What the hell is CHAPATTI and why should I go see it?


What makes you decide to plan an evening at the theatre? What makes you take time out of your busy life to find a babysitter; skip the movies; slog through rain or snow; squeeze onto uncomfortable seats; listen to someone ask you for MORE money on top of the dough you just put down?


And speaking of dough, why would I go see a show called CHAPATTI? Isn’t that some kind of bread? What does that have to do with the ‘Love Wins’ season?



This is an attempt to answer some of those questions. You showing up to see a Mother Road Theatre production is a blessing to me, and even after all these years, a mystery. Don’t get me wrong: I’m very proud of the theatre we’ve made and watching you come in droves to see ALL IS CALM made my heart sing. But trying to figure out what will entice you our way makes my head spin. So we just follow our theatrical journey play by play, creating and sharing what we think is special.


So far in our ‘Love Wins’ season, you’ve met Lotty from ENCHANTED APRIL, who believed so strongly in love that she spread it generously and magically over all the people in her life until they believed in it as well.

You’ve met the soldiers of ALL IS CALM who let love lead them into peace for a brief moment during the First World War.



Now, you meet Dan and Betty.

Dan has a dog-named Chapatti. Betty has a houseful of cats. Dan and Betty have lived long, lonely lives. They meet. That meeting changes their lives and we get to see whether they choose love. I’ve made reference to this play before as if it were a sweet love story but actually, that doesn't describe it. It is wonderful Irish storytelling, which means our characters have great depth, great humor and a very bumpy road to travel. Doesn’t that sound a little like our own life? Aren’t we characters with lots of baggage, living day-by-day trying to love and be loved?


Will love win?


Come to the Keshet Center for the Arts starting February 5th and find out. If you come on opening, you can indulge in another great Irish tradition… drinking beer.


Julia Thudium - Artistic Director - Mother Road Theatre Company


CHAPATTI runs February 5-21 at the Keshet Center for the Arts

Thursday February 4th is a Preview. All tickets $15

Thursdays – Saturdays 7:30pm

Sundays 2:00pm


Tickets: $22 General Admission

$20 Seniors/Military/ATG/TLC

$15 Students

Thursdays all tickets $15

(505) 243-0596


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Thankfully On The Road Again

I believe that everything begins inside of us. A beginning of a theatre company is a soft whisper in the back of the heart saying “Why not?”  The whisper turns to a roar eventually until the first gathering of the first reading of the first play and then changes to a whisper of “Yes, this.”


The whisper in my heart right now is saying “Peace.” Just that. Peace for my soul’s ease, for the world, for every pissed off driver, every terrorist, every single person, every thought we can squeeze through the pain of it all.


Does art make a difference? Can a theatre company do that? Some would say that we should know by how many folks show up for our plays. Maybe. But maybe you want to come but can’t. Life is hard, there are no babysitters, you don’t have the heart for it, it’s cold out there and you’d rather sit by the fire, it’s cheaper to go to a movie, you feel your money is better spent on causes that help people in a direct visceral way – hell, I don’t know.

Mother Road has had a few rough years, though I’m not sure it was obvious to all. No home, audience trying to find us, us trying to find money, people leaving, actors unhappy, me unhappy, the board struggling. This past year the whisper in my heart has been “How? How much longer? Can I keep doing this? Should I?”  Sometimes I feel that as a theatre company we wave our hands in the air and say “Pick me, pick me!” and then cross our fingers that you do, until eventually that is our focus, and not the work. If we do that we lose our voice, or else our voice becomes small and weak, not vibrant with joy, with passion and with truth.

Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting all this but if I’m not willing to put it all out there with honesty, how can I ask any actor that steps on our stage to do the same? How can we as a company ask you to listen to us, listen to our voice, if we aren’t speaking truthfully?


As an artist - and it took me a long time to call myself that - I feel, as other artists do, the unique position we are in. We can’t solve the world’s problems through our art; we have a hard enough time surviving. We can though, if we try really, really hard through our work, send a whisper to someone’s heart that they may or may not hear, or that may turn into a roar until they change their thought, which may lead them to action, which may give them ease as their heart whispers “Yes, this.”

I’m feeling grateful and thankful this holiday because I realized: I chose this. I choose it every day and will continue to do so despite the hard times, the doubtful times. I’ve been going to rehearsals this past month and listening to the words of men who chose peace in the middle of a hellish war. I chose the stories Mother Road is telling this year because I truly believe that Love Wins, it always will, and that is a very good story to tell.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know I am blessed to be an artistic director of a theatre in its 8th season. I am blessed to be surrounded by the folks that keep Mother Road alive. We have rebooted the company, and poured life, love and a huge dose of passion and integrity into our storytelling. Look for a new mission statement in the near future.


I am proud to list the names of the newly minted “Ever Luvin’ Muthas:”

Pip Lustgarten, Amy Bourque, Mark Frederick, Christopher Hall, Jen Stephenson, JB Tuttle, Kelly O’Keefe, Kesley Ann O’Keefe, Chris Gonzales, Cyn Cisneros, William R. Stafford and founders Kristín Hansen and Vic Browder.

I am also very proud of our small but mighty board: George Richmond, Elyse Eckart, Randy Lunsford, Debbie Harms and William R. Stafford.

Thank you, to all of you who take the time to reach out to Mother Road or me with words of encouragement. It means everything during the doubtful times…


All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 opens next week. It is our co-production with the Vortex, and directed by Yours Truly. This is the kind of storytelling I love doing. Voices raised in song - so beautiful it just may pierce your heart - just a little, maybe just enough…




On the road again, Indeed.


Julia Thudium

Artistic Director

Mother Road Theatre Company

Join us for our “Love Wins” Season.

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