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The MAMA’S BOY Project | Marguerite Oswald: A Footnote in History

January 14, 2021 - January 31, 2021


A virtual program of scenes and monologues drawn from the play Mama’s Boy, by Rob Urbinati, and interviews with real people who knew Marguerite Oswald, one of the most compelling and divisive characters in history.

Mama’s Boy tells the story of Lee Harvey Oswald’s complex relationship with his overbearing mother, Marguerite. The play follows her reckless attempts to reunite her family, from Lee’s return to the U.S. from Russia, through the assassination of President Kennedy, to her son’s own murder and her defense of his innocence. The story is an examination of the dynamics of an American family that play out in the shadow of history. 

Directed by playwright Rob Urbinati, the program intersperses selections from the play—a work of fiction—with conversations with real people whose lives intersected Marguerite’s. From Ruth Paine to Bob Schieffer, the program examines not only the story of the Oswald family but the interplay between historic events and creativity. 

Sponsored by

Frost | Banking Investments Insurance

Performances from

Betsy Aidem*

Betsy Aidem is a film, television and stage actress whose film work includes The Bleeding HouseSee You in the MorningA Vigilante and Aeris. Her television work includes The High Life and The Americans. Her stage work includes Steel Magnolias and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. She first became interested in acting while she was in high school. Her debut was as a fairy in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is also a stage play director and her first professional production was in 2018, A Doll’s House, Part 2., which was a stage production of the Lucas Hnath comedy. She received the 2007 Obie for Sustained Excellence of Performance.

Melissa Maxwell*

Melissa Maxwell is a director who specializes in new play development; an actor of stage film and tv; an award-winning playwright; a motivational speaker with two TEDx Talks to her credit; an acting company member and Co-Associate Artistic Director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival; and the Director of Professional Development at Stella Adler Studio of Acting NY. For a full list of her credit, visit: www.melissamaxwell.com.

Sharon Omi*

SHARON OMI works in theatre, film, and television, and has appeared in plays at the Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and East West Players, among many others. She starred in Eat With Me (now streaming on Hulu) for which she won an award for best actress at the Out on Film Festival in Atlanta. She also appeared in the films Yellow, Terminal USA and Only the Brave. Her recent television credits include recurring roles on, Forever (Amazon), The First (Hulu), and appearances on The Resident, How to Get Away With Murder, Criminal Minds – Beyond Borders, among many others.

Christie Vela*

Christie Vela is a director, actor, producer of theater who has called Dallas, TX home since 1993. In that time you’ve seen her work all over the Metroplex. She currently serves as Associate Artistic Director at Theatre Three. She is an artistic company member at Kitchen Dog Theatre and Second Thought Theatre. Christie is also founding member of the Diane and Hal Brierly Resident Acting Company at The Tony Award Winning Dallas Theater Center. Christie also directs film and enjoys talking about Horror movies and the wealth of delicious tacos available in her city via her podcast Terror and Tacos. She is currently in post production Final Dress to be released in 2021.

Omar Padilla

Omar Padilla is a Mexican born actor, writer, and producer, residing in Dallas, TX. He has worked with several Theatre Companies around the DFW area, including Undermain Theatre, Dallas Children’s Theatre, Ochre House, Cara Mia Theatre, Teatro Dallas, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Altered Shakespeare, Prism Movement, Theatre Arlington, Shakespeare in the Bar, among others. As writer, his credits include: Scouts and Flags (2017), Bongo Talks (2018), and Tlali – When We Were Earth (2019). All of them as part of Teatro Dallas educational program. Omar has also been a teaching artist for the last five years, collaborating with organizations such as Junior Players, Dallas Theater Center, Water Tower Theatre, Nine 9 Agency, and The Flame Foundation. Omar is represented by the Kim Dawson Agency, where his work extends into film, radio and T.V. He was last seen in the short film The Monster in His Labyrinth, where he has  also been credited as producer and editor.

* member, AEA and SAG-AFTRA

Conversations with

Bud Kennedy

As an eight-year-old Fort Worth native, Kennedy saw the presidential party on their way from Carswell Air Force Base to the Hotel Texas on November 21, 1963. He later had a brief but memorable personal encounter with Marguerite Oswald. As a noted columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1987, Kennedy has written several assassination-related stories about Fort Worth.

Ruth Paine

A housewife in Irving, Texas, Paine met Lee and Marina Oswald in February 1963 and became a central figure in the Kennedy assassination story. Marina Oswald and her daughters were living with Paine on November 22, 1963, and Paine had previously helped get Lee Harvey Oswald a job at the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald’s rifle was stored in her garage in Irving. Paine actively cooperated with investigators following the assassination, and she testified at length to the Warren Commission in 1964.

Bob Ray Sanders

A noted newspaper, radio and television journalist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for more than four decades, Sanders was attending high school at an African-American school in Fort Worth in 1963. On Thanksgiving Day that year, his marching band performed a memorial tribute to President Kennedy. Sanders was later actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement and peace movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Bob Schieffer

An author and award-winning broadcast journalist, Schieffer joined CBS News in 1969 and served as weekend anchor of the CBS Evening News (1976-96), Chief Washington Correspondent (1982-2015) and host of Face the Nation (1991-2015). In 1963, as a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he drove Marguerite Oswald to Dallas police headquarters following the assassination. He also covered Officer J.D. Tippit’s funeral in Oak Cliff on November 25, 1963.

Remarks by

John McCaa

John McCaa is an award-winning journalist best known for his work with WFAA-TV in Dallas. During a 42-year career in television news, McCaa served as a Reporter, News Manager and News Anchor.

McCaa earned a bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, a master’s degree in Politics from the University of Dallas and a PhD in Humanities: History of Ideas from the University of Texas at Dallas. McCaa retired from WFAA in March 2019.  He is a member of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Board of Directors and the National Board of the organization “Carry the Load.” He is a Past President of the Press Club of Dallas and the DFW Association of Black Communicators.

He has been inducted to the C.E. Shuford Hall of Honor at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, the Press Club of Dallas’ North Texas Legends, and the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.

Conceived and directed by

Rob Urbinati, Playwright

Rob Urbinati is a freelance director and writer based in New York City. Rob’s plays include Hazelwood Jr. High, Murder On West Moon Street, Death by Design, Mama’s Boy and Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, published by Samuel French. The Queen Bees, Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant, and UMW:University of Mostly Whites are published by Stage Rights. His book, “Play Readings: A Complete Guide for Theatre Practitioners” is published by Taylor and Francis. His plays have received over 200 productions worldwide.

In NYC, Rob has directed world premieres including Staceyann Chin’s Border/Clash for the Culture Project, Al Letson’s Summer in Sanctuary, James Armstrong’s Foggy Bottom and Jan Buttram’s The President and Her Mistress at the Abingdon, Eric Bogosian’s Griller for Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Kirk Bromley’s Syndrome at the Greenwich St. Theatre, Bromley and Jessica Grace Wing’s Lost for the New York Fringe Festival, Bromley’s Syndrome at the Greenwich Street Theatre, and Anne DeSalvo’s Mamma Roma at the Cherry Lane. He also directed Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays at Queens Theatre and the Public Theatre, and Mira Spektor and Colette Inez’s Villa Diodati for the New York Music Theatre Festival and the York Theatre, Maria Irene Fornes’ Springtime at HERE, Pirandello’s The Man With the Flower in His Mouth for Classic Stage Company, and Angel Street at the Pearl Theatre.

Rob is certified by the Audio Description Institute and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre, and a member of the Drama League Directors Council.

Technical Director

Jay Rogers

Jay Rogers  is the General Manager and Director of Operations for Queens Theatre in New York City. Since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, he has been the technical producer for the Queens Theatre At Home digital programming initiative, producing and presenting more than 100 online events including digital play readings, mini-series, community events, interview programs, workshops and more. Former lives include actor, director, web designer, bar manager, corporate trainer, and 2-time game show contestant.

Tickets are free. Registration required. Video is available for viewing through 11:45 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 31, 2021.

“Mama’s Boy” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordthreatricals.com


by Rob Urbinati



January 14, 2021
January 31, 2021


Virtual Program