The Good Mother

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A psychological thriller. Larissa, a young-ish woman prepares for a date, her first in a long time, as she instructs her babysitter, a teenage boy, on the special needs of her autistic little girl. The next day, after what should have been a one-night-stand with her date, Larissa confronts the boy, claiming that her child communicated to her, non-verbally, that she was molested.

The boy’s father, a former counselor of Larissa's and with whom she was once infatuated, then shows up to talk her out of pressing charges. During the remainder of the play Larissa sets out to uncover what really happened during the night in question, whether the mess is the fault of the angry teenager, his emotionally irresponsible father, Larissa’s one-night stand who turns out to have a murky past, or Larissa herself who's broken life is and has always been the results of her own bad choices.

Read Sample

A modest but lovingly decorated home in Mt. Vernon, New York. Pretty details. Lots of glass.
Out the big window, early nightfall.

Larissa, 33 busily gets “ready” while she talks. She wears tight jeans and a ruffled or faux country shirt. She looks lovely. She applies mascara in the living room mirror…

Angus, 19 sits on the couch. He is displaced.

LARISSA
I’ll never forget what else he said to me he said– and it’s a simple thing he said- he said, he said to me anyway he looks at me and he says, he looks at me and he says he goes: “Remember who you are”. …What do you mean? Who am I? I don’t know who I am, who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to remember? I’m a child.

But then
She exits to another room but continues talking.
We hear her garbled voice.
Angus makes no effort to listen.

Larissa returns, participating in ridiculous beauty rituals as she speaks.

LARISSA
Do you know that song? The Greatest Love of All? You’re too young. Anyway it’s a song. And it’s about the greatest love of all. Stupid, that it’s about the love inside yourself that you have for yourself? I know. Stupid. It’s really really stupid. My mother was ill-equipped. But. I think that when you know who you are. And what you’re made of. This sounds like touchy feely bullshit but stay with me I have a point. It’s easy to consider other people. To think about other people and what they’re made of. And to see clearly. As clearly as anything can be seen. I’m saying that if you think of your father. Clearly. If you really think about him? Then maybe you’ll remember the truth. Of who he is. And you won’t get hurt by all the lies people are saying about him. Do you understand?

ANGUS
…Yes.

LARISSA
Did he eat the pie

ANGUS
The

LARISSA
Did he eat the pie.

ANGUS
The

LARISSA
My pie did he eat the pie

ANGUS
No.

LARISSA
Look at you. You’re a man.

ANGUS
Look at you. You’re a woman
That came out wrong.

LARISSA
It’s like that now huh?

ANGUS
No no no/ no no

LARISSA
What happened to you, you were so cute?

ANGUS
I didn’t meant that like//that

LARISSA
No you’re right, you’re in college

ANGUS
I didn’t mean it//like

LARISSA
And I’m not that much older//after all

ANGUS
It came out//wrong

LARISSA
It’s alright I’m a//jerk

ANGUS
Please stop.

LARISSA
Relax I’m playing. Can’t you see I’m playing a game with you.

She puts on earrings.

LARISSA
Has he talked to you?

ANGUS
About what?

LARISSA
Are there some things you might want to share with me?

ANGUS
No.

LARISSA
…You look like your father. You know that right. Last time I saw you were a little boy.
How’s college?

ANGUS
Good.

LARISSA
What’s it Wellsly-?

ANGUS
Wesleyan

LARISSA
It’s good?

ANGUS
Yes.

LARISSA
I heard it’s not good. You got into some kind of trouble.

ANGUS
I don’t

LARISSA
You like me, a little trouble-maker?

ANGUS
I don’t do drugs.

LARISSA
Listen. I don’t do drugs.

ANGUS
I know you’re clean or //…whatever.

LARISSA
Where’s my keys. You’re thinking of Judy. My best friend Judy. She did drugs. Where’s my keys but then she went to a facility. They said that it was her own fault for being a drug addict because she suffers from selfishness and vanity. As well as other personality faults. Meanwhile she was really overprescribed an outdated painkiller in the eighties. When she was a child. What I do with my keys. So whose fault was it? So now she’s ashamed of herself for her whole personality. But it’s ok because she’s getting her yoga license to teach yoga. I only met your father because I killed that hamster. I gotta find my keys.

Oh. I’m sorry. Your father’s still dry. Right?

Angus looks at her.

LARISSA
I didn’t mean to knock the program, if he’s still working the program-

ANGUS
He’s fine.

LARISSA
Ok. If you want to talk about your trouble not tonight but some other night mi casa es su casa.

ANGUS
Right.

PLAY CONTINUES...

Cast Requirements

4 men
1 woman

Set Description

Unit Set

Press

The New Group to Produce Francine Volpe World Premiere in 2012-13 Season
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Production and Development History

Upcoming: The New Group (NYC)
Directed by Scott Elliot, Featuring Gretchen Moll
Fall 2012