Staged Reading of CALL YOUR MOTHER Comes to Chance Theater

The performance is on Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30pm.

By: Apr. 02, 2024
Staged Reading of CALL YOUR MOTHER Comes to Chance Theater
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Chance Theater will present the first musical of our 2024 On The Radar (OTR) New Works Series, “Call Your Mother,” with music, book, and lyrics by Morgan Hollingsworth and directed by Chance Theater’s Literary Manager James Michael McHale. This staged “singing” will be presented for one night only on Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30pm at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center.

Happy Mother’s Day from Cool Beans Coffee! Our new barista, Marco, is not really in the holiday spirit. After his parents divorced and his dad passed away, Marco hasn’t been able to forgive his mother for moving on and fears that she might abandon him too. As we meet the various quirky personalities in the coffee shop – from the shop owner with the mariachi band, to the sweet elderly woman who just wants to have a conversation at the register, to the office intern on the verge of a nervous breakdown – they all try their best to convince Marco to make amends and call his mother on Mother’s Day. Through an indie/folk score within the eccentric lifestyle of coffee culture, “Call Your Mother” shows that, while we each have our own separate battles, we don’t have to fight them alone. 

In a recent interview, Hollingsworth spoke about turning “Call Your Mother” into a full-length musical. “I've been following this theme: we're all going through personal struggles that have caused so many conflicts, but if we could all listen to each other and learn where we're coming from, then we could start to realize a solution and work together toward a common goal,” he said. “Maybe that's too idealistic in these highly political times, but most of the battles we face every day are not actually life and death; they're deeply personal. So, I wanted to write a piece that reflects that.” 

He continues, “Setting the story in a coffee shop seemed perfect, because such a vast array of people from completely different backgrounds come through the shop every single day, even within a few minutes. It's a perfect environment to discuss a diversity of perspectives and experiences.”

Joining Hollingsworth and McHale will be Music Director Gabrielle Maldonado (“The Secret Garden”), Stage Manager Aaron McGee (“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”), and Dramaturg Jenny Jacobs (OTR reading of “Lipstick Lobotomy”).

Morgan Hollingswoth (Book/Music/Lyrics) is a freelance composer and actor-musician based in San Diego, having performed regionally at such venues as La Jolla Playhouse, ACT of Connecticut, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, and CCAE Theatricals. He has written music for short films, dance pieces, several musicals, and other staged works. He most recently composed music for Salty Water, a movement and puppetry piece featured in La Jolla Playhouse’s 2023 WOW Festival. Short films include Fracture (currently on Hulu) and Let There Be Light(Seattle Film Fest). His first musical, The House of Edgar Allan Poe, was part of NYMF’s 2017 Developmental Reading Series and was part of Weber State University’s 2019 mainstage season. His second musical, Call Your Mother, was commissioned and produced by One Million Musicals and can currently be streamed on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. He is currently developing a new musical, More Than All the Sky(Eugene O’Neill Center semi-finalist), with librettist Lori Jaroslow that explores the difficult process of overcoming addiction. Morgan is an alumnus of the 2018 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project. His folk-rock band, Satin Nickel, released their first full-length album, Shadow of Doubt, in April of 2020. He holds a BFA in Music Theater from UC Irvine.

James Michael McHale is an actor, director, writer, and musician. As an actor, he’s had the pleasure to work with Tony Award winning director Kathleen Marshall at The Old Globe in Much Ado About Nothing, play Hamlet at the Lyceum Theater, and Buzz Aldrin in the World Premiere and National Tour of APOLLO 11 for Troika Entertainment. He received a Staged Scene LA Award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for his work in Middletown at Chance Theater. Other theater credits include the musical Once at both California Center for the Arts Escondido and Lamb’s Players Theater (San Diego Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Ensemble). He recently directed the Regional Premiere of American Idiot at Chance Theater, where his directing credits also include the OC Premiere of Edges, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. He has written and directed a number of storytelling concerts for Pacific Symphony and presented at Segerstrom Concert Hall including, Beethoven: Trials to Triumph, A Dream of Tchaikovsky, Pacific Symphony and the Curious Case of the Vanishing Violin, and Music From the Movies and More! Connect with him on IG @jmcnavy, and at

To schedule press interviews, arrange for press comps, request press photos, or any additional information regarding this production, please contact Shinshin Tsai at (888) 455-4212 or