Odds & Ends Productions “mOTHER”
Gabrielle DeCristofaro • August 24, 2017 • 2017 Boulder International Fringe Festival
Walking into the Pine Street Fellowship, we first hear the Guns N’ Roses’ song “Sweet Child of Mine” blasting over the speakers while we get settled in to see “mOTHER”, written and performed by Stacey Vespaziani of Odds & Ends Productions.
Stacey’s tale of her non-desire to be a mother isn’t inherently new. However, the taboo subject in Western culture is bravely embarked upon. Stacey tells the story of her very early puberty: nine-years-old, to be exact. Western civilization will do anything to avoid talking about menstruation, but Stacey so openly and comfortably discusses it, that the audience isn’t made to feel the usual shame about it. Stacey essentially plays two characters: herself, through her entire life up to this point, and a virgin sex ed teacher at the World of Wonder Museum, jumping back and forth between the two. While Stacey is never quite sure about her desire, or lack thereof, of embarking on motherhood, the sex ed teacher is certain of it, and puts this pressure on her throughout. She wonders if motherhood is really one of her goals, and if our worth and value as women is determined only by our ability to procreate. And if we have a choice, or if it’s actually an obligation. She asks if loving her partner is enough without kids. And we learn that to be a modern woman, it is important to know our truths.
I found Stacey’s story both brave and relatable. From the way she discusses her young body into her adulthood, to being raised in the Catholic Church, to how she played in the Apple Computer Lab at school. And how we as young girls often learn about sex from older sisters and playing with Barbies. Even to how she also played “Just a Girl” by No Doubt. All of those things put me at roughly the same age as her, and with many of the same questions about motherhood. There are so many ways to be a mother, but the lesson from “mOTHER” is that we should learn what we’re really needed for, and who we are needed as. Women in this role are constantly being judged, but we have the choice to live the lives we want. I left the show feeling like I knew Stacey, and knowing that whatever life anyone chooses, they should feel justified in that.
You can see “mOTHER” at the Pine Street Fellowship