to the show. Her mom commented to me that I interviewed people of all different races, genders, & ethnicities, but I had no one in my play that represented her generation, the voice of women in their early 60's. I felt a little guilty I hadn't included anyone of that age. And then I felt a little curious.

Then I started finding friendships, lots of friendships, with women around my mom's age. My husband thought it funny that while my peers were going out for drinks until the wee hours, I was making dinner dates with 60-something year old women I met on the subway! I started to wonder what it was these friendships were giving me that perhaps my relationship with my mother did not. So I started asking for interviews. And unlike with my first piece, every women I asked said yes! There was absolutely no shame in their stories...they were pleased to be able to tell me about the moment they found out they were pregnant, about the fall of their first marriage, and a few things they wouldn't tell their own daughters.
o not only was I gaining the benefit of delving into the lives of these highly fascinating and highly flawed women, they were finding release in the telling of stories, that in some cases, they had never told anyone before. And they had never told anyone before because no one had ever asked.

I tell people when I work in this way, I start from a curiosity and follow my nose until a play presents itself to me. I titled this one before I knew what the heck it was going to be about. So when I interviewed my mom, I was shocked at and grateful for the answers I got. I don't think I'm giving too much away by saying that.

Andrea Caban is an actor, writer, producer, and teacher. She last appeared in Craig Wright's The Pavilion in the role of the narrator and 17+ other roles at Boise Contemporary Theater. Andrea received the 2008 New York Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for her documentary-based play You Got Questions? I Got Answers! Her play also earned Outstanding Short Script & Outstanding Performance Art Production nominations. Regional and New York credits include productions at The Public Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Long Wharf Theater, New World Stages, HERE Arts Center, GAle GAtes et al, and The Hayworth Theater in LA. BA: University of South Florida. MFA: University of California, Irvine.

The New Play Development Program is our commitment to nurturing the original work of our company's playwrights. This intensive, ten-month program provides a structured series of workshops culminating in our May Works-in-Development Series, a public presentation of readings.

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