It really wasn't that long ago when life was simpler. If a family had a boy and a girl, it was expected that the boy would be a miniature version of the father and the daughter, a miniature mother. There were common hopes and dreams. The life of the 1960s sitcoms like "Ozzie and Harriet" or "Father Knows Best" was the expectation of the average American family with all problems being easily resolved within a thirty- minute time session, including commercials.
However these television ideals were fictional. Real life had no role models for many families who were dealing with other issues such as being transsexual. For the parents, their problems frequently left them feeling isolated with few resources, except possibly a psychiatrist. For the child experiencing these conflicts and changes, there are not role models in any media to give them advice. For the sibling, supporting your twin, loving your companion since before you were born, fitting into society and fulfilling everyone's needs can be overwhelming.
The Jacobs' family seems ideal with a mother, father, and twins. With a boy and a girl, the father, Samuel dreamed of the old song, "A boy for you, a girl for me". Dreams are not always realistic.
Sammy was named after his father, actually Samuel III. In reality, she/he prefers to be called Sammy as she sees herself as a female trapped in a male body. Yes, she is only eleven. She knows that she is book smart but has absolutely no athletic ability. She sees that she thinks as a girl and views herself as a girl.
Her sister, Amelia was blessed with the natural athletic abilities of her father. She enjoys baseball and all sports. She also is extremely astute to understanding her twin.
Their mother is doing her best to do what is best for her girls. She believes in both of her children and is working hard to give Sammy the support through the psychiatrist.
"Mama's Girls" was written by Marilynn Barner Anselmi. Focusing on the eleven-year old twins is fascinating in this engaging play with Hannah-Kate Kinney portraying Amelia Jacobs and Chloe Irwin as Sammy. These two masterfully educated the audience last weekend at the Snap Theater in Omaha in this entertaining, enthralling and mind-changing play regarding the life as a transsexual child. The issues with each parent seem extremely realistic with the mother portrayed by Kathleen Lomax being supportive of Sammy, calling her a "she" and the father, Michael Simpson thinking that this whole transsexual thing is just a phase.
"Mama's Girls" is one of the most informative, realistic representative of this changing world where due to ignorance and inexperience, many of us are uncertain how to react to these sexuality issues which are not new, just finally discussed more openly. This ninety-minute play including intermission is intense, but also allowed the audience to view a different perspective. The support crew to the family on stage perfectly blended into the background focusing on the issue of Sammy.
Even though this play closed last weekend, this is one play that I personally would feel privileged to see again. The fast pace, the outstanding acting masterfully controlled by two young actresses, the realism of the parental conflict in dealing with a problem outside the box of family issues, and a play with the courage to reveal the today challenges.