Art Imitates Life


Touching Lanesboro production echoes familiar experiences

Memories…sibling rivalry… life choices…are some of the universal themes explored in the Commonweal Theatre’s production “The Memory of Water,” a heartfelt, inspiring comedy that runs Sept. 13 to Nov. 10 in Lanesboro.

Amidst the details of funeral planning and packing, three sisters—Mary, Theresa and Catherine—have returned home to celebrate their mother’s life and honor her passing. As they begin to plan for a future without their mother, the women examine their life choices and shared memories—which diverge in places despite the commonalities of time and place. Each strong and vibrant, the sisters sometimes disagree as they reminisce, showing that memory is a fluid notion—or as one sister states, “All memories are false.”

The issues that drive the play are familiar to many of us.

“As the baby boomers age, their children are dealing with serious responsibilities,” says lead actress, Adrienne Sweeney, who portrays the oldest sister Mary. “And as we learn to cope, we have the opportunity to examine our own lives and consider our own futures. Watching my own mother struggle with my father’s Alzheimer’s, I relate strongly to this play.”

Written by English playwright Shelagh Stephenson and first staged in 1996, “The Memory of Water” is a touching and honest play, full of humor and heart.