Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) is proud to present the World Premiere of the new play, I Am (Not) My Mother, based on true stories from and about the women of Frederick. Written by Suzanne Beal and directed by MET Associate Artistic Director Gené Fouché the show runs from July 6 through the 22nd at the MET, located in the historic FSK Hotel at 31 W Patrick Street. Proceeds from the production will support the programs of the Women's Giving Circle of Frederick.
Mothers. Everyone has one and whether our mother is our confidante and our best friend and/or our most difficult relationship, feelings about mothers are profound and complex. This production is part anthropology, part confessional and part love story, as daughters reveal their intimate stories about the most important women in their lives - their mothers.
To gather material for the script, Dr. Beal conducted story circles and transcribed the results. Women of diverse ages, backgrounds and ethnicities came together in groups of six to eight to tell their stories. Says Beal, "The process has been wonderful. We have collected stories from more than 80 women all over Frederick County from the Record Street Home to a group of sixth grade girls. The relationship between mothers and daughters is so powerful. But the stories we see so often depict the Monster Mom or the Angel Mom. I wanted to hear from ordinary women - to explore the good and bad, the funny and sad." The result is a script filled with laughter, occasional sorrow and above all selfless love.. If you have a mother (and we know that you do) this show is compulsory viewing. In addition to the stories, the production will feature original songs by local singer/songwriter, Jessica Bowers. "The music adds so much to the emotional quality of the piece, " Beal says. For Fouche', who specializes in theatre devised from other media, "I am (not) My Mother" is a natural fit. "I am excited about this production because the script is not a linear play and more of a collage."
Suzanne Beal received her Ph.D. in English from the University of MD, with a specialty in modern American drama. In 2010 she retired as the Vice President of Learning at Frederick Community College and is currently a professor of English at FCC and teaches theater history at Hood College. Recently, she wrote and directed "Passion and Perseverance: Nobel Women in Science", and has directed numerous productions in the DC-Baltimore area including at the MET. Gené Fouché is a founding member of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre and has directed and acted in dozens of MET productions and is also a faculty member in the theatre department at McDaniel College.
The talented cast of women features MET company members Jeanine Collins, Julie Herber and Lia Seltzer and introduces some new faces to the MET stage including Ericka Jarecki and Lynnette Franklin.
Maryland Ensemble Theatre will present I Am (Not) My Mother as part of its MET-X series, created to expand the collective horizons of the MET ensemble and its audience.
For over a decade, Maryland Ensemble Theatre has been producing thought-provoking theatre, fun family entertainment with The Fun Company, artist residency programs for public schools, challenging classes and the side-splitting Comedy Pigs. The MET is an artistic leader in the region and at the forefront of the creation of Frederick's Theater District.
Photos Credit: Joe Williams
Jeanine Collins and Lynette Franklin
Julie Herber, Jeanine Collins and Lia Seltzer
Julie Herber and Lia Seltzer
Erika Jareck, Julie Herber and Lia Seltzer