Thoughts from some of the real-life people portrayed in MAMA









Carleton Bluford’s MAMA receives its world premiere February 12-22 at Plan-B, featuring Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, William Cooper Howell, Latoya Rhodes and Elizabeth Summerhays, directed by Jerry Rapier. Click here for tickets, press and more information. Below are responses from some of the real-life people portrayed in MAMA (opening tonight!) who were able to attend a preview earlier this week.

I’m sitting in my car with tears still running down my cheeks. MAMA is the best piece of theatre I have had the joy of watching in a very long time. The actors are superb storytellers of Carleton’s wonderful script. As a Mom I saw bits and pieces of me (and my Mom) in every scene. The play moved fluidly like silk! Perfection is the only word to describe MAMA. A simple set, great lighting, excellent job by every single actor, the director and Carleton for sharing his story with us.I was truly moved! Thank you!
– Kande Shackelford

I wasn’t sure what to expect but my friend and I were pleasantly surprised. I can honestly say that this play was beyond what I thought it was going to be and evoked emotions in me I didn’t even know I had for my own Mom. You see what others have gone through and it makes you appreciate your Mom even more. I thought there was a great balance of humor, humility, love and devotion in the show. The best part is that Carleton wanted to honor all mothers and not just his own. It’s a tribute to the kind of man that he is. Selfless, kind and appreciative. I loved it, as did my friend. We really aren’t criers. Tonight we were happy to be that. Good tears, sad tears and tears of laughter. If a show can evoke all of that it is definitely worth seeing . . . more than once. I’m going to see if I can drag my Mom there (she isn’t in to theater) so hopefully I can. Even if she is mad at me for a hot minute, I think she will love knowing how much I love, appreciate and honor her as my Mom.
– Melody Chapman

I loved the production. I loved the dialogue between all parties. I especially loved the rendition of the “no cancer dance.” Very wonderful, I love my mother, and I love the time that “Blu” put into this production. It made me tear up some, and I don’t tear up at many things. Loved it.
– David John Kuhn

It really hit home for me, not only because my mother’s story is in it but because it really touched me as a mom as well. The actors did an amazing job with all the characters they played, the script was inspiring and well-directed. I truly loved it. It makes everyone in the audience take a moment to appreciate all that our mothers have done for us.
– Autumn Arnett

I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to tell Carleton about it since last night. I really enjoyed it! My favorite part was the ending dedication to his mother. I got a little teary eyed. I thought how beautiful!
– Allison Nixon

We were very impressed by the entire cast. They were funny, smart, emotional and perfectly cast. Really enjoyed the stories of the strong mothers. Carleton’ss story of the slaves was well told. It was very emotional to have my daughter tell my story – it meant a lot to me! Both writer and director made this an incredible production. Made me cry (in a good way)!
– Shelby Andersen’s mother Vicki Andersen

Carleton is a very good friend of mine and has been working on this project for awhile. I was lucky enough to be part of the first reading and feel very honored to be a small piece of this story, having a little story about my own mother in the mix. Seeing it on stage was a sweet experience. The play has great dynamics and tells small stories of so many kinds of mothers: strong ones, flawed ones, loved ones and ones who’ve passed away. MAMA reminds us that no one is perfect, including our mothers. Sometimes they make poor decisions, sometimes they want to be selfish, and sometimes they get sick and don’t get better. This play is a beautiful tribute not just to Carleton’s beautiful mother, but to all those who’ve been brave enough to take on the role of a mother.
– Karli Rose Lowry









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