Roz Alexander and Guy Van Swearingen at Steppenwolf Theatre Company  photo by Michael Brosilow

Roz Alexander and Guy Van Swearingen at Steppenwolf Theatre Company

photo by Michael Brosilow

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man

Taking Care chronicles the last years of an elderly woman and the mentally ill adult son who has lived with her for almost three decades. Stuck in a cramped, one-bedroom apartment, Ma and Benny have spent much of the past thirty years pretending the other wasn’t there. Now that the old woman is more or less house-bound, she foists conversation upon her unwilling son and threatens to institutionalize him if he doesn’t clean up his act and start behaving more responsibly.

When she breaks her hip, Ma convinces her alienated daughters that their brother is well enough to look after her in her “recovery.” Realizing that failure to do so could result in institutionalization for both them, Benny tries to rise to the occasion and care for his mother, even as she begins a quick descent into dementia. His new responsibilities test his limited capabilities and force mother and son to forge new bonds in the waning days of her life.


Taking Care can be downloaded on Broadway Play Publishing.

...quietly devastating...scenes that are full of the suppressed rage and tedium that infuse the characters’ lives, and that are scraped clean of any hint of sentimentality.
— Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

Taking Care premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2003 under the direction of Tim Hopper.

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