Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Mother Grace

  • Do you agree that God’s love can redeem us all? Is it a good thing, if so? Mother Grace, written by dynamic playwright Aditya Putcha, whose debut Inversion performed to sold-out audiences at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2017, and directed by Stephen Juhl, Edinburgh Fringe Festival veteran, asks the tough questions. Mother Grace opens June 4th at 1:30 pm at the Stephanie Feury Studio at 5636 Melrose Ave., Hollywood CA 90038.

    The protagonist, Linus Stephenson, has a heart of gold and has touched countless lives during his decades of ministry work. He proudly attributes his effect on people to the healing influence of God, who turned him from an abused little boy and tormented young man into a pillar of the community. Yet there is much we do not know. Even as Linus uses the Lord’s strength to aid a traumatized young congregant, he realizes he may have entered a battle in which even his spiritual mother cannot help him. Yet if she can, does he deserve it? This timely play builds on the strength of the #MeToo movement while asking timeless and universal questions.
  • Starring: Leslie Foumberg, Charlotte Frøyland, Sydney Grey, Julia Linger, Tristan Meyers, Linda Nile, Wade Oxford, Richard Page, and Christine Viviers

Playwright Aditya Putcha chats with us about Mother Grace

Explain the title,

AP: It’s a pun. Grace is a concept central to Christianity, the centerpiece of the main character’s life, and plays a vital role in the events of the play.
However, it is also a woman’s name. When I first got the idea for the play, my elevator pitch was, “It’s about a guy’s very, very VERY complicated relationships with women throughout his life.”
One of those women in his biological mother. One of them is his spiritual mother. One of them is the Divine Mother. There are more, and it gets twisted. Disturbing even.
The title Mother Grace thus perfectly captures the play’s themes cleverly.
Is the play funny?

AP: Mother Grace is one of the most intense and disturbing stories you will ever find, featuring child abuse, domestic violence, self-harm, and rape.
But yes, we get to laugh plenty at the hapless main character’s coping with this mommy issues!
We also get great zingers from characters who find that laughter really is sometimes the best medicine, even when dealing with trauma.
Talk about the challenges of your creative team.
AP: I’m also the producer and have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off making sure we have everything we need for the play, all the pieces are flowing smoothly, and it’s getting the publicity it deserves.
I have delegated directing to a friend who has a real gift for determining what plays well on stage, how to keep the audience intrigued, and how to get the best possible performances out of the actors.
Speaking of the actors, I gave the lead role to one of my best friends, knowing he’s perfect for the part. For the other eight roles, I used Actors Access to find a variety of talented performers, and ALL EIGHT have impressed me with their passion for the project.
Why should audiences choose to see this play as opposed to another in the Festival?

AP:You will never see anything else like Mother Grace. Why? Let me count the ways:
-It’s about the allure of both BDSM and Christianity.
-It explores ALL those incredibly intense themes described earlier
-It features live poetry
-It uses time fluidly and non-linearly
Do you like Mother Grace more than your other plays? Why?

AP: It’s my masterpiece! I literally feel like Orson Welles, because not only does Mother Grace resemble Citizen Kane in terms of having incredibly bold subject matter and audacious storytelling techniques, but thematically the two stories are very similar. Each one is about a man who has reached the absolute pinnacle of his profession and gotten so highly lauded, but deep down is a complete mess, tracing back to the maternal love we see him denied as a child.
Do you foresee plans to continue with it after the Fringe?

AP: Broadway, Tony Awards, Samuel French, you name it. There’s the quote often attributed to Ernest Hemingway about how the way to be a great writer is to sit down and bleed onto the typewriter. I bled gallons and gallons onto my MacBook Air and now will put in as much work as necessary to make this the next classic of theatre. Come to a Fringe performance and one day you can brag about having seen the world premiere run of Mother Grace!


WHERE: Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre -  5636 Melrose Ave., Hollywood CA 90038

PERFORMANCE DATES:Saturday June 4, 2022, 1:30 PM/ Friday Jun, 10, 2022, 6:00 PM/ Sunday June 12, 2022, /2:00 PM/ Thursday June 23, 2022, 9:30 PM/ Sunday June 26, 2022, 12:00 PM

Running time: 90 minutes
Ticket Price: $15.00 (Discounts available for sex workers and religious professionals)
Ticket link:
Admission 16+

No comments: