“Of Mothers and Men” Opens May 7th: a Powerful Exploration of Afro-Latina Perspectives on Motherhood

Promotional image of the play “Of Mothers and Men”

While Mother’s Day can be a beautiful holiday that honors mothers and celebrates motherhood, it can also be a painful day for many. Mother-daughter dynamics exist on a wide spectrum and, sometimes, they’re complicated and a source of heartache for many different reasons. A new play, “Of Mothers and Men,” opens May 7th to explore some of those complex dynamics from an Afro-Latina perspective.

The dynamic new play is produced by the Black Latina Movement, an award-winning grassroots theater company and cultural group dedicated to advancing African and Latino cultures through storytelling and visual representation. The company provides a platform for diverse talent to showcase their artistry through a variety of creative projects, promote diversity in local communities, and create inclusive spaces.

The Black Latina Movement was founded by Jamaican-Puerto Rican Crystal Shaniece Roman in 2008. Roman is also the writer and director of the critically acclaimed “Of Mothers and Men.” Derived from the American classic written by John Steinbeck, “Of Mice and Men,” the play offers a unique perspective on women, their mothers, and their relationships with men.

“After creating The Black Latina Movement in 2008, I knew it was time for the world to see us for who we are and not the box they put us in. With all the social and economic issues we are facing in the world, I know that time is here. I want to help broaden the spectrum of hues the industry has and provide the further depth it so desperately needs,” Roman says in her Creator Statement.

“Through the medium of the arts, now more than ever we need to showcase the diversity of women and our multiplicities, especially those for women of color. As a Black Latina, my perspective may be unique but shares so many commonalities with many women of multicultural backgrounds,” Roman concluded.

\u200bPromotional image by \u201cOf Mothers and Men\u201d on Instagram

Promotional image by “Of Mothers and Men” on Instagram

“Of Mothers and Men” is a monologue-driven play where each of the 9 vignettes offers a profound look into the significance of two of the most influential people in one’s life. Each monologue is delivered by a different character and their age and background color their perception, making each of their perspectives unique and nuanced. The play is not only female-created, it’s also female-funded and it boasts an all-female cast of Latina and African American women, including Roman herself.

“The lives of Black and Latino people are more than the pain and trauma that has been woven into the tapestry of our strength. We deserve to have more conversations about the dynamics of our healthy relationships, as well as more expressions of the complexities that exist within the arts,” said Roman in a recent press release. This is the core of “Of Mothers and Men” and it accomplishes those conversations beautifully.

What makes the play resonate with women across the board, but especially Latina, Afro-Latina, and African American women, is that each monologue is honest and raw, unraveling the joy and pain that stems from each character’s relationship with their mothers and the men in their lives.

Because each vignette offers a unique perspective, together they explore a wide spectrum of experiences, providing visibility and much-needed contrast while revealing cultural insights. Audiences may easily find at least one story they can directly relate to, and the ones they can’t relate to still provide eye-opening points of view, prompting them to think more deeply about their own dynamics and peel back the layers.

Promotional image by “Of Mothers and Men” on Instagram

First created in 2010, the play had its first off-Broadway run in 2012 and toured the Northeast. Over a decade later, “Of Mothers and Men” is coming back to the stage in New York City from May 7 to May 11 at the wild project in the East Village and it’s one of the Mother’s Day Week events you shouldn’t miss if you’re in the city.

You can get your tickets here and mark your calendar for a transformative experience.

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