Arts & Culture

Depression and A Mother's Love: Why You Must Watch This Drama About Suicide

"'night, Mother" runs from February 2 to March 18 at the PETA Theater Center.
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The gripping Pulitzer Prize-winning drama ’night, Mother by Marsha Norman brings the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s 50th season to a close.

For this staging, Ian Lomogo adapts the play into Filipino, with Melvin Lee (last seen onstage in the musical comedy Care Divas) in the director’s chair. After a five-year absence from the theatrical stage, actress Eugene Domingo takes the role of Jessie, a divorced woman who suffers from epilepsy, while veteran actress Sherry Lara plays her obliviously cheerful, simple-minded mother Thelma.

In the play, which earned four Tony Award nominations in 1984, the drama is propelled by Jessie’s confession to her mother that she plans to end her life before morning. With her health failing, abandoned by her husband, and with a son who is always up to no good, Jessie accepts that she has failed in life and has come to the end of her rope.

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In the course of 90 minutes, where events unfold in real time, we witness the mother and daughter debating the merits of her life-ending decision—but there can only be one outcome. Though written almost 40 years ago, the themes of mental health, loneliness, and desperation continue to be part of the zeitgeist; as evidenced by the number of celebrities who took their own lives last year, suicide and depression will always be important topics for discussion.

February 2 to March 18, PETA Theater Center, 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City; 0927.6035913.

This story was originally published in the February 2018 issue of Town&Country.

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Pierre A. Calasanz
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