Photo credit: Thomas Cox

Mother.Redux. (2014)

Mother.Redux. is a 65 minute performance and collaboration with an inter-disciplinary  group of four women/mother performers. Going beyond the Hallmark card, we speak the unspoken, the shameful, and the hilarious. We expose the miracle of the transformation, as well as the sexism, racism, isolation and anxiety encountered along the way. Above all, Mother.Redux. is a work of love.

Premiered at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica, CA

“speaks from the heart and soul” Accessibly Live Off Line

Choreographed by Christine Suarez in collaboration with the performers

Performed by Carmela Hermann, Carolina San Juan, Christine Suarez, Giavanni Washington, and Shelby Williams-Gonzalez

Written by Tessa Blake, Carmela Hermann, Carolina San Juan, Christine Suarez, Giavanni Washington, and Shelby Williams-Gonzalez

Directed by Tessa Blake

Costume design by James Kidd

Production design by Nathalie Renard

Lighting design: Pablo Santiago

Preview feature by Fanny Garcia:
http://playwritinginthecity.com/2014/03/01/mother-redux-takes-on-motherhood-at-miles-memorial-playhouse/–

We pull from our diverse traditions – contemporary dance-theater, Afro-Brazilian dance, Filipino vaudeville, and West African dance and drumming. Each mother/dancer looks at what she has culturally inherited and how she is caught in the collision between expectations and reality. The writer/performers offer keen observations, wry humor and a physicality that is both precise and explosive.

In Mother.Redux. we tell our stories – caring for an autistic child, parenting an intersex child, raising a black boy in the wake of Trayvon Martin, sex after parenthood and the burden of making life-changing decisions for our children. These stories are told verbally, but they also manifest through rigorous expressionistic dancing, intense drum solos and mock-erotic gum chewing (see work below). We are looking for the metaphor, the poetic within our experiences.

A central metaphor is the notion of tension – the push and pull between mother and sex object, the child’s world and the adult world, our childless past and our child-centric present, community and isolation. These tensions materialize on stage through surreally-inspired “mom uniforms” designed by Jmy James Kidd and a transformable, playful tinker-toy-set designed by Nathalie Renard. The performers embody the tension using long latex bands that hold us back, connect us to one another, snap back and entangle.