by Max Posner
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw
Featuring: Shanaé Burch*, Ken Cheeseman*, Cheryl McMahon*, Robert Najarian*
A disengaged son is forced to rein in his mother’s joyful overspending as she drifts away in her later years.
Ida Armstrong is broke, lonely, and fading fast. As she cheerfully spends all of her children’s money, her son is forced to assume the unwanted role of The Treasurer: an arrangement that becomes untenable the more he questions his devotion to her. This darkly funny, sharply intimate new work chronicles the strained ties between a son and his aging mother, and the weight of a guilty conscience.
“Posner’s play is a ravishing slow burn, with layers that quietly unpeel as the piece goes on . . . quite simply, a marvel!” – New York Magazine
Scenic Design by Kristin Loeffler
Costume Design by Chelsea Kerl
Lighting Design by Chris Hudacs
Sound Design by Elizabeth Cahill
Production Stage Manager: Nerys Powell
Assistant Stage Manger: Rose Mancuso
Props Artisan: Lauren Corcuera
Season sponsored by Lee & Diana Humphrey, Joe Richard & Rene Morrissette in Memory of Rose Rocco and Yves Morrissette, and our corporate sponsor:
Production sponsored by Jo-An Heileman
Director Rebecca Bradshaw sponsored by the Lyric Stage Advisory Council
Cast & Crew
Rebecca Bradshaw – Director
Rebecca Bradshaw*** (Director) is a Boston-based director, casting director, and producer making her Lyric Stage debute. Recent directing credits include Photograph 51 (Nora Theatre), Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (Off the Grid), Stupid F*ing Bird, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Emerson Stage), Luna Gale (Greater Boston Stage Company), Bad Jews (SpeakEasy Stage), Familiar (A.R.T. Institute), Both/And (MIT/Central Square Theater), Big Love (Brandeis University), The Earth Room, Fire on Earth (Fresh Ink Theatre), Speech and Debate (Bad Habit Productions), Oleanna, Red (The Umbrella), The Tempest, The Secret in the Wings (Weston Drama Workshop), Fufu & Oreos, Not Jenny (Bridge Rep of Boston), The Love of the Nightingale (Hub Theatre of Boston), among others. Bradshaw is the Associate Producer at the Huntington Theatre Company and a proud alum and affiliated faculty of Emerson College. Next up: Henry V at Actors’ Shakespeare Project.
Max Posner – Playwright
Max Posner’s (Playwright) productions include Judy (Page 73, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll), Snore (Juilliard directed by Knud Adams), and Sisters on the Ground (NYU Tisch directed by Ken Rus Schmoll). He is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, the Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, two Lecomte du Nouy awards, and was named the 2015 Writer-in-Residence at Williamstown Theater Festival. Max is working on new play commissions for South Coast Repertory, Playwrights Horizons, and a libretto for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus with the composer Ellis Ludwig Leone. He’s an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Ars Nova Playgroup, The Working Farm, Interstate 73, and a frequent volunteer with Manhattan’s 52nd Street Project. He contributed to The Characters (Netflix) for comedian John Early. Max’s plays have been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Page 73, Clubbed Thumb, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Underground, Atlantic Theater Company, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, New York Theater Workshop, American Theater Co, The Hangar Theatre, the Juilliard School, and Space on Ryder Farm. He is a graduate of Brown University (2011 Weston Award for playwriting) and completed a two-year Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship at Juilliard. Max was born and raised in Denver and lives in Brooklyn.
Ken Cheeseman* – The Son
Ken Cheeseman* (The Son) is making his Lyric Stage debut. Ken has been seen off-Broadway in Scapin, Dr. Faustus, The Cherry Orchard (Classic Stage Company), The Master Builder (Brooklyn Academy of Music), King Lear (La Mama ETC, Actors Shakespeare Project), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Measure for Measure (Shakespeare in the Park/Public Theatre). Regional credits: La Jolla Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Yale Rep, Long Wharf Theatre, Portland Stage, American Conservatory Theatre, and Shakespeare and Company. Boston credits: American Repertory Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, Gloucester Stage, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, the Huntington Theatre. and Trinity Rep, where he graduated from their conservatory program in 1980. Film and TV credits include: Shutter Island, Mystic River, Leaves of Grass, Joy, Next Stop Wonderland, Big Night and Monk, Law and Order, The Time Traveling Bong and the award-winning HBO series Olive Kitteridge. Ken is a Senior Artist in Residence at Emerson College and also teaches for the World Economic Forum, the Obama Foundation at Columbia University, and at the Linklater International Voice Center in Orkney, Scotland.
Cheryl McMahon* – Ida
Cheryl McMahon* (Ida) returns to the Lyric Stage having appeared in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, My Fair Lady, Spitfire Grill, The Porch, and Lend Me a Tenor. Most recently, Cheryl appeared in Admissions (SpeakEasy Stage). Other credits include A Christmas Carol (26 years, North Shore Music Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, Goodspeed Opera House, Gateway Playhouse, Wheelock Family Theatre, Next Door Theatre, Boston Playwrights, and New London Barn Playhouse. With Stickball Productions, Cheryl originated the role of Ma in Bill Doncaster’s Two Lost Boys. She also originated roles in Gail Phaneuf’s and Ernie Lijoi’s, Monsters, the Musical, and Jack Neary’s The Porch. Cheryl is a three-time IRNE award recipient. Film credits include Defending Jacob, Russian Doll, The Box, RIPD, Brilliant Mistakes, Clue I & II, and The A Plate.
Robert Najarian* – Male Actor
Robert Najarian* (male actor) is an actor, fight choreographer, instructor, and author making his Lyric Stage debut. As a performer, New York credits: Sleep No More (Punchdrunk/Emursive,) Daybreak (Pan Asian Repertory Theater,) Macbeth (Shelter Theater.) Regional: Sleep No More (American Repertory Theater,) Talley’s Folly (Purple Rose Theater Company,) The Kite Runner (New Rep), Copenhagen, Einstein’s Dreams (Central Square Theater), Hamlet, Intimate Apparel (Theater at Monmouth), Trajectories (Evet Arts Chicago,) Take Me Out (SpeakEasy Stage), Don Giovanni (Washington National Opera), Shear Madness (Charles Street Playhouse.) Fight Direction for numerous theaters including American Repertory Theater, SITI Company/Emerson Stage, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, Rosanna Gamson World Wide Dance, and Trinity Rep. Former faculty at University of Michigan, Boston University, College of the Holy Cross, and Harvard University. MFA: The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University. BA: Bowdoin College. Union Member: AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC. His book The Art of Unarmed Stage Combat is available through Routledge.
Shanaé Burch* – Female Actor
Shanaé Burch* (female actor) is making her Lyric Stage debut. Boston credits include Mrs. Packard (Bridge Rep), Journey to the West (Central Square Theater), and Milk Like Sugar (Huntington Theater) as well as performances with Israeli Stage, Bad Habit Productions, Fresh Ink Theatre, and Hibernian Hall. She is a graduate of Emerson College’s B.F.A. Acting program, and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in public health education at Columbia University where she is studying how arts participation and creativity impact health outcomes. She’s grateful to her family, friends, and mentors for their love and support on this adventure. PR 16:24 about.me/shanaeburch.
Kristin Loeffler – Scenic Design
Chelsea Kerl – Costume Design
Chris Hudacs – Lighting Design
Elizabeth Cahill – Sound Design
Nerys Powell* – Production Stage Manager
Rose Mancuso – Assistant Stage Manager
Lauren Corcuera – Props Artisan
Sivan Amir – Assistant Director
Katie Lamm – Master Electrician
* denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Local 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
Press & Reviews
“Rebecca Bradshaw is at the helm of the Lyric production, which features Ken Cheeseman as The Son and Cheryl McMahon (recently such a passive-aggressive blast of fresh air in SpeakEasy Stage Company’s “Admissions”) as his progenitor.”
12 Productions To See On Stage This Winter | WBUR The ARTery
In Max Posner’s play, a middle-aged man (played by Ken Cheeseman) who is deeply estranged from his mother (Cheryl McMahon), agrees to be in charge of keeping track of her increasingly wayward finances after she moves into a retirement community.
10 theater picks for winter, on stages big and small | The Boston Globe
Running Time: TBA
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