Scene One production gives insight to caretaker’s joys, struggles

Maria Bish plays Ma, the mother with Alzheimer's disease.
(Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)
Maria Bish plays Ma, the mother with Alzheimer's disease. (Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)

"Last Lists of My Mad Mother" follows Dot, a loyal daughter and sole caretaker of her mother, who is ailing from Alzheimer's.

"It's kind of some of the funny things, some of the memories from the daughter's point-of-view during the time she took care of her mother," director Tim Thompson said.

To add to Dot's stresses, her sister complicates things by regularly calling Dot to offer unsolicited advice despite refusing to help care for their mother.

"You know, it's very typical that one child becomes the caretaker and the rest of the children kind of take that exterior, looking-in stance, where they're always full of what should be done, but they don't want to do it," Thompson said.

He added, "I think a lot of caregivers can relate to that."

The trio is played by Tammy Alcott as Dot, Maria Bish as Ma and Jamie Waier as Sis.

Thompson said, "I think it's so relatable. You know, it's very typical for caregivers who have to care for their parents, especially those folks that care for dementia and Alzheimer's folks, that some days those parents are lucid and they're making sense and other days they don't. And some days they just make you laugh. And you have to learn to laugh, or else you just become miserable."

"Last Lists of My Mad Mother" runs March 15, 16, 18, 23, 24 and 25, with shows starting at 7:30 p.m.

"It's not a depressing show, it's not all gloom and doom about Alzheimer's, it's really about the mother and some of her quirks and learning to roll with what you have and recognizing the good things in the relationships," Thompson said.

Thompson said the cast and crew of "Last Lists of My Mad Mother" are honored to be the first to perform on the new "Jack Renner Stage."

"It's a true black box theater now. They've had some other events there in the past week, but we're the first actual season play for Scene One that will be on that stage, so that's a big honor for us," Thompson said.

The Scene One stage was recently remodeled so that the walls and flooring are black, aiding in the theater-like appearance. The stage was named after Renner, the late "theater guru" who is remembered by many Jefferson City theater members.

In support of the Alzheimer's Association, Scene One Theatre will be holding raffles and donations each night of this production.

"So we're doing a little bit of good in the community as well as providing a great piece of the human condition," Thompson said.

Tickets are available for purchase on the Scene One website, sceneonetheatre.com.

  photo  Tammy Acosta is playing Dot, the caretaker daughter of Ma. (Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)
 
 
  photo  Jamie Waier playing Sis, Dot's sister. (Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)
 
 
  photo  Maria Bish and Tammy Acosta. (Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)
 
 
  photo  Maria Bish and Tammy Acosta. (Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)
 
 
  photo  Maria Bish and Tammy Acosta. (Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)
 
 
  photo  Maria Bish and Tammy Acosta. (Ryan Pivoney/News Tribune photo)