By July 9, 2014 Read More →

Migrant Mother at the Prospect


Migrant Mother at the Prospect By Ken White

“There are moments when time stands still and all you do is hold your breath and hope it will wait for you.” – Dorothea Lange

March 1936. On an overcast, drizzly morning in a frozen pea field near Nipomo, California, the paths of two vastly different people crossed for a short time. And laid bare the soul of a suffering nation. Their brief encounter defined a nation, a people, and a moment in time. It was a chance meeting that still haunts us today.

Photographer Dorothea Lange was capturing the plight of poor, displaced Americans for the Resettlement Administration. Florence Owens Thompson was taking care of her family; just trying to survive. Little did either of them realize that the profound anguish expressed that afternoon would be frozen in history for eternity. Migrant Mother is Lange’s most famous image and one of the most famous in the history of photography.

The Prospect Theater Project is presenting a staged reading of my play about the memorable moment that created the iconic image, Migrant Mother. The reading will feature Laura Dickinson-Turner as Dorothea Lange, Jenni Abbott as Florence Owens Thompson, and Jack Souza as the troubadour and stage manager, Doc Guitar. Mardi Brewer will be stage manager. Karen Lotko was originally cast to play Dorothea, but she had an accident which forced her to withdraw. We wish her a speedy recovery.

The staged reading will be part of PTP’s short, ten-minute, and one act play festival.

This year’s festival features three works by new and student directors presented in rotating rep over two nights. Each program is approximately 90 minutes and will run without intermission.

A True Fairy Tale, written and directed by Sean Trew, opens the festival and will run July 11, 13, 19, 25, and 27 with midnight shows on July 12 and 26.

Reflections, written and directed by Bryan Hurd and based on a short play by David Hambley, as well as Migrant Mother, directed by Laura Dickinson-Turner, will run July 12, 18, 20, 24, and 26.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2, and Thursday the 24th at 8. All tickets for each performance are $10. Season ticket holders may attend both programs.

To view the performance calendar, or to get information about other upcoming events at the Prospect, please visit online at or Prospect’s Facebook page.

Tickets may be reserved by calling the PTP Box Office at (209) 549-9341, or may be purchased using a credit card at

Please check out the Artsy site that is dedicated to the work of Dorothea Lange here    Please take a moment to learn about Dorothea, support her page and share this info.

Ken White 209.567.0600

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