John Szablewski Previews

First Look: “Night Mother’ by Brazen-Faced Varlets


Heather Fangsrud as Jessie Cates and Priscilla Young-Anker as Mama (Thelma) Cates.

For Lara Harberberger, executive/artistic director of Brazen-Faced Varlets, giving women the opportunities to experience artist growth as actors is her mission, “There are not many shows where women are given the chance to grow and develop their artistic strengths,” says Harberberger. “We pick shows, by women, that have strong female characters that allow women to shine.” The mission of the Brazen-Faced Varlets continues with their production of the Pulitzer prize winner ‘’Night Mother’ by Marsha Norman, opening March 10.

“I first heard about the play in high school, and later in my life I was able to stage manage a production of it in Rochester” says Harberberger. “It is so well written and has such meaty roles for two women actors.”

“‘Night Mother” by tells the story of a woman in her thirties, who plans on committing suicide by the end of the night, all in real time. “There is not much comedy in this show,” says Harberberger, “but the dynamic between these two women who are playing these roles is wonderful.”

Harberberger says to bring your tissues.

“Both actors are thrilled to be working on this show,” says Harberberger. This production stars Heather Fangsrud as Jessie, and Priscilla Young-Anker as Jessie’s mother Thelma. “This show is especially exciting for Priscilla, who has not had the opportunity to play a role of this magnitude.” 

Brazen-Faced Varlets perform their shows at the intimate setting of Rust Belt Books. “I’ve talked to people and they said that they really love this show, but they also said that by staging it in the small setting, the audience will also feel closed in like Jessie does,” says Harberberger. “This is truly an influential American play. “

This is the third show of the 2017/2018 season for the Brazen Faced Varlets. They opened their season back in August with “Shakespeare’s La Pucelle,” and most recently performed “Desdemona: A Play About A Handkerchief” by Pulitzer prize winning playwright Paula Vogel.

“This season has been about women making choices that society might not think are right,” says Harberberger, “and this one is sure to be powerful.”

“‘Night Mother” opens March 10 and runs until March 25, 2018. For more information, click here.

Promotional Consideration Paid For By The Theatre Alliance Of Buffalo.