These plays by Andy Bragen examine the intimacies and shadows that exist between parents and children. In This Is My Office, a guided tour through an empty office becomes the unexpected portal to a forgotten New York and a father’s legacy. This play brings you face-to-face with a narrator who finds his way through doubt, soul-sickness, and doughnut cravings by telling you a story. Not the one he meant to tell, but a richer one about family, redemption, and love.
The autobiographical Notes on My Mother’s Decline evokes the final days of a woman’s life. Late at night, while his baby daughter sleeps, a son takes notes on his mother’s daily life and scenes from their complicated relationship. He is shaping a play, as well as a perspective. Two blocks away, his mother naps, smokes, reads, and drinks coffee. She is shaping her existence within encroaching confines. Bragen plumbs silences and one-sided conversations to ask how we come to know one another as parents and as children. How do we care for those we love, and what does it take to live with—and without—them?
Notes on My Mother's Decline
“With a certain and subdued beauty, Notes on My Mother’s Decline softens the blow that expectations, memory, and loss deal to a contemporary mother-son relationship.” —Derek McCracken, BroadwayWorld
“Our time with Andy in his office is about the nonspectacular, average struggles that life brings to us all. It’s also about the average, nonspectacular ways in which Andy deals with his realities. But the honesty and intimacy with which we go on this journey with Andy is what makes This Is My Office truly special and far from average.” —Amanda Cooper, Curtain Up
“These plays are searingly honest and tender, honoring real people without the usual claptrap and artifice in what we often call realism. In a sense, Andy has invented a new form in these two plays, what I might call a kind of death-mask play. Don’t worry, though, if you feel you might be felled by the macabre—there is plenty of compassion and humor here that will get you through the long night.”—Sarah Ruhl, from the Foreword