POST: 'On the Exhale' - everything stopped at that moment
What's it about?
A mother mourns the loss of her only child to gun violence in a setting unexpected.
What I experienced?
Clumsy, clumsy me. I arrived at the wrong theater. Instead of going to the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center, I went to the Signature Theater. Thankfully the two theaters were close to one another and I got to the right theater in no time with my speed walking.
Though I was assigned a seat according to my ticket, when I entered the room I was informed it was open seating. I wasn't too surprised because there were only 30 seats set up and a small stage with bright lights on it. I decided to sit in the second row at the very end on the right side (I love corner seats). Before I knew it the show began, but I did not realize it because the main character abruptly walked on stage in plain clothes. I originally thought she was a late comer rushing to get to a seat before the show started.
Then, the lights instantly dimmed to a near darkness on the audience with all the light focused on the main character. Okay, it's show time. She started off talking about being a working mother trying to juggle work, her child, and living life. I am sure many women can relate to that, starting with my mother. She goes to therapy, which she informs us (the audience) that her therapist thinks she is crazy complaining about all the common things that comes with being a working mother.
We come to find out that her only child, Michael, is a sperm donor baby. This leads me to think, that this is why she can't stop talking about being the perfect mother to her son. She did not follow the traditional route (settling down, getting married, and having a child). But she was completely content with her decision and proud to break societal norms. Her occupation as a school teacher kept her busy, but she tended to think of bad scenarios that could happen at any given moment, you know, paranoia. This was one of the reasons why she was going to therapy, in order to help control those thoughts.
Unfortunately, one of those bad scenarios becomes a reality. And it had to do with her son, Micheal. In the middle of teaching she was disrupted by her principal and informed of a shooting that took place in a school that morning. She was then told that the shooting took place at the elementary school Michael attends. Everything stopped at that very moment. She proceeded to Michael's school where she found parents sobbing, police officers everywhere, and news reporters with vans at the perimeter of the school. As she shared this scene, I instantly thought of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. The images of beautiful, innocent, short-lived lives consumed my mind. I became emotionally overwhelmed. Any life taken away over senseless actions is upsetting but not as much as when the victim is a child. She reacted as any mother would when she found out that her son was among the victims. Emotion, anger, and confusion scrambled the mind of the grieving mother.
As she laid her son to rest one last time, she wondered how life would be without him. As days became weeks after the shooting, she wanted to trace the last moments of her son's life in order to cherish them. Her mind soon after turned to the killer and his motives - why would he senselessly murder innocent children? Since the killer had killed himself after the rampage, she needed someone to blame. This led her to the place that sold the weapon that ruined so many lives. She came to the realization that it only took a driver's license and the right price to purchase the same gun (automatic rifle) that killed her son. The gun laws in this country are lenient enough to place weapons in the hands of unstable people... The idea of protecting the Second Amendment (the right to bare arms) has overshadowed how people can abuse that right in order to harm others.
Want to see it?
Sorry, this show is not currently showing :(
What did you experience?
Let PXP know in the comments below...