Written and Performed by Mattilynn Rochester Kravitz. Developed and Directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson.
One night only as part of the Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest.
I can’t tell you how deeply this show moved me.
Ms Kravitz shares with us her long journey from over achieving academic to drop-out actress, with parents who expected a level of excellence and traditionally found success that few could ever reach.
As Mattilynn unfolds this journey on stage, we begin to truly see her and to understand what led to the creation of this piece. Through song and movement and the kind of deeply held storytelling tradition that unlocks connections on a far more intimate level than most, she guides us. Embodying fully the characters she uses to guide us through a journey of sadness, love and loss. Both her parents suffered from Alzheimer’s. This merciless disease leaves scars on those who love the sufferers that one can only imagine. Mattilyn soulfully and with profound grace shares with us what she liked the least in her mother and their complicated relationship and why it was this that, in the end, bound her most surely to her.
As the disease progressed and through her understanding of who her mother really was, she allowed herself to love her all the more, as she unravelled before her. Alzheimer’s brutally and shamelessly strips us slowly of the person we love. It fades them from this world as they are still in it. That Mattilynn found peace is a testament to her ability to forgive and to understand. Her mother bore the emotional burdens of her mother before her and lived her own brutal journey. Her fear was always that Mattilynn would suffer as she did and so she did her best to make her as strong as she could, preparing her for future possible hardships. We, as children of strong and intimidating people, often fail to see the ‘why’ of who they are. It’s far easier to see them as our enemies. But nothing is ever as simple, or often even about us at all….parents after all were once children themselves and we all are fragile and layered, no matter our age or how we appear.
This is a beautiful play. Full of longing and sorrow and hope. Mattilyn finds the hope. And in the final years with her mother she finds the love and through that love, herself.
If you get the chance to see this show, and I am hoping it might be in the Hollywood Fringe this year, then do yourself a very big favor and see it.
For more information about Mattilynn Rochester Kravitz and a link to her work visit https://vimeo.com/375279375