Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where's MoM? On the Road. MoM - A Rock Concert Musical

"MoM is about ... the age old conflict between behaving responsibly and wanting to jump off the deep end. It's just not a mom thing."  - Richard Caliban, Playwright and Creator 
What was the inspiration for MoM - the Rock Concert Musical?

The inspiration for MoM was seeing the trend towards rebellion expressed through rock and roll and sex. Web sites for Moms Who Rock, Rocker Moms, and on and on are all over the internet. And it's different then middle aged dads playing in garage bands -- there's a feeling of asserting oneself, redefining roles, etc.

 And then in the main stream shows like Desperate Housewives were responding to what seems like a general trend towards sexualizing middle aged married women. A lot of it's silly and exploitative but where there's smoke there's fire and it seems like middle aged women, moms in particular are going through something of a revolution. The days of Donna Reed are over.

Dana McCoy
What is MoM about?

MoM is about doing what you think you have to do vs. doing what you want to do -- the age old conflict between behaving responsibly and wanting to jump off the deep end. It's not just a mom thing. Everybody can relate to it. We can all second guess ourselves for choices we made. 'Maybe I should have written that novel.' 'Maybe I should have run off to Europe with that lover.' 'Maybe I should have stuck with the saxophone.' In MoM they get a second chance.
MoM is Stefanie Seskin, Jane Keitel, Donna Jean Fogel, Bekka Lindstrom and Dana McCoy
How did you find your collaborators?

Casting MoM was incredibly difficult. It took months. Casting a normal musical you have to find people who can, of course, sing and act the parts -- but with MoM they also had to be able to play as a band. Harder than I thought. Sometimes I'd find a really great musician but she couldn't act. Or the perfect actress but she couldn't play an instrument.
MoM having a bad day.
How do you like to collaborate?

 I like to collaborate, especially with something like this, by giving ownership of the material to the actors. Perhaps it's a result of my hippie beginnings in ensemble theatre, but I think of the cast as co-creators, not as mercenaries hired on to carry out my grand plan. I rarely tell them what to do and am more likely to ask them what feels best to them.

As a result, I tend to get performances -- in MoM and in other works of mine, where people ask me if I wrote the part for that actor. For instance, people are often surprised that I wrote the songs for MoM -- and I think that's because the cast has had the freedom to personalize the songs, to adapt them and mold them to their own inclinations and strengths.


MoM - A Rock Concert Musical plays through Saturday April 28th at The Barrow Group Theatre, 312 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor. (Between 8th and 9th Ave) NYC. 8pm. To get your tickets, rock out here.

2 comments:

  1. As a cast member of MoM, I want to back up what our writer/director said a thousand percent. He really gives us room to roam. We're very lucky that way. I love to improvise, so this has been a dream for me. And Micheline, thank you so much for creating this great blog! What a gift to our theatre community.

    Best,

    Dana McCoy

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  2. i *LoVe* this play.. it spoke to me on a zillion levels & i swear i was BLoWN away by the talent, story line & the songz .. SO INSPiRiNG... .. what a hidden treasure that needs to get shared with the whole wide world.. being a MoM, a musician , a dreamer and many of the categories addressed in the show, it makes me realize i am one of many rather than a misfit.. MoMs are indescribably delicious.. & Hu{Wo}MaN too ;) xXx

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