This past weekend, I got to see a (free!) reading of a new play by Karen Brody, author of Birth: The Play.
At the Kennedy Center, as part of the Page to Stage program, actors read from evolving scripts, including Brody’s one-act “Michelle Obama: Taskmaster”. The play introduced us to Beth, a working-at-home mom of three with a husband who travels a lot. Beth is struggling to juggle all the aspects of her life until watching an interview with Michelle Obama brings on dream conversations with the First Lady that help Beth see she can claim — rather than cringe at — the title of “taskmaster.”
The play had a lot of funny and familiar moments. The audience had the chance to weigh in after the play on our thoughts. I agreed with the comment that I wanted to hear Beth more secure about her mothering choices, like not feeling overburdened by getting healthy organic food but just “that’s what I do because it’s important to me” (even if sometimes it requires time/effort/convenience that doesn’t seem available). I commented that I’d also like to hear her comment on why she works. She told her son it was to pay for his Wii, but I bet there is something she gets out of it. If not, scrap the Wii and quit. If so, claim that and admit that work is an important part of the balance she needs.
I look forward to seeing where the play goes and also to seeing a production of part of Brody’s Birth play at an upcoming event in October: Perinatal: A Symposium on Birth Practices and Reproductive Rights.
[…] year ago, at the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage weekend, I saw a staged reading of Karen Brody’s play Michelle Obama: Taskmaster. Now the author of Birth: The Play is holding what sounds like an amazing workshop for moms who […]