BWW Interviews: Director Molly McMahon Hopes COLLECTED STORIES Makes the Audience Think at the Matrix Theatre
Director Molly McMahon is hopes that her current show, Collected Stories, at the Matrix Theatre will engage the audience and make them discuss the ethical questions brought up in the play once the show is over. Donald Margulies's play is about two women writers, their relationship, and the ethical questions regarding creative freedom.
"The play takes place over the course of six years and we see the two women meet six different times. We watch their relationship blossom and see them grow as friends," said McMahon. "They are close, but there is a friendly competition, which is just the nature of two artists. Then one of them publishes a novel that threatens the friendship and that is a where the debate starts. If someone tells you a story, does that mean you have the right to share it even if you fictionalize some of it? Do we own our stories? Do we have the right to share them with others? Fun, ethical questions are debated throughout the entire production."
"My job first and foremost is to tell story by carefully working with the actors, designers, and crew members, and we've hopefully constructed a story around the play itself and true to what the playwright intended for us to tell," she said. Linda Rabin Hammell and Katie Lietz bring the roles of Ruth and Lisa respectively to life. "Both are extremely talented, " said McMahon. "They really do a great job with helping to tell this story."
"This play doesn't have a clear cut villain or hero. I think that is a reflection on how most of life is. People aren't all good or all bad," she said. "With us, we just want to make people think about the story when the lights come up and the shows over." McMahon wants people to consider what the playwright has brought up within the play that not everything is black and white, but she also wants them to think about it in their own lives. "One of the reasons we choose to do this play this season is that a lot of the times in the media, especially the national media, there are stories about Detroit. As a Detroiter, I read them and I think this reads like fiction, this is not fact at all, which is very similar to something that happens in this show," she said. "I want to make people think that it's okay to stand up for yourself, have you own voice, and not just let other people tell your story. We have a voice. We have a right to share our own stories and if we don't like what someone is saying for us, we should get up and say it ourselves.