Ad: [ ? ]
TODAY

Friday, April 18

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« The TBS Just for Laughs Festival: "The Lil Rel Show" Art for The People: AFRICOBRA »

Theater Wed Jun 19 2013

Switched at Birth? Mine at Gift Theatre Gives a Nutty Intensity to a Myth

If you have been or have known a new mother, you remember how hormonal craziness can rage in the days immediately after birth. So no one takes Mari (Hillary Clemens) seriously when she wakes up the morning after an at-home childbirth and says, "That is not our baby!"

Mari keeps the blanket that wrapped the new baby and sniffs it frequently for the 'new baby smell'--she's sure the baby in the cradle smells different.

Mine_The Gift Theatre_GB.jpg

Hillary Clemens & Cyd Blakewell; photo by Claire Demos.

The title Mine takes on ominous overtones and great intensity under Marti Lyons' direction, which is enhanced by its confined performance space in this tiny storefront venue. Playwright Laura Marks has drawn several realistic and sympathetic characters, consumed with contemporary fears, ratcheted up by the angst of new parenthood.

Mari and her husband Peter (Gabriel Franken) have done everything right in preparing for their new daughter. Mari has taken her prenatal vitamins. The apartment is free of lead paint. A skilled and empathetic midwife (Alexandra Main) has guided them through the play's opening scene, where Mari is going through labor in an inflated birthing pool. After 18 hours of labor, Peter tries to get Mari to sleep. That's when she looks at the baby in the cradle and declares it's not the one she just gave birth to.

Mari's mother, Rina (Deborah Ann Smith), arrives and provides sympathy and reassurance. She remembers post-birth anxieties when Mari was born. "Babies could get mixed up in a hospital birth," she says, but that could hardly happen at home. Mari is unconvinced, swaddles the baby in a sling and goes out to sit in the park near their home--there, she meets Amy (Cyd Blakewell), an attractive and lively young woman who is interested in the new baby.

Nothing goes well. Peter realizes the ancient fears of a new father: "After I saw my baby, I got the whole f---ing world to be afraid of." Mari can't get the baby to nurse. The baby loses weight, but the midwife finds nothing wrong. Both Peter and Rina are supportive and encouraging but Mari continues to be unnerved and fears the baby will die.

Out for a walk on another day, Mari meets Amy again and the play veers off into fantasy and folklore. "I'm the mother of your child," Amy tells her, becoming more assertive and dramatic. "I'm from another world. We came into your room and switched babies." (Is the baby a changeling?) Mari demands, "How can I get my baby back?"

Amy tells her, but we've given enough spoilers already so we won't describe the remedy.

At the end of this haunting 80-minute play, Mari is devastated because the birth blanket has lost its "new baby" scent. Amy appears in the hospital where Mari and the baby are staying and tells her "Someday, I don't know when, or if ever, I will bring her back to you."

When your baby is a changeling, that's the best you can expect.

~*~

Mine runs through August 11 at The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., with performances at 7:30pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30pm Sundays. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online or by calling 773-283-7071.

Mark Paul / June 20, 2013 11:27 AM

There are many gifts that one can choose from, depending on the needs on the child. Considering the fact that, the birth of a baby normally spreads happiness and elicits a lot of celebrations among the parents of the baby, family members and relatives.

Sandra / June 20, 2013 1:37 PM

This reminds me of Rosemary's Baby.

Add a Comment




Please enter the letter y in the field below:



Live Comment Preview


Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="http://blahblahblah.com">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Architecture Mon Apr 14 2014

"Mecca Flat Blues": Where Modernism Began in Chicago

By Nancy Bishop

Explore one of the most important buildings in the city at a new Chicago Cultural Center exhibition.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Apr 18 2014

Transcendence, Heaven Is for Real, The Railway Man, Only Lovers Left Alive, The Unknown Known & Hateship Loveship

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

 

Events

Fri Apr 18 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains @ Music Box

Fri Apr 18 2014
Moroccan Chronicles @ Block Cinema

Fri Apr 18 2014
Steven Szegedi Collage Exhibition @ Harold Washington Library

Sat Apr 19 2014
The Greenhorns @ Beans & Bagels

Sat Apr 19 2014
Grease Sing-A-Long @ Music Box

Sun Apr 20 2014
Cake Frame 2 @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Sun Apr 20 2014
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory @ Music Box

Mon Apr 21 2014
Secret History of Chicago Music Anniversary show @ Empty Bottle

Tue Apr 22 2014
Chicago Pun Slam @ Door No. 3

Wed Apr 23 2014
Sound Opinions at the Movies: Almost Famous

Wed Apr 23 2014
The Strange Love of Molly Louvain @ Patio Theater

Thu Apr 24 2014
Bring the Ruckus: Red Grooms on Celluloid @ Co-Prosperity Sphere


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: LaShawn Williams, ldw@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15