by Lynn on November 21, 2018

in The Passionate Playgoer

At the Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education, 918 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ont.

Co-created by Why Not Theatre & Complicité Creative Learning

With: Fatima and her mother Ruby

Libby and her mother Rina

Marie-Claire and her mother Anne

Kira and her mother Rachee

From the program of sorts: “A participatory project bringing together mothers and daughter who were born outside of Canada—newcomer women, as well as those who may have immigrated years ago. Like Mother, Like Daughter weaves together their stories into an unscripted conversation, performed by the mothers and daughters themselves. At the end of each performance the audience is invited to join the mothers and daughters for a light meal created by Newcomer Kitchen to continue the conversation. “

A call for volunteer mothers and daughters went out to communities and the result is several pairs of mothers and daughters  have performed this show over the run that started November 15. They alternate per show.

The audience sits in chairs around the space. In the centre is an oblong table with glasses for water and a pitcher of water. There are sessions for each mother/daughter pair. They have a stack of questions to ask each other. There is one session only with the mothers and one with the daughters.

Such questions asked are: “What was the best decision you every made?” “What makes you happy?” “Are you defined by your religion?” “Do you like bananas?”

Uniformly the mothers worry about their daughters and their daughters enjoy their freedom and I don’t get a sense they are stifled. They are encouraged to do what they want to. Mothers feel they made sacrifices for their families but I don’t get a sense of bitterness. I got a sense of the different cultures and how they affected women one way and men in another. One daughter felt that her brother was favoured. Another daughter felt her mother gave up her own dreams for being a wife and mother. Questions that affect all families no matter what the nationality.

What comes through is an easy banter between mothers and their daughters. The daughters love their mothers and vice versa. There is respect, understanding, consideration, the occasional rolled eye at an answer, perhaps a bit of impatience from a daughter to a mother, but regardless of background, ethnicity and background, there is respect and love for each other.

Rose Plotek directed this with sensitivity. All the mothers and daughters are not professional actors and it doesn’t matter one bit. They speak from the heart. At the end there is a communal, vegetarian meal in which the audience sits at a table usually with one or more of the mothers and daughters. Like Mother, Like Daughter and eating with other members of the audience and the mothers and daughters was an unexpected delightful experience.

Presented & Produced by Koffler Centre of the Arts.

Opened: Nov. 15, 2018.

Closes: Nov. 24, 2018.

Running Time: 90 minutes including meal.

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