Past Productions

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A Wolf's Mother
Oct. 4, 2019 — Oct. 20, 2019

Written by Cary J. Simowitz
Directed by Sonja Berggren
Cast Joshua Evans, Olive and Lulu Freese, Caitlin Lowerre, Pete Taylor, and Karen Wray
Production Team Yuri Okahana-Benson - Scenic Design, McLeod Benson - Lighting and Sound Design, Paige Machado - Stage Manager
Venue The Garage Theatre

A WOLF’S MOTHER, a new play by Cary Simowitz, directed by Sonja Berggren, October 4 - 20, 2019, at the Garage Theatre in Long Beach. 

July 1967. The Summer of Love. Spokane, Washington. 47-year old Ada "Kathleen" Bower, hardened from decades of outrunning a pack of inner demons, answered an unexpected knock on her front door to find her long-lost son poised on the threshold with a hand outstretched. Equal parts disgusted and horrified, she slammed the door on him. Mother and son never saw each other again.  
What if Kathleen had let Charlie Manson in?

Who was Ada Kathleen Maddox? The world vaguely knew her as Charlie Manson’s mother, but beyond that, her life was shrouded in mystery. The press, quick to grab onto Manson’s seductive interviews and sensationalist autobiography, painted her as an abusive prostitute, more than willing to pawn off her infant son in exchange for a pitcher of beer. Playwright Cary J. Simowitz always suspected that there was more to her story than that and he spent years investigating it. A WOLF’S MOTHER takes a fantastical look at Kathleen’s historical final encounter with Charlie in 1967, just before he went off with his “Family” to fulfill his murderous destiny. It asks an audience to reexamine her culpability in her son’s forthcoming crimes, while presenting universal themes of unconditional love, regret, family, crime, vengeance, mental illness, and, ultimately, motherhood. Was Kathleen a despicable, irresponsible harlot of a mother, entirely responsible for creating the nightmare that was Charlie Manson? Or was she a woman who had no choice but to persevere through wave after wave of personal tragedies, demonstrating a seemingly impenetrable resilience—until one day her son finally broke her and then proceeded to smear her to any reporter who would listen? No one knows for sure. 


CARY J. SIMOWITZ is a twenty-eight-year-old playwright, living in Los Angeles. An MFA in Playwriting from UCLA, Cary is the author of six full-length plays, three one acts, and several ten minute pieces. Cary’s plays have collectively garnered him modest recognition in over two-dozen competitions across the country. His play, Djarum Vanilla (previously an “Honorable Mention” in Panndora Production’s 10th Annual New Play Festival), was developed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC this past August as part of their MFA New Play Festival, in association with the National New Play Network and the National Center for New Plays at Stanford University and will next be developed at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta as a finalist in the Alliance/Kendeda New Play Festival.


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