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09/22/2022 12:00 AM

A Mom Who Loved Not Wisely But Too Well

Mama, shown here, is a loving mother who knits, bakes cookies, and keeps a tidy house. She’s a single mom who loves her daughter. She loves her daughter so well she is suffocating her. Mama does not see this. Her daughter Maggie does.

Those of us lucky enough to see the recent world premiere of Laura Thoma’s Magpie at Drama Works Theatre in Old Saybrook are immediately drawn into the daughter’s struggle. She is a loving, dutiful daughter yearning to be an independent woman. Will she be suffocated? Will she break free? As she figures that, she seeks guidance from a wise mind, a therapist.

The recent production starred Raven Rose as Maggie and Rachel H. Babcock as Mama, with Michael Vernon Davis as the therapist/wise mind, and Brian Cunningham as someone who provides a key to Raven’s past. They all offered outstanding performances in the world premiere, which left some audience members in tears and resulted in a standing ovation the night I went to see it.

Also in a starring role were Christmas cookies, the kind every good mother bakes come December. Are they offered as a gift from the heart? As a bribe? Well, I encourage you to see the next production of the play to find out. While nothing is scheduled in the immediate future, you can keep up with the playwright’s work at by visiting her website at or you can ask to be put on a mailing list by writing to

Thoma’s goal is to have the play produced regionally. She has some producers reading it. She also hopes to get the play carried by the Drama Book Shop in NYC. “I’m hoping if they get enough requests they will carry it,” she says.

We can always ask!

In the meantime, here is the recipe for crinkle cookies for you to enjoy, no strings attached. It was given to Thoma by Jackie Bayer, a good friend of Thoma’s mom and the mother of Thoma’s best friend growing up.

Chocolate Crinkles

Recipe from Jackie Bayer


2 cups sugar

½ cup salad oil (vegetable oil)

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 ounce melted unsweetened chocolate, cooled

4 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioners sugar


Mix granulated sugar, oil, vanilla, and chocolate.

Blend in eggs, one at a time.

Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.

Refrigerate at least three hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into confectioner’s sugar; roll in sugar and shape into balls. Place two inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Makes about six dozen cookies.

Rachel H. Babcock, left, as Mama, and Michael Vernon Davis, as Therapist/Wise Mind in Laura Thoma’s world premiere of Magpie at the Drama Works Theatre in Old Saybrook. Photo courtesy of Laura Thoma