Cannon Beach, OR, January 20, 2015—Written by Marsha Norman and Directed by Sheila Shaffer, ‘Night Mother opens on January 30th. Jessie’s father is dead, her marriage ended in divorce, her absent son is a petty thief, her last job didn’t work out and, in general, her life is stale. As the evening unfolds she sets about tidying the house and making a list for her mother of things to be looked after as we discover what has brought her to this desperate place in her life. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize – this eloquent and ultimately shattering play explores the final moments in the life a woman who has decided that it’s no longer worth living.
This is a brutal, hard, thought provoking play with multiple facets. When first produced over 30 years ago the issue of suicide was not a subject frequently discussed and is not a topic easily broached to this day. It can always be asked, “What would I do in a similar situation?” There is no one answer. No one really knows until they are there. In interviews with the playwright she says, “I felt with ’Night Mother that Jesse’s decision to commit suicide was quite brave. She finally decided that she could decide what to do with her life…The point was not to kill herself; the point was to take charge.” ” When approached about the irony that it looks like self-annihilation but it actually is self-activation, Marsha Norman responded, “For people who understand that, great; the ones who don’t will have another experience with it.” “… paintings don’t come with instructions. You can’t say here’s how to perceive this.” This play will mean different things to different people. This is just one person’s perspective walking in someone else’s shoes.
CAST & CREW BIO’S
MARGARET PAGE (THELMA CATES)
Margaret is Real Estate Broker/Owner of Coast Real Estate Professionals in Manzanita & lives in a tiny house perched at the edge of the Nehalem River. She studies voice at the Music Lasts A Lifetime Studio in Cannon Beach, dances tap & ballet at the Oregon Coast Dance Center in Tillamook, took theater at Tillamook Bay Community College & learned acting from George Dzundza. She has appeared in countless productions at the Coaster Theatre, with the Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts, with the Tillamook Community Choir, Cannon Beach Chorus, North Coast Choral and the Midway Messiah Chorus.
ANN BRONSON (JESSIE CATES)
2000 marked Ann’s debut on the Coaster stage, and since then she has appeared as everything from Sally – Talley’s Folly, Rona- Spelling Bee, Dolly – Hello, Dolly, Sister Mary Amnesia – Nunsense, Martha “The Megaphone” – Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Most recently, she was seen as the Witch in Into the Woods, and in the ensemble of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. A classically trained soprano, a few of her opera roles include Mother – Amahl and the Night Visitors, Sandalphon – Masque of Angels, Fiordiligi – Cosi Fan Tutte, and Valencienne – The Merry Widow.
SHEILA SHAFFER (DIRECTOR)
Sheila Shaffer has been a Coaster Theatre veteran both on stage and off for the last 13 years and holds a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Wisconsin. She has worked with community and non-profit theatres, on and off, for over 30 years. ‘Night, Mother will mark the 10th production she has directed at the Coaster Theatre, including The Sound of Music, Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest, Anthony Shaffer’s Whodunnit, Dixie Swim Club and Scrooge: The Musical. You may have also seen her on stage, as well, in past Coaster shows which include Miss Hannigan in Annie, Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town, Grace in Bus Stop, Ilona in She Loves Me and The Baker’s Wife in last summer’s production Into the Woods.
JOSH LORING (STAGE MANAGER)
This will be Josh Loring’s third time as stage manager at the Coaster Theatre. This past year he began in Boys Next Door, moving directly into The 39 Steps. Informally trained in the ways of theatre he learns from the gracious opportunities granted him. This small cast experience has been rewarding in its offering of intimate exploration of character and story.
January 30, 31
February 6,7,8,12,13, 15,19,20,21
Talkback Thursday: February 19th
All performances begin at 7:30pm, Sunday show starts at 3:00pm
Box Office: 503-436-1242
Sponsored by: Mike & Tracey Clark