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I Remember Mama

I Remember Mama
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Kathryn Forbes
Adapted by: John van Druten
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 82
Pub. Date: 1952
ISBN-10: 0822205505
ISBN-13: 9780822205500
Cast Size: 13 female, 9 male

About the Play:

I Remember Mama has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Female/Female Scenes.

I Remember Mama is a full-length drama by John van Druten, adapted from Kathryn Forbes' best-selling novel Mama's Bank Account. A Norwegian immigrant family, settling into 1910s San Francisco and held together by its indomitable Mama. One of the most heartwarming studies of American family life yet to reach the stage, and one of the great favourites among community theatres. This so-called "High School Version" is essentially the same as the classic "Broadway Version." The main differences are changes that the author made to the stage directions to allow for simpler settings and staging of the play than originally devised for the Broadway production.

I Remember Mama is a story filled with the qualities that lift the spirit and make family life so cherished. It centres around the memories of Katrin, the oldest daughter, who brings us the rich characters in her family in a series of flashbacks to her childhood. She is the writer of the family, and it is through her that we learn of her remarkable mother. Like all the adult family members in the play, Mama is a Norwegian immigrant. A sweet and capable manager, Mama, with the help of her husband and Uncle Chris, brings up the children in their modest San Francisco home during the early years of the 20th century. Together Mama and Papa hold the values that have shaped America. Work hard and get a good education. They are careful with their pennies and generous with their affection. They sacrifice for each other and Mama sees her children through childhood, manages to educate them and to see one of her daughters begin her career as a writer. Mama's sisters and uncle furnish a rich background for a great deal of comedy and a little incidental tragedy, while the doings of the children manage to keep everyone in pleasant turmoil. No description can do justice to the rich characterizations that fill the author's canvas.

I Remember Mama premiered in 1944 on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in New York City, where it ran for 713 performances. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops. It remains a popular choice for community theatre productions and is an ideal choice for middle and high school drama contests and festivals.

Cast: 13 female, 9 male (plus boys and girls, some extras).

About the Playwright:

John van Druten (1901-1957) was an English playwright and theatre director who, after being educated as a solicitor, found much success writing for the London theatre in the 1920s and '30s. He relocated to the United States in 1940, and became a naturalized American citizen in 1944. He was known for his primarily light comedies about witty and urbane observations of contemporary life and society.

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