Preview: Off the Wall Productions Brings Back ‘Mother Lode’  

Playing at Carnegie Stage June 3 at 8:00 pm and June 4 at 3:00 pm

Mother Lode tells the story of Pittsburgh actor Linda Haston’s mother, Ruth, a force of nature who leaves Jim Crow Alabama as a teen to work and raise her family in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. 

Linda Haston | from the 2016 production

While it’s true that mothers and daughters often have contentious relationships that will keep therapists in business for decades, there is no denying their deep bond.

Time and again, Carnegie Stage and off the WALL Productions force the audience to challenge their perception of what live theater is, constantly introducing plays with confrontational topics and thought-provoking characters. Mother Lode is no exception, and the play is a powerful and captivating delivery of agitation, anger, tension, regrets, sentimentality, and love. 

Written by Pittsburgh playwright Virginia Wall Gruenert, co-founder of Off the Wall, and directed by Ingrid Sonnichsen, the play stars Linda Haston, who plays the only two characters; Linda, the adult daughter charged with caring for her mother, and Ruth, her aging mother who suffers from dementia.

Linda Haston | from the 2016 production

Linda fulfills the role of the pharmacist, chauffeur, cook, nurse, and primary companion to Ruth, who is not easy to care for; she is demanding, confused, and moody. Linda struggles with exhaustion and resentment while her mother struggles to make peace with her past.

Mother Lode deals with the end-of-life decisions that must be made by dutiful daughters, as well as the discord, conciliation, warfare, and ultimate acceptance (whether they like it or not) between strong, independent women bound by love and family.

Details and Tickets

Off the Wall Productions’ Motherlode, a play by Virginia Wall Gruenert, starring Linda Haston and Directed by Ingrid Sonnichsen, at Carnegie Stage, has performances on June 3 at 8:00 pm and June 4 at 3:00 pm. Tickets at: https://www.ticketor.com/carnegiestage/tickets/mother-lode-255571#buy

Portions of this preview are based on our Megan Grabowski’s review of the 2016 production.

Categories: Show Previews

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