Bring Tissues to How Black Mothers Say I Love You

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culture

Bring Tissues to How Black Mothers Say I Love You

Trey Anthony's follow-up to her hit Da Kink in My Hair.

Beryl Bain and Ordena Stephens-Thompson in How Black Mothers Say I Love You. Photo by Joseph Michael.

Beryl Bain and Ordena Stephens-Thompson in How Black Mothers Say I Love You. Photo by Joseph Michael.


Trey Anthony’s How Black Mothers Say I Love You had its world premiere at the Factory Theatre last year, and that short run was popular enough that it’s back for a month this February. Anthony is best known as the womyn who created Da Kink in My Hair, the stage and TV sensation. This, her follow-up play, is a more traditional family drama about a queer woman (Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah) who returns home when she learns her estranged mother, Daphne (Ordena Stephens-Thompson), is terminally ill. The set suggests a cut-away sitcom home, and indeed, there’s some excessively broad comedic strokes. But there’s also some genuinely affecting moments, particularly in the close though strained relationship between Roberts-Adullah’s Claudette and her conciliatory sister, Valerie (Allison Edwards-Crewe), and the wordless relationship between Daphne and the curiously mute Cloe (Beryl Bain). Anthony was inspired specifically by her family history and that of other Jamaican immigrants, but the material she’s mining—families who struggle to clearly communicate their feelings to each other—is universal.


To March 5, Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), Tuesday–Saturday, 8 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m., $25–$55.


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