Sylvia Mallory’s “The Fantastical Nature of Motherhood” Premieres on March 10th

"The Fantastical Nature of Motherhood" runs March 10-20 in Cary
"The Fantastical Nature of Motherhood" debuts on March 10th in Cary

The Distillery Theatre Company will present the world premiere of The Fantastical Nature of Motherhood, a play for mature audiences written, directed, and produced by Sylvia M. Mallory, on March 10-13 and 17-20 in the Free Association Theatre Ensemble’s performance space at 267 Grande Heights Dr., located in the Harrison Pointe Shopping Center in Cary, NC.

A Ohio native and BFA-Directing graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Mallory is founder and artistic director of The Distillery, a Raleigh, NC-based art collective. She is operations manager at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre, and has been a Burning Coal Theatre Company member since 2008.

Sylvia Mallory says her inspiration for writing The Fantastical Nature of Motherhood came from “Watching my mother and the amazing women in my life while growing up.” She adds, “I watched what they were willing to sacrifice for their children, and it moved me to write this play to honor everything they give up and everything they gain from being a mother….

“[T]his play has been a long time coming,” admits Mallory. “I have been working on it off and on for five years.”

When the curtain rises, says Sylvia Mallory, “Mary [Sheryl Scott], a trailer-trash teenager who dreams of better days, is selected to become the mother of the second coming of Christ. She is sent to Wolf Mother [Mary Beth Hoots] by Donna [Randi Martin-Lee], the Goddess of Stepford Wives, to help deliver the baby.

“Through a series of vignettes,” Mallory says, “we get glimpses into the world of motherhood from the perspective of Mary and Wolf Mother and all of its triumphs, trials, and tribulations.”

Mary Beth Hoots and Chris Muntel star as Ma and Pop
Mary Beth Hoots and Chris Muntel star as Ma and Pop

Besides playing Wolf Mother, Mary Beth Hoots also plays Ma to Chris Muntel’s Pop; and Muntel doubles as Joey and Mr. F. Randi Martin-Lee (Donna) doubles as a Homeless Woman, and Damien Lee plays a Newspaper Man and a Man.

In addition to playwright, director, and producer Sylvia Mallory, the Distillery Theatre Company’s creative team for The Fantastical Nature of Motherhood includes assistant director Jess Barbour, technical director and lighting designer Mark Peelman, set designer Jon “Sketch” Achelpohl, and sound designer Brandon J Williams.

“Being both playwright and director for a production presents several challenges,” claims Sylvia Mallory, “but with the amazing team of artists that I have surrounding this piece of art, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

She adds that the show’s set is “inspired by graphic novels and high-contrast illustrations and the work of Jon ‘Sketch’ Achelpohl, [who is] a comic and graphic artist (…. We will be presenting [his] original art work as gallery art … in addition to the performance.”

The Distillery Theatre Company presents THE FANTASTICAL NATURE OF MOTHERHOOD, a world premiere by Sylvia M Mallory, at 8 p.m. March 10-12 and 17-19 and 2 p.m. March 13 and 20 in the Free Association Theatre Ensemble’s performance space at 267 Grande Heights Dr., located in the Harrison Pointe Shopping Center, in Cary, North Carolina 27513.

TICKETS: $20 ($15 students and seniors), except $5 Education Rush Tickets (sold 5 minutes before performance to students and teachers with ID).

BOX OFFICE: 919/729-3903,, or




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By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).