Mother of the Maid OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Enrico Spada
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 30, 2015
    Closing:
    September 6, 2015

    Theater: Shakespeare & Company / 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, Massachusetts, 01240

    Synopsis: 

    Penned by the Emmy award-winning writer of HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, this powerful and wry comedy follows the tale of Joan of Arc, as seen through the eyes of her mum who is doing her very best to accept the fact that her daughter is different. Parenthood, religion, sexuality and politics all play a role; Tina Packer stars as the Mother of the Maid.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Mother of the Maid

    ‘Mother of the Maid,’ a Lesson on Raising a Teenage Saint

    Ben Brantley

    August 14, 2015: Teenage saints — and yes, religious history records the existence of such improbable phenomena — are apparently not so unlike other teenagers. They’re moody, rebellious, impulsive and prone to intense crushes on glamorous, inaccessible idols. They also love, loathe and are deeply embarrassed by their parents, who spend sleepless nights fretting over their wayward and baffling progeny. That, in any case, is a lesson of “Mother of the Maid,” Jane Anderson’s purposely prosaic new play about a saint and her bewildered mom, which recently opened in a Shakespeare & Company production at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater here. Mom is portrayed by Tina Packer, the redoubtable founder and former artistic director of this long-lived troupe, and her name is Isabelle. As for the saint whose growing pains give Isabelle such grief, she’s called Joanie, a nickname for Joan. The family’s surname? Arc. Embodied with cornfed luminosity by Anne Troup, Joan is not the focus of Ms. Anderson’s comic drama, or not to the degree that she is in works by George Bernard Shaw and Jean Anouilh. Instead, it’s Isabelle who occupies center stage, where she offers a sort of how-to class on being the parent of a gifted child.

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