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Category Archives: Mistakes Madeline Made

Thanks to everyone who came out last night to the reading of Runner. The cast did a wonderful job bringing the show to life, and our audience helped provoke a lively discussion on the script. If you didn’t make it last night, you can still come out tonight to the Factory at 7:30 pm for this free reading.

And don’t forget about The Mistakes Madeline Made, which continues Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at the Factory. I hear the cast gives a “spellbinding ensemble performance.” At least that what Edge Boston has to say about it. Check out Kilian Melloy’s review here, and get your tickets here before they’re sold out!

Thanks to everyone who came out for our benefit performance of The Mistakes Madeline Made! Your jewelry and monetary donations will be given to Dress for Success Boston, and I know they will come in handy. (There were quite a few pieces I wanted for myself.)

For now, the MMM cast gets a short break as we present the next installment of our Inch Worm Play Reading Series, Runner: The Novel The Play by Cassie Seinuk. Check it out tonight and tomorrow at the Factory at 7:30. It’s free and fascinating!

What a wonderful opening weekend…and it’s not over yet! There are still tickets available for today’s matinee and tomorrow’s benefit performance for Dress for Success Boston. PLUS we’ve got our Inch Worm Play Reading, Runner: The Novel The Play, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Then we start MMM all over again on Thursday. Whew!

As always, you can get your The Mistakes Madeline Made tickets on theatermania. Also, check out our write-up on AOL’s City’s Best!

Thanksgiving is in one week. The Mistakes Madeline Made opens in one week and one day. Our benefit performance for Dress for Success Boston is in one week and four days.

Thinking about the proximity of Thanksgiving and our benefit makes me think about, and I’m sorry for the cliche, what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful that I have a job.
I’m thankful that I have a job that pays me a living wage.
I’m thankful that I have a wardrobe that will allow me to transition to a new job if that becomes necessary.
I’m thankful I can occasionally purchase an impulse item like the $16 sweater dress I got on clearance.
And that two other women in my office purchased.
And that we may wear them together one day and sing Little Shop of Horrors.
Which reminds me, I’m thankful for Steve Martin.
I’m thankful for the theater.
I’m thankful that theater can change things, maybe not dramatically (for lack of a better word), but enough to get people to think about things.
I’m thankful Holland Productions put me in touch with people who love bacon and spreadsheets as much as I do (and maybe more).

So, what are you thankful for?

Benefit Performance of The Mistakes Madeline Made
Monday, November 29 at 8 p.m.
The Factory Theatre
$15/$13 regular/student & senior admission
$5 admission with jewelry donation

Please contact me (Lydia) at for more information and to reserve $5 tickets.

At this special performance, audience members can purchase a discounted ticket of $5 with the donation of a piece of women’s office-appropriate jewelry. Regularly priced tickets are also available, and profits that evening will be split with Dress for Success Boston.

You know we’ve reached the week before tech week when these things start happening

  • You begin each breakfast with “I’m makin’ izz-eggs all up in hee-yah!”
  • You whisper the copy machine sounds while making copies.
  • You reconsider your bathing habits.
  • You have a sudden urge to read Kundera.
  • You tweet @THE_REAL_SHAQ.

Yes, it’s all happened.  And is still happening. And will all make sense once you see the show.


How do we remember? What do we remember? What memories can we trust?

The very first show I dramaturged was David Lindsay-Abaire’s Fuddy Meers, which is about a woman with short-term amnesia (think Memento).  Naturally, these questions came up a lot. So, it’s been a little surreal to work on The Mistakes Madeline Made, and face these questions again, but from a different point of view. Edna isn’t trying to remember, she’s trying not to forget – those are two very different things. It’s the difference between looking for something and holding on tightly to it. Both can make you feel crazy.

For a compact little play, MMM packs a punch when it comes to BIG TOPICS not the least of which is memory. There’s an idea from Leibniz, which is presented in the show, that (and I’m putting this extremely simply) everything has/is a memory, even tiny particles of dust. And every memory is a bit of a soul. Which must sound wonderful to pack-rats. And it’s one of our jobs to sort out which are important enough to keep, and which can be destroyed. (If it doesn’t make sense, just come see the play. Bob Mussett as Wilson explains it nicely.)

I think this also can tie into the grieving process, another BIG TOPIC. You don’t want to forget your loved ones, but you also can’t live in the memory forever. Otherwise you become a Miss Havisham, all alone and creepy in your attic.

So where’s the line? It varies from person to person, which just makes it more difficult to determine. If only we could all be Paula Vogel or Tennessee Williams and create beautiful little plays about our siblings. But maybe we can at least use them as examples. You acknowledge the memory, you create something near and dear to you, and then you put it into the hands of someone else. It’s still yours, but then it also belongs to someone else, and then they have a new memory that combines yours and theirs and others. It’s a nice thought.


The Mistakes Madeline Made is plugging right along. So far, so great! We had a very epic meeting with our scenic designer Sean yesterday, and quite frankly, I’m stoked about this set.

What does this have to do with the Peace Corps? Nothing! But job guilt is what I’m thinking about today. In MMM, this guilt is a current that runs underneath everything. What are you getting paid to do, and how is that helping anything? Let’s face it. Most of us have jobs that aren’t “making a difference”. Of course, we make an individual difference. I work in marketing by day. If I can get companies to buy our product, then we make money. If we make money, people get paid. If people get paid a little, they survive. If they get paid more, then they spread the wealth, by purchasing things or giving money away, thereby helping other people survive. So, sure, my job can help 3rd world orphans in a roundabout sense. But who thinks like that? (If you do, then power to you.) Instead, on a good day I think how nice it is to have a job. On a bad day, I think how my job, in the same roundabout way, is helping add a layer of stress to lots of people, because I’m trying to convince them that they need something that isn’t food or shelter. ARG!

But what do you do when your job is just a regular job? If you don’t join the Peace Corps, are you a part of the problem? Sure, we’re not all Mr. Burns, but a lot of us probably compromise the ideals we had at 19 to pay for cable at 29.

Certainly, finding something else is key. Working with Holland Productions keeps me sane when I’ve had it up to here with filing reports. As do my monthly donations to WBUR and Planned Parenthood. Sure, I could do more. But that’s what balances my apathy, not just with my job, which actually can be great sometimes, but with life as someone quite privileged and loved and supported who would have to work hard to become destitute.

I don’t know. This is certainly a ramble. What do you think? How do you deal with having a job that isn’t “making a difference”? Are we all just a bunch of babies and secretaries, or is there some sort of happy medium to be found? Or do we simply overthink everything? Hmmm…


As we get into rehearsals for our next show, The Mistakes Madeline Made, Lydia, Krista, and Victor are going to post on some of the themes in the show, and how they approach them as dramagurge, director, and actor respectively. First up is Lydia talking about not taking a bath.

In The Mistakes Madeline Made, two characters suffer from ablutophobia, the fear of bathing. This phobia is fairly common among children, especially toddlers, but pretty rare in adults.  So what causes it? Like a lot of phobias, it depends. The shower scene in Psycho (apparently Janet Leigh never showered again after filming it).  A traumatic experience in the water. Or a traumatic experience elsewhere.

I find this last cause the most fascinating. In The Sky Is Falling, anxiety specialist Raeann Dumont talks about “magic thinking.” We all do it, just to different extents. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Knock on wood. The Scottish Play. MANY of us say/do these things, knowing they don’t alter anything. The point is, we keep saying them. We know, really, that knocking on wood doesn’t do anything. But we just keep doing it. Not because we are saying a prayer and holding our cross or crucifix (the origin of the phrase). But because it’s a reflex. It makes us feel a little bit better. People with obsessive compulsive personalities take it to the next level. Something bad happened before or after I took a bath. Therefore, I cannot take a bath. Of course to most of us, that seems illogical and preposterous.  But isn’t it also preposterous to make an actor go outside and spin around three times if he or she says, “Macbeth”? What’s the difference between “tradition” and “disorder”?

That’s what I love about this play. Can you relate to the characters because they are afraid of bathing? Probably not. But you can relate on fear. Just fear, plain and simple. We all have something we are afraid of. Maybe it’s a big thing like death. Maybe it’s a little thing like snakes. But when you are truly afraid of something, it’s the biggest thing in the world.