“Mother of Atheists” – Noho Arts District

(LR): Taylor Donlan and Carlos Chavez

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – Noho Arts theater review of write an act repertoireNew drama from Willard Manus,atheist mother,at the Brick House Theater running through November 13th.

Write Act Rep is busy expanding its repertoire of historical documentaries that revolve around civil rights nationally and internationally. “Mother of Atheists” is another compelling addition to the pantheon of important stories.

The play revolves around the life of Madeleine Murray O’Hare, who led the 1961 campaign to ban prayer in public schools in the United States. She, her son, and some very clever lawyers have fought and won to keep God out of America’s classrooms, but of course, this is still a very much ongoing struggle.

O’Hare and her case led the Supreme Court in 1963 to rule that under the principle of separation of church and state enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Bible reading and prayer were not permitted in public schools. I went down. But the journey was fraught with very real dangers for O’Hare and her family. Religious rights threatened them, and O’Hare was fired several times from her job, forcibly evicted from her home, and basically made their lives miserable. But for O’Hair, freedom was the whole point. No public school-goer should be punished or banished for being forced to pray to a God he does not believe, or for exercising a right already granted him to follow his own path. not. O’Hare was for some time “the most hateful woman in America,” according to her religious rights. How “like Christ” they are!!

(LR): Tyrone Donlan and Helen Schiff

Willard Manus has once again voiced a story long hidden in the history of this country. is what defines the “freedom” enjoyed by

“Atheist Mother” is beautifully written, with just the right amount of pathos and humor, and the characters are all fleshed out and very real. But without fun character actors to bring these characters to life, these characters would remain flat on the page.

The cast is wonderful, very funny, easy to connect with, easy to believe, each with a very special piece of the puzzle that is poignant, and tells the story in a lovely, soulful collective. How lucky NoHo is to have a group of dedicated and devout artists on their doorstep who want to retell the story. Bravo!!


Sam Aaron – Irwin
Carlos Chavez – Billy
Taylor Donlan – Madeleine Murray O’Hare
Bruce Nelsen – George
Helen Schiff – Teresa and the Female Messenger

production team

Willard Manus – playwright
Judith Rose – Director
Light Act Repertoire – Producer
Jon Lunt – Producing Artistic Director
Jonathan Harrison – Technical Director/Stage Manager


Until November 13th

Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 2 PM


Brickhouse Theater
10950 Peach Grove St. NoHo Arts District, CA 91601



https://nohoartsdistrict.com/the-atheist-mother-review/ “Mother of Atheists” – Noho Arts District

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