In defense of Sorrow 

by Charlene Baldridge

 Laura, and Charlene.

Who wants to go to “the saddest play ever written”?

Who wants act in or direct or choreograph such a work?

Of what value is such a thing?

Why should such work exist?


The Warriors’ Duet emerged as the result of a dream encounter with my daughter Laura about six months after she died. I’d just finished fulfilling her last request of me – that I collect and edit her post-diagnosis poems, which were written over a period of three years as she fought stage 4 colon cancer. She considered these poems to be her best work and so do I. They are courageous, determined, funny and full of faith.


So here she was, standing before me, dressed as Groucho Marx – twirling a cigar and speaking in a Groucho tone of voice – so like her. She used to dress in drag as a teen, heading out the door to meet friends for a late night screening of “Rocky Horror.”

Laura/Groucho said, “Okay, Miss Mommy. What next?”

What next was The Warriors’ Duet, which I conceived as a music stand reading for two actors. After a music stand reading Warriors became something else entirely though the vision of Katie Harroff and Anne Gehman.

Bonds of love are not broken by death. Grief just changes their appearance. As poet/playwright Oscar Wilde wrote in De Profundis: 

“Sorrow is that mode of existence in which Soul and Body are one and indivisible, in which the outward is expressive of the inward. Behind Joy and Laughter there may be a temperament, coarse, hard, and callous. But behind Sorrow there is always Sorrow. Pain, unlike Pleasure, wears no mask. For this reason there is no truth comparable to Sorrow. Out of Sorrow have the worlds been built, and at the birth of a child or a star there is pain. Pleasure for the beautiful Body, and Pain for the beautiful Soul. My affectionate friends! Where there is Sorrow there is holy ground. What lies before you is my past.”

Please bring your beautiful soul to witness the joy and mystery of the mother/daughter bond – our two souls, our two voices intertwined for eternity – when Circle Circle dot dot remounts their award-winning, critically acclaimed production of The Warriors’ Duet  September 5-8 at the White Box Live Arts.  

Tickets are available right HERE.