The Son I pay for her life, my brothers and I. All of it, for years. And I want to stop paying for it.
Ida Armstrong is broke, lonely, and fading fast. And she’s spending all of her children’s money, forcing her son to assume the unwanted role of The Treasurer: an arrangement that becomes untenable the more he questions his devotion to her. In this darkly funny, sharply intimate portrait, Max Posner chronicles the strained ties between a son and his aging mother, and the hell of a guilty conscience.
Scenic Design: Laura Jellinek Costume Design: David Hyman Lighting Design: Bradley King Sound Design: Mikhail Fiksel Projection Design: Lucy Mackinnon Wig Design: Leah J. Loukas Production Stage Manager: Brett Anders
I wanted to write something about the past, something that required no invention, that I had to be really accountable to, that had a real grounding in reality. I am always interested in projecting– into the past, into the future, into a nearby person. And I was compelled by the kind of emotional geometry of trying to think of my father as a son.
Before our final workshop of “The Treasurer”, I board a bus to visit my grandmother. I’ve been readying the play for production, but she does not know it exists. Late at night, toiling over her favorite phrases, a fact starts bobbing: I’ve given much more time to this play than to her.
There is a reason these amazing actors and this peerless director have been so committed to this play for so long. It is a play of exceptional beauty, wisdom, and originality. I am so proud to present it to you.
I usually do everything I can to avoid referencing Chekhov. But as I search for a way to write about the wry, fragile, existentially troubled world of Max Posner’s plays, I find the comparison unavoidable.
Like the character Ida in “The Treasurer”, Max Posner’s grandmother ran for Albany County Clerk as the Republican-AIM candidate in 1967 (the first woman in the city’s history to do so), losing only narrowly to the Democratic incumbent after a spirited campaign.