Writing “The Last Days of Wonder” was an act of healing for me — though I generally don’t write confessional or autobiographical plays, this one is largely true. My mother was the grasshopper to my ant, balancing my industry with her sense of fun. Her irresponsible optimism was maddening, and joyous, and terrifying, and infectious.
I say “largely” true because it’s true in spirit but not in details — I don’t have a sister, so the character of Imogen was devised to represent the swirl of personality conflicts that seem to arise when a family navigates such a difficult time. And at the time when my mother stated the terms of her departure, I wasn’t ready.
But just weeks after she passed, in a shocking twist, my father also died, followed soon by my step-father, and four more family members. (I’m not making that up. You couldn’t make that up.)
Losing a variety of people, witnessing both good and bad deaths, allowed me to see a certain beauty in my mother’s choices, and to understand why she refused to accept a slower but equally certain death. Gaining that perspective resulted in this play.
I hope you like Mom; I hope I’ve done her justice. She lived and died on her own terms, and I was privileged to be so well-loved by her.
Light has expanded this one-act play into a full length piece that includes her dad and the Hindu god Ganesh. The full-length play, entitled Billy Joel Holds the Key to the Afterlife, was recently named a finalist in the 2017 Stanley Drama Award Competition.
The 2nd Act Players will be performing The Last Days of Wonder, along with a second one-act play, Falling into Macy, each day of its One-Act Play Festival, March 11-26. Click here to buy tickets today. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30, Sunday matinees at 3:30.