Aurora Theatre describes its new show, “Mami Confessions,” as an unrestricted examination of childbirth to the empty-nester and everything in between.
Lorraine Rodriguez-Reyes is the actor and playwright behind the one-woman show that opens Friday. “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with Rodriguez-Reyes about the virtual show.
“My journey began in 2011. I was having a wonderful experience being pregnant with my son,” Rodriguez-Reyes said. “It was a glorious one! I actually told my mother that if I could go through every pregnancy like this, I would be a surrogate. I thought everyone had this experience.”
She continued, “Shortly after I had him, I did a play at the theatre called ‘Glass Cord.’ And speaking to a couple of the artists there, they explained a little bit about their pregnancies and their experiences, and all of a sudden there was light shed upon it that not everyone has this glorious experience.”
After realizing that not all pregnancy experiences were the same, she started interviewing some more women.
She interviewed more than 25 women of various ethnicities and circumstances about motherhood.
“I also started speaking to women who didn’t have children. Who had no desire to have children and then others who talked to me and told me that they’re a mother, but not of their own,” she said. “They’re the mother of the neighborhood children, the nieces and nephews that they have raised, the impact they have made in their lives.”
From those stories, she created a one-woman show featuring 10 of the 25 experiences.
“Mami Confessions” was the winner of the 2014 ONE Festival in New York City. It was also presented live in 2019 as a part of “Teatro Aurora.” Since its premiere, the one-woman show has gone through many changes both with characters and scenarios.
“We’ve gone through so many different dramaturgical variations of the script. Some of the monologues had to be put on the shelf because it just didn’t work with the through-line,” Rodriguez-Reyes said. “Some of them could have been their own story, that’s how powerful some of them were. It evolved over time.”
Most of the women portrayed in the show are first-generation immigrants.
“Mami Confessions” is part of Aurora’s “Our Stage Onscreen” series and it will run through December 6.