31 Days of Arkansas Rep: 1986’s ‘NIGHT, MOTHER

An Oscar winner performing on the Arkansas Rep stage is a rarity. To have one playing the same role she played in a national tour — well, that has only happened once.

From April 17 to May 4, 1986, Mercedes McCambridge starred in the Rep’s production of Marsha Norman’s two-hander ‘night, Mother. In 1984, she headlined the national tour of this same production.

McCambridge and Rep founder/Artistic Director Cliff Fannin Baker had been discussing potential project ideas for a few years.  In the mid-1980s, she lived in Little Rock. Though by 1986 she had moved away, she was glad to return for this project.

The show was directed by Baker and co-starred Cathey Crowell Sawyer.  In his Gazette review Jack Weatherly noted that it was Sawyer’s finest performance to date. Of McCambridge he opined she was “lighting up those recesses of our lives with humor and humanity.”