Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
THE STORY: The scene is the living room/kitchen of a small house on an isolated country road, which is shared by Jessie and her mother. Jessie’s father is dead; her loveless marriage ended in divorce; her absent son is a petty thief and ne’er-do-well; her last job didn’t work out and, in general, her life is stale and unprofitable. As the play begins Jessie asks for her father’s service revolver and calmly announces that she intends to kill herself. At first her mother refuses to take her seriously, but as Jessie sets about tidying the house and making lists of things to be looked after, her sense of desperate helplessness begins to build. In the end, with the inexorability of genuine tragedy, she can only stand by, stunned and unbelieving, as Jessie quietly closes and locks her bedroom door and ends her profound unhappiness in one fatal, stunning and deeply disturbing moment—a moment never to be forgotten by those who have witnessed, and come to understand, her plight.
Also winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
This eloquent, enthralling and ultimately shattering play explores the final hour in the life of a young woman who has decided that life is no longer worth living.
“…honest, uncompromising, lucid, penetrating, well-written, dramatic, and…unmanipulatively moving…” —New York Magazine.
“It is sparse and concise, introspective and penetrating, powerful and uncompromising, intense and intelligent, warm and theatrical. It is THE American tragedy.” —New England Entertainment Digest.
“Something I hadn’t seen in a long time happened at 'NIGHT, MOTHER: The audience still sat applauding after the house lights came up, as if waiting for the cast to come round and join them.” —Village Voice.
“…a shattering evening…” —The New York Times.