Mainstage Series offers world premiere of work by Fredonia student playwright

Doug Osborne-Coy
cast of show

Mason Wright, played by Taryn Feuer (center) deals with (clockwise from left) the Girl played by Alejandra Sutherland, Victoria played by Emily Friedrichsen, and the Doctor played by Sivan Adler in the world premiere of “Mason Wright in NOT a Mother.”

The Walter Gloor Mainstage Series continues at SUNY Fredonia with the world premiere of a dramedy from a Fredonia student playwright.

“Mason Wright is NOT a Mother” runs from Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 in Bartlett Theatre on the Fredonia campus. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. for all three performances. The play is the creation of Ashley V. Giaccio, a senior Musical Theatre major with a minor in Creative Writing.

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In the play, main character Mason Wright finds just after her 22nd birthday out that it is unlikely she can have children. As a result, she begins seeing the vision of a young girl, a fantasy that causes tension between her and her partner. It sends Mason on a journey to find peace with her identity and her past - and a new understanding of love, healing, and what it means to be a mother.

Director Alexa Adler, also a senior Musical Theatre major, says the play is unlike any she has read before.

“It covers many important topics such as medical malpractice in women and consent while still being comedic,” Adler said. “It makes you think, it makes you laugh and it makes you cry. It is a show that any person who sees it will be able to relate to in one way or another, no matter who they are.”

Through the use of hyper-theatricality and puppetry, “Mason Wright is NOT a Mother” explores themes of consent, trauma and medical malpractice against women.

“The puppets are used as a device throughout the show,” Adler said. “They are used to move along with characters that are very real people you may know in your everyday life, while portraying a theme of hyper-theatricality”

Audiences will be seeing a brand-new piece of theater, as this will be the first time “Mason Wright is NOT a Mother” has been staged.

“The biggest challenge of staging a premiere performance is the fact that there is no previous production to pull ideas from,” the director said. “All of the ideas, how the show will look and be developed are entirely up to me. I suppose that is also the most exciting part about it as well.”

In the end, Adler hopes audiences will make a real connection with the show.

“Many of the experiences these characters have throughout the play are very human, and I hope audiences are able to find a character, an event or even a moment that they can relate to and see themselves in,” she said.

Faculty advisor Daniel Lendzian, assistant professor, said he is thrilled to see “Mason Wright is NOT a Mother” produced as part of the theatre department’s Walter Gloor Mainstage season.

“The play was developed as an independent study that I supervised, inside of a playwriting group that meets weekly,” Lendzian said. “Ashley is a talented emerging dramatist, and I’m excited to see her words shared with the campus and audiences. I was honored to supervise this production as their advisor and was impressed with all the students work, especially our student director Alexa and how she handled the rehearsal process for a new work. The outcome is really special.”

“Mason Wright is NOT a Mother” is presented as part of the 2023-24 Lake Shore Savings Season.

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