A Note from "Mama's Boy" Director, Debra Schultz
Mama’s Boy is an interesting play because it explores the unknown around a famous event--the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
So, what won’t you see here onstage? You won’t see Lee Harvey Oswald in the window of the book depository.
You won’t see Kennedy assassinated. You won’t see Jack Ruby shoot Oswald as he is moved to county jail.
What will you see here onstage? You will see how Oswald’s mother Marguerite went on a speaking tour in the year to follow the assassination. You will see how Marguerite felt about Lee. You will see how Marguerite felt about Lee’s wife, Marina. You will see how Marguerite felt she was treated (or mistreated) throughout her life.
This play is really a snapshot of how Marguerite Oswald saw the world and the people around her. It is through her perspective that the play unfolds, with Marguerite serving as both narrator and driving figure. In the scenes of the play, we see what is important to HER story. How SHE wanted to be remembered. Why SHE was the victim of all circumstances.
Because this is Marguerite’s version, I have stripped the play to only those things utterly essential to telling the story. So, gone are realistic scenery pieces. Gone are naturalistic costume changes. Gone are fancy lighting flourishes, atmospheric set dressings, and all the other elaborate bells and whistles that audience many times come to expect. What is left are those things that are truly important to telling the story of Marguerite and Lee, Marina, and Robert. They are gone to clear the way for the characters to take center stage in your focus.
This has been a different approach for the actors. They know that they have to drive the play forward without reliance on “things.” It is all up to them. Because of that, we have had some really interesting conversations about these real-life people and how to present the best and worst of them onstage as the script demands.
It truly was a challenge and a joy to work through that process...and I hope it shows to you as audience members.
"Mama's Boy" is now showing at Stageworks Theatre through May 2, 2021. Get tickets and join us!