A Mother’s Song: A New Folk Musical

Author(s): Finn Anderson and Tania Azevedo

Sarah comes from a long line of Scots-Irish ballad singers in the Appalachian mountains. She has severed ties with both her family and the folk traditions of her childhood, and is ready to start afresh with her girlfriend Alix in modern day New York.

Whilst moving into their new Brooklyn apartment, Sarah is forced to sort through a box left to her by her late Aunt Betty. Within Betty’s box is tireless research into the family’s ballad-singing tradition—specifically the stories of two women, both on the verge of motherhood, who carried songs on their journeys from 17th century Scotland and 18th century Ulster.

In Stirling in 1609, Cait and her minister husband are trying for their first child which causes Cait to feel a rage and fear that she struggles to name, whilst amongst the Scots Ulster community of the 1700s, fiery teenager Jean finds herself pregnant after a brief fling with a sailor and faces a risky decision that may take her to the ends of the earth.

Sarah becomes obsessed with the choices and challenges these women faced, and their stories bring to the surface Sarah’s own desires to start a family. As the ghosts of Sarah’s ancestors begin to take over the apartment, Sarah moves towards life-changing decisions of her own.

Performances

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