A new play
This is Mary Brown is a new play written & performed by OBIE Award-winning actress Winsome Brown and directed by
Brad Rouse. It debuted at New York City’s renowned La MaMa Theatre in June, 2015, then toured to the Edinburgh
Festival Fringe. Critics in both countries raved about the play and its writer/ performer.
“A quiet epic.”
This is Mary Brown tells the moving and funny story of Winsome’s charismatic Irish mother, Mary, a housewife in
Toronto. Short and often hilarious scenes paint a vivid picture of Mary’s glamorous beginnings in Ireland, her
eccentric family, her courtship, her joy and pain in motherhood and marriage. This is Mary Brown captures Mary’s
humor, hurt, and courage from childhood to motherhood, through her struggles with alcoholism, and finally, the
sad grace of her death. Featuring sixteen characters, we not only get to know Mary, we also see her through the
eyes of her family and the other larger-than-life characters she encounters along the way. Full of life and
laughter, This is Mary Brown is radiant with love.
American playwright and actor Wallace Shawn called it, “Just perfect.”
In both NYC and Edinburgh, This is Mary Brown was produced very simply and ran 68 minutes without intermission.
The set was two chairs, a table, a bench, plus minimal sound cues and props. The primary design element was the
lighting (at La MaMa there were 80 cues from 25 instruments.)
June 11-28, 2015 debuts at New York’s La MaMa ETC Theatre
August 8-30, 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
“Such frank and straightforward storytelling is poignant.” “Genuine… touching… quietly affecting.”
– The New York Times
★★★★ “Warm and funny. Beautiful. Inspiring.” The Scotsman
“Powerful. It blossoms into a fitting tribute to the title mum, and all the flawed mothers who still toil away
uncelebrated.” Time Out New York
★★★★★ “A very special piece of writing and a virtuosic piece of acting.” Broadway Baby, Scotland
“A tender portrayal of family love and strife. Brings the audience to tears. Magic.” Tribeca Trib
“Revelatory.” André Gregory
“Riveting… a gift.” TheaterScene
About Writer/ Performer Winsome Brown
Winsome Brown is a writer, director, and Obie-award winning performer. She was born and raised in Toronto and
lives in New York.
Recent work: This is Mary Brown (New York/ La MaMa; Edinburgh Festival Fringe); The Burial at Thebes (Irish
Rep); Gertrude Stein (Target Margin’s Stein Lab); Irina Brook’s Shakespeare’s Sister (La MaMa/ French tour);
Hillary Clinton in Du Yun and Paul Warner’s opera Women: The War Within (Baryshnikov Arts Centre). International
tour of Jay Scheib’s World of Wires including Festival d’Automne in Paris. André Gregory and Wallace Shawn’s The
Master Builder. Other notable work: Heather Woodbury’s Obie award winning Tale of 2Cities: An American Joyride
on Multiple Tracks, (UCLA Live/PS 122). Winsome’s solo show Welcome to Winsomeland (Tamarind Theatre, LA) was
called “beautiful and terrifying” by LA Weekly. Film/ TV: A Master Builder (dir. Jonathan Demme); Heights
(Merchant/Ivory dir Chris Terrio); Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nightfall with David Carradine, For Your Love,
Shadows Choose Their Horrors (NY FilmFest, dir. Jenn Reeves). Winsome’s first film as a writer/director The
Violinist is a 16 mm experimental narrative film which she also wrote. Her film and live music performance The
Lost Victrola Sessions debuted at the Hudson Opera House in 2012. Winsome has frequently collaborated with
composers and musicians, both as performer and director. These include: Dave Soldier; the International
Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Nathan Davis, Yuval Ron, Rebecca Cherry, Leon Livshin, and Du Yun.
About Director Brad Rouse
Brad Rouse has directed plays and musicals at the Public Theater in New York City, City Center Encores, the
Ahmanson Theater (CTG), Hartford Stage, the Juilliard School, City Theater in Pittsburgh, The Directors
Company,New Dramatists, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Boston Playwrights’
Theatre, HB Playwrights, and NYU. He received an award from the Connecticut Critics Circle for his production of
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (starring Anthony Rapp) and was nominated as Best Director in Los Angeles and
Philadelphia for THE MICE by Julia Jordan, Nell Benjamin and Larry O’Keefe, and choreographed by Rob Ashford.
Other credits include world premieres by Billy Porter, and Cusi Cram, plus workshop presentations of plays by
Adam Rapp and Daniel Goldfarb. His work has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes II and NPR’s Fresh Air. He
assisted Harold Prince on new work by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carol Burnett, Stephen Sondheim, John Weidman, Jason
Robert Brown, and Jim Steinman. Most recently, he directed POP! by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs
starring Anthony Rapp and choreographed by Billy Porter. At the American Academy of Dramatic Arts he directed
plays by Douglas Carter Beane, Tom Stoppard, Shelagh Stephenson, Theresa Rebeck, George Abbott, Federico Garcia
Lorca, Jean Anouilh, J.M. Barrie, Tina Howe, and John Cariani. As a writer, his work has been seen at the York
Theatre Company, Issues Project Room, John Jay College, and the Cornelia Street Café.
TRAILER for This is Mary Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO_Qlv559dc
New York Times
Broadway Baby (Scotland)