Allen Ginsberg’s poem springs to life in this multi-media memory play.  A son mourns the death of his mother.  He wrestles with painful memories of her battles with mental illness and the guilt of signing for her lobotomy.  Ginsberg’s stream-of-conscious narrative is a moving story of loss, family, and the grace that comes from confronting one’s own mortality and place in the universe.  This production marks the 50th Anniversary of the poem’s publication.

Originally workshopped in 2009, this production was presented by


a production of THE PRESENT COMPANY.

The Adaptations Project also developed the production while in residency at The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.

Based on the Poem by Allen Ginsberg

Created & Performed by Donnie Mather

Directed by Kim Weild

Set & Lights by Brian H Scott

Soundscape by Darron L West

& Stowe Nelson

Projection Design by C. Andrew Bauer

Costume Design by Terese Wadden


about making this new work!

Read the Reviews:

"Mather is almost unbearably moving"

- BackStage, David Sheward


"Vibrates with invocatory power"

- The Village Voice, Christopher Grobe


"A moving exploration of dramatizing poetry"

- NewYorkTheatreReview, Jody Christopherson

“Donnie Mather’s singular portrayal is riveting. I can’t remember being so moved by both actor and play in a very long time.  Less than halfway through “Kaddish” I had to put my pen down, so mesmerized was I by Donnie Mather’s extraordinary performance.”

- One Magazine

"Mather is hauntingly beautiful.  His every spoken word is painful yet tender; depressing yet hopeful.  The memories flow from his lips like water from a fountain - a continuous and chaotic cascade of emotion and passion.  Donnie executes flawlessly with a keen awareness of the subject, his thoughts and fears, and his demeanor and tone...It's not every day that you can experience this depth of performance.  The experience is further magnified by the simple set and intentionally varied lighting (Brian H Scott), ingeniously timed and well placed video projections (C. Andrew Bauer) and eerie soundscape (Darron L West, Stowe Nelson) all in such an intimate and close space."

- Act Three The Reviews, Doug Marino

"[Mather] speaks so poignantly to audiences in this dramatic form that it could well go on to future New York productions...Mather gives endless variety to his performance..."Kaddish" is a fine tribute, not only to Naomi Ginsberg, but to the poet as well.  And, indeed, to the off-off-Broadway scene."

-,, Irene Backalenick 

"Vivid...Donnie Mather brings the work's hallucinatory language to life." [Editor's Pick]

- FlavorPill, John Peacock


"Mather conveys masterfully...

Frankly mesmerizing to watch"

- EdgeNewYork

Photos by Ben Strothmann