Thursday, March 12, 2015

Foreign Policy

Play #57 - Foreign Policy by J.J. Hunt

This is a fun little piece about mothers and daughters. Edna and her daughter Marilyn are visiting a tenement apartment that Edna has decided to move into now that her husband has passed. Marilyn is appalled at this decision, not only because of the dubious quality of the neighborhood and the apartment, but also because she and her husband have outfitted a beautiful, up-to-date mother-in-law apartment for her at their house. Edna is hell bent on maintaining her independence though. They argue and argue and argue while the landlady, Mrs. Park, alternately ignores them, pressures them, or lectures them. In the end, Mrs. Park ends up shooing them out, yelling that Edna does not deserve this apartment. The people who are coming next to look at it have lost everything due to war and other circumstances, and here Edna is throwing away a perfectly beautiful apartment because of pride.

There's a nice energy to this piece that feels very authentic to the mother/grown daughter experience as they navigate a shared loss in very different ways. Edna feels like she is just on her way to death, which is something that must be done alone - and she has never spent time alone. Marilyn, on the other hand, having just lost her father, is not ready to let go of her mother either. As Mrs. Park astutely points out, Marilyn needs her mother in a way that neither of them seems to recognize. It's a great portrait of two women with similarities that run too deep for them to be able to see them. And sometimes it takes an outsider to see us as we really are.

No comments:

Post a Comment