The play takes place on the back porch of a middle class Long Island home, within sight of a wealthy neighborhood. It doesn't take too much imagination to translate the extreme socioeconomic class differences on Long Island to our own Twin Cities neighborhoods. The back porch belongs to Jessie, whose husband grew up in the wealthy neighborhood. They're a two-income family from Manhattan, moved out to the island to raise their child, where Jessie is hoping to become a stay at home mom (if only she can convince her husband). Jessie soon meets her neighbor Lina, who is living with her new baby and her partner in his mother's home. They're a working class family, and Lina needs to go back to work soon to save up for a home of their own. They bond in the backyard over coffee, telling each other the real stuff about what they're feeling and how difficult having a baby can be. Their cozy coffee klatch is interrupted by Mitchell, from one of those big houses on the cliff, who's worried about his wife. He's concerned because his wife Adrienne isn't acting like he thinks a new mother should, and wants the women to invite her over to chat. Needless to say it doesn't go well; Adrienne has nothing in common with the other two moms and has her own ideas of what she wants her life to be. All three of the women have to make choices about their lives and their families, which may not be the choices they'd like to make, but they do the best they can within the confines of their lives and situations.
|Audrey Park as Adrienne (photo by Justin Cox)|
|Lina (Katie Consamus) and Jessie (Taous Claire Khazem)|
(photo by Justin Cox)
What I love about this play is that there's no resolution. It's just a slice of life during a very specific time in these women's lives as they're adjusting to this new life they're charged with. The play nicely illustrates how class and income can affect and limit our choices, and how not all women, not all mothers, want the same thing for themselves and their children. And that's OK.
Cry It Out continues through May 12. I'm done telling you it's worth the drive to Osseo, because Yellow Tree Theater always is (and it's not that bad of a drive). Also check out their exciting upcoming 12th season.