First “Our Guys,” Now “A Mother’s Scorn”

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Poor Glen Ridge can’t get a break. As if it didn’t have enough baggage with its infamous 1989 rape case, now it’s got a new fictional scandal to deal with. “A Mother’s Scorn,” written by Bloomfield resident Michelle Sydney, bills itself as “a play based on sexual abuse in an affluent family’s home in Glen Ridge, NJ.”
It has nothing to do with the other case, but is about a stepfather in an affluent black family who molests his stepdaughter. “I was tired of society and the media picking on low-income neighborhoods,” Sydney explained. “Rich and affluent communities suffer just as much. I wanted a rich town in New Jersey. The first town that came to mind was Glen Ridge.”


The mosly-Caribbean cast includes members from Trinidad, Jamaica, the Caymans and Puerto Rico.
The play will have only one performance, this Saturday night, July 12, at 6 pm at Bloomfield High School, although Sydney, a Justice Studies major at Montclair State, has big dreams of taking the play national. Tickets are $25 ahead of time and $30 at the door. More information here.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Not that I want to cast doubt on teh creative process – but why does a town name have to be included in the title at all?
    Would Jaws have been more scary if it had been titled Jaws at the Jersey Shore?

  2. Glen Ridge used to be part of Bloomfield. So, let’s change the play’s town to Bloomridge. Wait! the whole region used to be part of Newark….How about Upper West Newark?…..Poor GR, the little town that time can’t forget or forgive by some.

  3. I agree with Mellon, why couldn’t they could have just said “a play based on sexual abuse in an affluent family’s home” I think that says the point quite well.
    “Leave Glen Ridge Alone”

  4. What would truly make for great theatre, or at least a very interesting spectacle, would be to actually use Glen Ridge High as the venue. Hmmm, I’m picturing it now…the horror of it all!

  5. The play is actually called “A Mother’s Corn” – a moving saga about the trials and tribulations of an Iowa farm family.

  6. When a play is “based” on a particular situation, person or place it is not a big leap to the thought that there is some basis in fact for the story. When this happens, and it most definitely will, what will become of the victim of domestic violence who does not reach out to the GRPD for help because she/he may think they will find no relief and help? I wonder if Ms. Sydney is aware that a trained and certified civilian group called the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT)also works alongside the GRPD to increase the assistance to victims in need of crisis intervention. Did Ms. Sydney research the procedures and policies the GRPD has in dealing with DV? Or did Ms. Sydney just slap the name of the town right next door onto her script with careless disregard for the black cloud of doubt and suspician one might take away with them when the story 1s “based in Glen Ridge”. I find Ms. Sydney’s use of the name Glen Ridge to be malicious, reprehensible and totally irresponsible. Ms. Sydney, you should be ashamed of yourself!

  7. Im gonna start a play Based on a families struggle to leave mexico for a better life in America. I will have it staring Swedish Actors and have it set in Rio Bravo

  8. An unfortunate choice of words by way of publicizing someone’s play. And since when does the media “pick” on low-income neighborhoods? Only in the feverish minds of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (the “nutscutter!”), I think.
    I’m also curious why it’s necessary to note that the cast is “mosly Caribbean.” Particularly since I’ve rarely heard West Indies lilts in Glen Ridge. $25-30 bucks is kind of pricey for a local production.
    Lastly, what is “Justice Studies?” (Lasermikey, was that your major too?

  9. From the “you can’t make this stuff up” dept., I found this on Michelle Sydney’s website:
    Words of Michelle
    I have always enjoyed writing, it is a talent that I possess, and I decided to put it to good use by constructing stage plays. In the past I have written plays for other people, and I think that it is my time to spread my wings into the theatre arena by promoting my own work. I percieve the stage as a platform for demonstrating the art and talent of individuals who has the potential to make things look real in front of a live audience. Acting is not just learning lines, it consist of being able to make your spectators believe that what they are seeing is real at that time.

  10. Stella’s on the right track. The author is playing loosely with the connotation of the word based. I’m putting it nicely, by the way.

  11. Okay, it turns out that proper English grammar is not an important part of her skills set.
    In partial (and only very partial) defense of Ms. Sydney, I spent a lot of years on advertising-marketing magazines editing the stories of people making millions a year and heading up agencies. All considered themselves “writers” (even the two guys who actually won a “best copy” award for a one-word billboard, several times over in various advertising competitions) but few could have passed 8th grade English. And unlike Michelle Sydney, none of them hailed first from the Caribbean.

  12. Compassion flies out the window when I’m paying. Then I very much expect good grammar and English composition. And the proper use of, and crediting to, editors.
    Besides, for free grammatical free here we already have lasermikey.

  13. Yes, Guido babes, I’m sure you’ll be in the first row expressing your own greater sense of compassion.
    Perhaps after you’ve re-skimmed your dog-eared copy of Frantz Fanon.
    (And it should have read “free grammatical yuks…”)

  14. Guido, the author of this piece states that her basis for comparison is class standing and affluence, not race. But you just ran righto to the race place.
    Guido, are you perhaps a racist?

  15. They sure don’t complain and moan when it’s Newark’s name on the chopping block, but mention a white affluent town and out they come in droves. Cathar by the way, being an obvious racist (and a jealous one at that) doesn’t become you. Wow jessie j. made 15 mill last year, and rev. al over 20 mill, not bad ey cathar, get out more and you too can make money* lol

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