You Better Sit Down

By: Alix Lambert
March 27, 2012

If your parents are divorced, then you are among the majority of your peers. If your parents are divorced you probably have some memory of “the conversation;” you probably remember what they argued about, what they didn’t argue about, how the custody decisions effected your life, and any number of other sundries from those long ago days. I remember driving around Arizona (a trip to get away together) with my mother and two sisters, going to the grey-hound races and sleeping in a motel with a vibrating bed. It was actually great fun. Whatever you remember, your parents have their memories too. If your parents are divorced, it’s better than even money that their memories don’t line up with each other.

Opening in April at The Flea Theater comes an extraordinary theatrical piece on just this subject. Conceived by Jennifer Morris, the piece is performed by 4 actors who all interviewed their own parents about their divorce and then play their parents.

The Flea Theater and The Civilians present the New York Premiere of YOU BETTER SIT DOWN: TALES FROM MY PARENTS’ DIVORCE, by Anne Kauffman, Matthew Maher, Caitlin Miller, Jennifer R. Morris, Janice Paran and Robbie Collier Sublett. Conceived by Jennifer R. Morris and directed by Anne Kauffman, previews begin April for this limited-run Off-Broadway engagement, with opening night slated for April 12.

From the Flea website:

Four members of The Civilians sat their parents down and asked them for the real story behind their divorces. Each actor assumes the role of their own mother or father (or in one case, both) in a show crafted entirely from those verbatim interviews. YOU BETTER SIT DOWN: TALES FROM MY PARENTS’ DIVORCE is shockingly candid, unexpectedly hilarious, and proves that what we want to know about our parents’ lives and what we actually should know are two totally different things.

Here is a teaser of what you will see if you go:

I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jenny to make a short film about the contested object in her own parents’ divorce, a Tiffany lamp. Here is that film:

“You pay a consequence when you are desperate to get out.” — Beverly Morris

Whether your parents are married, divorce, fighting, or in love, this play speaks to us all. It cuts right into our fears, sorrows, jealousies, and failures — that in the end comprise our lives and make us who we are — for better or for worse.


Read more from artist-in-residence Alix Lambert on HiLobrow.

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