Caroline Lagerfelt And Ari Fliakos To Star In Andy Bragen's NOTES ON MY MOTHER'S DECLINE
The Play Company (PlayCo; Founding Producer Kate Loewald, Managing Director Robert Bradshaw) and Andy Bragen Theatre Projects today announce the cast and creative team for their world premiere production of Notes on My Mother's Decline, written by Andy Bragen and directed by Knud Adams.
OBIE winners Caroline Lagerfelt (Nathan the Wise, Indian Ink, "Gossip Girl") and Ari Fliakos (The Wooster Group) will star in Bragen's new autobiographical work, which candidly and tenderly explores a son's complicated relationship with his mother as she becomes increasingly cloistered in her East 4th Street apartment bedroom. Also announced today is the production's creative team, including set designer Marsha Ginsberg, costume designer Sophia Choi, lighting designer Oona Curley, and sound designer Peter Mills Weiss. Performances of this New York story take place blocks from its setting, at Fourth Street Theatre (83 E 4th St, New York), October 6-27 as part of Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop.
Late at night, while his baby daughter sleeps, a son makes notes on his mother's life. She's a Mississippi transplant who became an East Village "queen," surrounded by artists and dancers, but is now isolated from the world by her illness. He is shaping a play, and a perspective. Two blocks away, his mother naps, and smokes, and reads, and drinks coffee. She is shaping her existence within encroaching confines. This intimate new play asks how we come to know one another as parents and as children. How do we care for those we love, and what does it takes to live with-and without-them?
Following This Is My Office, Bragen's 2013 play presented by The Play Company, Bragen and PlayCo reteam now as producing partners for a new work that similarly explores family, loss, and memory in relation to place-here, in the smoke-encrusted East Village apartment in which this mother/son relationship began, existed through decades of tenderness and bitterness, and concluded.
Bragen says, "I wrote the first draft of the play in 2014, as my daughter was about to be born, and while my mother's health was actively declining. For years I felt I couldn't crack this play; I was in the midst of something so emotionally complicated that I was also trying to write about. My mother passed away at the end of 2017, and I cleaned out her apartment; a few months later I returned to the play with a little more distance and found the true form of it. The son thinks he's telling one story, just putting a close eye on his mother's illness, but it's really another-it's about their relationship, and about resentment and acceptance and forgiveness."
Knud Adams says, "Andy bisects the two characters' realities in a really contemporary, almost scientific way and dissects the literary tradition of playwrights looking at the relationships between sons and strong-willed Southern mothers. As a director, I've spent a decade trying to figure out how to put together beautiful tailored jewel box productions in small, artful spaces with outstanding performances. This project in some ways feels like the culmination of that experience, because it's so intimate and the ambition of the art is so high."
Performance Schedule and Ticketing
Performances of Notes on My Mother's Decline will take place October 6-27 at the Fourth Street Theatre, 83 E 4th St, New York, NY. Please note that the box office is located next door at 79 East 4th Street.
Critics are welcome October 10, 11, 12 & 13 for an official opening on Sunday, October 13 at 6:30pm.
Regular performances will take place beginning Tuesday, October 15, Tuesday-Saturdays at 7:30pm, and Sundays at 3pm.
Tickets are on sale now. Regular prices are $35 General Admission/$45 Premium Reserved. For full details, visit playco.org.