Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gold Star Mother

Play #96 - Gold Star Mother by Cynthia Robinson

On Mothers' Day, Ann is in her son Samuel's room folding his laundry when her husband Robert comes home. He is the pastor of a local church, and is disappointed that she missed the service again today. She explains that she just got caught up in cleaning and didn't want to show up late. He tells her to put off the cleaning for some other day - she refuses. He offers to take her to lunch and - she refuses. As they talk, it comes out that, six months ago, they were told that their son Samuel was killed in combat, and that Ann has not accepted the loss, largely because there was nothing left of him to bury. She insists first that they can't really know that he is dead, and then that it is a failing of God to allow this sort of thing to happen. Robert tries to convince her to pray with him, but she is angry and refuses. By the end, he collapses in tears and she goes to hold him.

Sometimes a short play is just too short to hold a big idea or emotional experience - this is one of those times. This is just about a ten minute play, and the idea that this exchange could be crammed into that short a time is a little difficult to swallow. There is just so much going on for both of them, it would be quite a ride for the actors and audience alike. Still, a heartfelt gesture toward a tragic set of circumstances that is all too common in recent history.

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