Joyce Carol Thomas

Review of "A Mother's Heart" by San Francisco Bay View
by Joyce Carol Thomas
adapted from her book of poems, A Mother's Heart, a Daughter's Love

Joyce Carol Thomas' play "A Mother's Heart" is a wonderful reflection on the wear and tear of a child's life on her mother's heart. A cast of two features Bay Area actress Marcie Henderson, who was stunning in her Leila Rivers role last year in Thick Description's "Joe Louis Blues." It's amazing what a few props, a varied vocal range and a hairstyle can add to or subtract from a person's age, especially one where Thomas has her character grow from toddler to teenager in a few short scenes.

Set in Berkeley, in the '60s, actress Marjorie Johnson's "mother" adds new meaning to the words patient and long-suffering. When her daughter runs into a human wall and is knocked unconscious on the court, Mom is right there calling the play (to her daughter's chagrin). Equally supportive, Mom knows how to step back and let her child make her own mistakes, yet that does not keep her from feeling her daughter's pain-the pain of not knowing where her child is, how she is doing and if she'll ever return. Henderson's character really puts her mom through her paces, and Johnson's "Mom" wears her role wellthe armor cracks only at the end.

I found "A Mother's Heart" really charming and wished I had my own daughters at the theatre with me.

Wanda Sabir, San Francisco Bay View

Audience Gives Rave Reviews to "A Mother's Heart"

So many favorite moments. But obviously the connections between mom and daughter count among them: We percolate. The interweaving of poetry is magical. The play reaffirms what mothers knowLove is unconditional.

K.M., Atlanta, Georgia

Very moving and poignant. Every woman should bring her mother and/or daughter to see this show!

Nolin, San Jose, CA

"A Mother’s Heart" is sweet and powerful.

A daughter, H.L., San Francisco

The whole play was truly wonderful! The script was wonderful and the two actresses were both amazing. I often go and see plays, but this was the best experience in a very, very long time. I wish my mother could come and see it.?

J. S., Sweden

Mother love and grandmother love strengthen each scene.

A.G., Los Angeles

Beautiful script.

T. C., Washington, D.C.

A breathtaking play that connects with every mother and child.

R.W., Los Angeles

I’m so honored to be here!

A great-grandmother, A.V.H, San Francisco

As an African-American mother and grandmother, I found "A Mother’s Heart" inspiring, and the story will touch any parent’s heart, in particular, a mother’s.

A.H., San Francisco

"A Mother’s Heart" was great! Made me appreciate my mother more, and I’m a guy!?

A teenage son, Mori, San Francisco

Wholesome and nourishing. A mother whose own mother suffers from Alzheimer’s,

C. F., New York

Touching and infused with joy.

Great grandma, E.P., Berkeley, CA

"A Mother’s Heart" takes women back to the blessing time when goddess mothers nourished daughters instead of selling them into marriage or slavery. The play, starring African-American women, brings mothers and daughters of all cultures forward into their own memories of love-rich possibilities.

A.R., Oakland, CA

All beautiful! I laughed and cried. I love the poetry.

E.W., Fairfax, CA

I felt chills run up and down my spine. I was carried along by the span and range of ages and voices of Martha going from young mother to elderly matriarch, then to life-threatening illness!

W.F, Danville, CA

I forgot to put glue on my eyelashes. And I cried so hard during some scenes, my eyelashes fell off. But I didn’t care. I am the eldest of four sisters, and I saw all four of us represented in this powerful play.

P.F., Blackhawk, Danville, CA

The play showed me the importance of how your mom goes to bat for you. Regardless. "A Mother’s Heart" shows the connection of women, of mothers and daughters, and the connection of Black women. While the mother and daughter had their significant others, they still had to be significant to each other and appreciate that relationship.

Son to a mother battling cancer, S.S., Oakland, CA

"A Mother’s Heart" was phenomenal. I loved the living art.

O.S., Oakland, CA

Sweet poetry, lovely relationship, beautifully painted in words.

S.J., San Francisco, CA

The scene with mother and daughter planning a trip to Egypt was a poignant moment.

J.M.F., San Francisco, CA

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