Liz on Theatre

'Foster Mom' explore emotional terrain

‘Foster Mom’ touches on emotional trade-offs in commitments and love

By Liz Keill

UNION,  NJ – Prestige Stages at Kean University debuted the 2017 play festival winner, “ Foster Mom” by Chris Cragin-Day.  Artistic Director John Wooten announced that 400 plays had been submitted to the contest.

Sign Up for E-News

The playwright said she based the theme on her own experience as a foster parent. And there is a real sense of the difficult trade-offs required when you commit to a child from, most likely, a troubled home and who may have emotional or physical problems of his or her own.

In this scenario, Leslie, played with strong conviction and feeling by Ariel Woodwise, is single, a poet (who uses her writing skills to earn a living) has seen this as one path to making a difference in another life.

Her mother, Sarah, sees only problems ahead. Kate Kearney Patch is clearly aware of the huge responsibility involved, as well as the pain of both giving love without necessarily being part of this person’s life in later years.

Through a somewhat convoluted plot, Leslie meets Josh, who has his own computer business. Their relationship grows, yet she’s hesitant on telling him her plans to foster a child. When he finally learns the truth, he blames her for keeping this information from him for so long. Kurt Uy is the warm, charming boyfriend, trying his best to understand Leslie when he senses she is holding something back. Yet their exchanges are full of life and, especially for him, self revelation.

There are lots of shades of meaning in this play, as Sarah reminds her daughter that she continually pushes people away. And even when the foster child is practically on the doorstep, Leslie forces Josh to climb out the kitchen window. There’s something that doesn’t quite fit about that choice. It isn’t clear why she doesn’t want him to meet this child, since he apparently has overcome his resistance.

Stori Ayers is Sophie, the social worker who interviews Leslie and warns her about the steps involved in fostering a child and the need to understand her own motivations. Ayers has an inviting, comfortable presence on stage that helps you believe she has ‘walked the walk.’

Kel Haney has directed this sure, fast-paced 90 minute play. Set design by Jessica Parks is fluid and open, representing various locations with an open kitchen, living area, desk and chair. 

The world of displaced children, who often have no place to go, is well worth exploring and “Foster Mom” sheds light on the tremendous need for a child to find a loving home. The play continues through Sept. 24 at Premiere Stages. For tickets, call 908-737-7469 or visit premierestagesatkean.com.

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Bring Back the Solo Physician

November 30, 2017

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - As far back as we can remember, the hallmark of American medical care was that solo physician who greeted you by your first name and inquired about your family. He/she then directed you to the exam room and patiently discussed your concerns. After going over treatment recommendations and addressing your concerns, he/she finally waved good-bye.

Today the experience of an ...

“The Art of Flower and Garden Photography” Presentation with photographer, Brien Szabo

December 10, 2017

Please join the Hanson Park Conservancy on Tuesday, January 16th at 7:30 PM at the Cranford Community Center for the presentation, “The Art of Flower and Garden Photography” with photographer, Brien Szabo. Mr. Szabo will show how anyone can take great pictures with any kind of camera, from a phone to a simple point and shoot, to an expensive DSLR. He will also go over a variety of ...

Community Access Unlimited to hold open auditions for "Annie, Jr." in January

The CAU Community Players will be holding open auditions for their 2018 production of "Annie, Jr." Tuesday, Jan. 16, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 18, 6:00-8:00 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 20, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., with callbacks 1:00-3:00 p.m. All auditions will take place in the auditorium of Community Access Unlimited (CAU) at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, 07202.

The CAU ...

Chatham Rotary Club Offers Luminary Kits

Luminary Kits are now available. The Chatham Rotary is proud to be offering luminary kits again this year. We would not be able to do this fundraiser without the continued and generous support of Chatham Moving & Storage. For many years they have generously helped us with unloaded and storing 10 pallets of kitty litter!! We all appreciate the help of ShopRite of Chatham. The kits ...

Summit YMCA Holiday Angel Tree

Give a family joy and hope this holiday season.  Participate in the Summit YMCA's Holiday Angel Tree program.  Simply come to the Summit YMCA lounge during regular operating hours, where our tree stands, and pick a present tag off the tree.  Purchase the gift on the tag and return it unwrapped to the Member Services desk no later than December 20th. 

For ...

Union County College Names Betancourt as New Governor to the Board

CRANFORD – At the December 5, 2017 Joint Meeting of the Union County College Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, Rafael J. Betancourt, of Westfield, was sworn in to serve as a new Governor. Union County College Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel and Board of Governors Chair Elizabeth Garcia welcomed Mr. Betancourt to the meeting and initiated his swearing in.

Mr. Betancourt ...

Dr. Mohamad Cherry of Atlantic Health System to Lead Meeting Session of Multiple Studies at Top International Blood Cancer Conference

Mohamad Cherry, MD, will lead a major session on new discoveries about the most common type of acute adult leukemia and help present results of four major blood cancer studies at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 59th Annual Meeting, December 9-12 in Atlanta, GA.  The meeting is the world’s pre-eminent gathering of clinicians and researchers focused on blood diseases, who travel ...

Freight Train Derailment in Union

December 8, 2017

UNION, NJ - A freight train derailed in Union at about 2:15 p.m. this afternoon.

Preliminary details indicate that the train derailed past the Union Train Station.  According to Township of Union Business Administrator, the freight train contained 141 cars.  Eight were involved in the derailment.  Information on the contents of the freight cars are not yet ...

ConRail Working on Track Clean Up Following Friday's Derailment in Union; Train Service Still Suspended

December 9, 2017

UNION, NJ – No hazardous material was involved in the freight train derailment Friday afternoon in Union.

“There’s severe damage to the tracks,” said Union Fire Chief Mike Scanio at a press conference Friday evening.  “There’s multiple piles of cars at different locations up and down the span of the tracks from the Roselle Park line all the way through ...

U.S. Postal Service Delivers Reinforcements to the Chathams to Calm 'Perfect Storm'; Will Hold Office Hours for Citizen Complaints

December 10, 2017

CHATHAM, NJ - The U.S. Postal Service sent four representatives to Chatham Borough Hall on Friday morning and met with local officials to discuss ways to alleviate problems brought to its attention about unreliable mail delivery.

Keith Reid, post office operations manager, explained how he had brought in as many as 15 extra mail carriers to take care of lagging deliveries in the Chathams. The ...

Thank You to the town of New Providence

November 28, 2017

     On behalf the of the Gelormini family, we want to extend our sincerest gratitude and thanks to the entire Borough of New Providence for their outpouring of love and support during this terrible time of grief and loss. For those that don’t know us, my husband and I are lifelong residents of New Providence. My husband Bob works for the Borough and was a volunteer fireman ...

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, December 10

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, December 10, 9:00 AM

Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains

Blood Drive at Congregation Beth Israel

Giving Back Health & Wellness Religions And Spirituality

Sun, December 10, 10:00 AM

DeCorso Community Center, New Providence

CSA Holiday Boutique

Giving Back

Carousel_image_927000dc4b5994f4c672_9fd9507f0bb92d0065be_gingerbreadhouse

Sun, December 10, 11:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, December 10, 11:30 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Christmas Caroling on the Point

Arts & Entertainment Other

Sun, December 10, 2:00 PM

Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University, Montclair

NJDTE Presents The Nutcracker

Arts & Entertainment

The Mommy's Review - Coco

Corre, no camines (that’s “run, don’t walk!”) to see Coco, the newest animated feature film from Pixar Animation Studios/Disney. This beautiful movie is something that families will cherish seeing together. Like Moana last year, I took my family (ages 7 to 70+) to see Coco over Thanksgiving weekend, and everyone was delighted by the splendor of this wonderful cinematic ...