Becoming Lady Gaia

Here’s how a college promoted its public reading of my seriocomic play: “MOTHER & SON versus FATHER & DAUGHTER, in a power struggle with billions at stake. The climate crisis hits home.”

If the following summary makes this play seem overly serious, please see the 20-page script sample below to understand the nature of its humor.

After the suicide of the family’s eldest son...
Here’s how a college promoted its public reading of my seriocomic play: “MOTHER & SON versus FATHER & DAUGHTER, in a power struggle with billions at stake. The climate crisis hits home.”

If the following summary makes this play seem overly serious, please see the 20-page script sample below to understand the nature of its humor.

After the suicide of the family’s eldest son, as their seaside property is getting eroded by storms and the rising sea level, Aurora inspires her father to start a memorial foundation to work on the climate crisis; that creates a more personal crisis in the family—especially after Roger commits “the lion’s share” of his estate for the foundation. The mother and second son see the father-daughter “obsession” as a threat to their interests, so they plot to stop everything by getting Pop declared mentally incompetent and by making Aurie reject his efforts to appoint her as the director of his new Gaia Conservancy. They become more determined when he donates his castle in England as its European center and says he may leave nothing but “a bad check for the undertaker.” Aurie’s adopted black son has a key role in bringing the conflict to a cathartic resolution, reconciling mother and daughter even as it further alienates the son whose politics drove Pop to post a sign saying “THIS IS A NO-POLITICS ZONE.”

This play puts a very human face on the issue of climate change. With a unit set, the entire action takes place in the present, on the family veranda overlooking the ocean, on the coast of New England. It is a pressure-cooker play in the realist tradition of Ibsen and Arthur Miller, but with more humor and a theatrical touch.

Characters:
ROGER Harrison: a 69-year-old Anglo-American capitalist and aspiring philanthropist.
NAN: his scrappy American wife, 66, impish, but a strong woman in a power struggle.
AURIE: their conflicted daughter, 42, an exasperated environmentalist, expressive face. 
TODD: their second son, a 44-year-old politician, a would-be alpha who tries to be witty.
NELSON: Aurie’s adopted Black son, 21, a current college grad and witty outsider.

Contact the author at fitzge35@charter.net for a full synopsis, the complete script, and recommendations from a director of a staged reading who says this production-ready play is "entertaining and nuanced,"and from other professionals who say things like “… and the comedic moments provide a good contrast to the more serious issues addressed in the play.”
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Becoming Lady Gaia

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    campus of SUNY Potsdam, NY
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    SUNY Rockland
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Essex Theater Company, NY
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Upper Jay Art Center, Jay, NY (near Lake Placid)
    ,
    2012
  • Reading
    ,
    Conn. Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
    ,
    2012

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
2014 competition, selected over 940 plays (revised in 2018)
,
Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference