For Mona and Rita, the close friends in
Shannon Bramer’s MonaRita, motherhood creates some unexpected problems.
New mother Mona loves her child and her friend, but both women have become insecure about themselves and their relationship.
“These are women who have known each other for a long time, so when they speak they lay it on the line without pulling any punches,” says Newfoundland actor Ruth Lawrence, who plays Rita.
“Mona feels that she’s drowning in the pressures of motherhood, torn between her own life and her role as mother. Rita, on the other hand, starts to discover that all the guises she’s built up around herself, including her impending marriage, aren’t really what make her happy. Over the course of the play, she sheds some of those poses and finds her way back to her friendship with Mona.”
Lawrence notes that the show, which played the Women’s Work Festival in St. John’s and travels from Toronto to the Hamilton Fringe and Winnipeg’s FemFest, emphasizes that time spent apart can sometimes be useful in a relationship.
“That’s when some basic realizations occur,” she muses. “These two women are transformed internally and externally by the time they get back together.
“Both Rita and Mona finally understand that neither can look to the other for validation, no matter how close their friendship is. Each has to do it herself.”
You may have seen writer/performer Lawrence, until recently executive director of the Nickel Independent Film Festival, a few years ago at the Tarragon in Rocking The Cradle. She’s delighted that the theatre company she co-runs, the 10-year-old White Rooster, is returning to Toronto for its second Fringe.
“Since we’re a tiny company, a Fringe financially allows us to travel outside of Newfoundland. It’s a great chance to have our work seen across the country.” From Friday (July 8) at the Bathurst Street Theatre
Ruth Lawrence (left) and Sara Tilley deal hit the motherlode.