Fitchburg State Theatre Holds Dead Mad Production

dead mad
Nick Wakley and Rachel Miles as Jason and Mavis (Andrew Allen)

By Olivia Koravos
From April 10-20, The Department of Communications Media Presented a Main Stage Production of “Dead Mad.” This play was written by Peter Anderegg and directed by Denise Alexander. It tells the story of Jason Brooks, a man who is more focused on the future than he should be, and therefore ends up neglecting his past and present. Therefore, this way of living is damaging to his mental health, which Brooks does not initially realize. The loss of Brooks’ mother, Mavis, leads to him having to write an obituary for her in order to avoid being haunted by her when she escapes Charon the Ferryman in hell. When he begins the process, he notices that there is so very little he truly knows about his mother.
Rachael Miles, who plays Mavis in the production, mentioned that this was the first time that the play got onto its feet, and she was therefore honored to be a part of it. Miles also spoke about what the character she portrayed meant to her. “As for Mavis herself, like all the characters I’ve played, she has had a huge impact on my life. I think we all can relate to Mavis even if we don’t want to. I certainly do.” Mavis, fears change and abandonment. With that being said, her fears impact how she treats those around her and therefore makes her do other things. “Being Mavis has allowed me to explore this ugliness and make it sympathetic, which has been such an awarding challenge,” Miles added.
Throughout the play, viewers experience a whirl through time as the characters’ work to figure out the real from the fictional. Clarity comes to the audience when they realize that the scenes in the show are Jason’s memories and thoughts while he experiences his mother’s death. Largely, the script makes audience members delve deep into the idea of death and the way people tend to handle it when those especially close to them pass on. Jason Brooks encompasses those who may lose sight of the important things in life in the aftermath of death.
For updates on the 2019-2020 season, those interested are encouraged to check out the Main Stage Page on Fitchburg State’s website. To get in direct contact, one can call 978-665-3347 or email [email protected]. For now, the Weston Box Office is closed for the season and will reopen in September.