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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.

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