“That bed. King-sized, at least. With space for visitors, and belongings and much much more. We used to lay towels on it and have Chinese food. We used to play Scrabble… I know you love me. That you are doing your best.”

Late at night, while his baby daughter sleeps, a son makes notes on his mother’s daily life and scenes from their complicated relationship. He is shaping a play, and a perspective. Two blocks away, his mother naps, and smokes, and reads, and drinks coffee. She is shaping her existence within encroaching confines. This New York story asks how we come to know one another as parents and as children. How do we care for those we love, and what does it take to live with – and without – them?



Reviews of Notes on My Mother’s Decline

“Intimate but distant by design, Andy Bragen’s play takes us on a journey many are likely to face with an aging parent.”
The New York Times

“Bragen’s play is possessed of a stealth emotional power that is deeply felt… don’t be surprised if you hear the lines reverberating in your head for days afterward. Seeing Caroline Lagerfelt onstage again feels like catching up with an old friend. Ari Fliakos performs with unfailing concentration and commitment.”
Lighting & Sound America

Notes has a brave and graceful moral. This play has a reverence for life. You should go see it.”
Hi! Drama

“With a certain and subdued beauty, Notes on My Mother’s Decline softens the blow that expectations, memory and loss deal to a contemporary mother/son relationship.”

Click to read the TDF Interview with playwright Andy Bragen


Photos by Julieta Cervantes


The Idea Lab complements our productions with an eclectic series of free public conversations, events, and activities with artists, scholars, and community leaders.

All events are free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 12th – A Conversation with Playwright Andy Bragen

A conversation with playwright and co-producer Andy Bragen, moderated by PlayCo Founding Producer Kate Loewald following the 7:30 p.m. performance.

Wednesday, October 16th – Darkness (Perhaps Light) on the Other Side: Making the most of the certainty of life’s end

A compassionate soul reminded us: “Death is a human event…” Join us for this post-show discussion about the most certain of life events. We’ll talk about one of humanity’s great equalizers, Death, and how accepting it, without obsession, can help us live better while we still have time. A discussion following the 7:30 p.m. performance.

Panelists: Professor Stéphane Gerson and music-thanatologist and musician Catharine DeLong

Sunday, October 20th – Giving a Damn: Supporting aging populations in our communities and older loved ones in our lives

Let’s face the facts: In many cases we have—collectively—not given enough attention to support for our elders and senior citizens. Join us for a post-show discussion about what our communities can do to better support our aging population and those providing care. We’ll talk about where we are, and what we need to do, personally and socially, to serve our elders better. A discussion following the 3:00 p.m. performance.

Panelists: Sonja Shute, Senior Director of Presbyterian Senior Services’ Circle of Care program; Evan Eschliman, Public Health Specialist; Dr. Meredith Wong, Manager of connect2culture® at CaringKind

Ticket purchase to the performance is not required. For those joining us for just the Idea Lab event, seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.


The Fourth Street Theatre is not an ADA-compliant venue. However, we do our best to accommodate all theatre guests.

The only entrance to the theatre is up a flight of eight stairs from the street level. Restrooms are located on the lower level down a flight of stairs. Fully accessible restrooms are available on the street level in NYTW’s adjacent venue. For more information about accessibility at New York Theatre Workshop, please visit the NYTW site.

OCT 6 – 27, 2019

Written by:
Andy Bragen

Directed by:
Knud Adams

Ari Fliakos
Caroline Lagerfelt

Set Design:
Marsha Ginsberg

Costume Design:
Sophia Choi

Lighting Design:
Oona Curley

Sound Design:
Peter Mills Weiss

Projection Design:
Knud Adams

Production Stage Manager:
Molly Shea

Production Manager:
Sarah George

Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop

Fourth Street Theatre
79 East 4th St.
New York, NY 10003

General Admission: $35
Premium Reserved: $45

Student: $15 (code: STU15)

A co-production with Andy Bragen Theatre Projects