Parental Advice Takes the Stage

. August 28, 2018.
(L-R) Andrew Packard and Lane Hakel as Gabe and his father Wyatt in rehearsals for Things My Mother Taught Me.
(L-R) Andrew Packard and Lane Hakel as Gabe and his father Wyatt in rehearsals for Things My Mother Taught Me.

It’s already a stressful day for Olivia and Gabe. They’ve just moved across the country to a new apartment in Chicago— the first time they’ve lived together. They’re struggling to get everything unloaded into their new place. And then, suddenly, the parents show up. As in, all of them— both his and hers. Now an already exhausting day is filled with more distractions, advice and probably a few headaches.

This is the premise for Things My Mother Taught Me by Katherine DiSalvo, a play that finds some genuinely touching things to say about family and love, with plenty of laughs along the way. The show opens on September 7 at the Village Players Theatre on Upton Avenue for a two week run.

Classic comedy

“It is a very funny love story, classic romantic comedy with a modern twist,” said director Dave Nelms. “It’s a tale of how different generations perceive the things their mothers taught them about romance and commitment.”

Things My Mother Taught Me, first performed in 2013, was first encountered by Nelms who submitted the play himself to the Village Players for consideration. “I read the script, and really liked it. It’s a really funny show, cute, sweet, a good date night kind of thing,” Nelms said. “It’s [about] how different generations perceive a romantic relationship differently and how, in the end, it’s really the same.”

Understanding differences

The cast has been rehearsing since late June, with Marissa Rex and Andrew Packard playing Olivia and Gabe, while their parents are portrayed by area theater veterans Suzanne and John Jennens, Lane Hakel and Carol Ann Erford.

“I think we’re all gelling pretty well,” Nelms said. “We can understand the differences. The parents are from the baby boomer generation, and the young folks are in their late 20s, early 30s. So, I think we can understand, you want your child to grow up and meet the right person, and take their time and not rush into a relationship. But, in the end, you want your daughter or your son to be happy. You know, to find the right person and to be happy. It’s just how they go about doing it.”

That feeling of self-discovery is key to the message Nelms said he hopes his audiences takes away. “I would like the audience to come away with the idea that we all want what’s best for our children, but maybe they do need a little bit of flexibility to find their own way.”

$20, general | $18, seniors and students
September 7-8 & 13-15
8pm, Thursday-Saturday | 2pm, Sunday
The Village Players Theatre, 2740 Upton Ave.
419-472-6817 |