Pasadena’s Lineage Performing Arts Center presents premiere of new play, Mother Places

PHOTO: Lineage | South Pasadena News | Elizabeth Gracen and Michelle Kolb in "Mother Places" at Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena.

Hilary Thomas, Artistic Director of Pasadena’s Lineage Performing Arts Center, has made a career out of telling personal stories through dance and theater. Her latest creation, Mother Places, is a deeply personal performance about her relationship with her funny, wise, and bold mother, Sonia.

The play stars Michelle Kolb and Elizabeth Gracen as Hilary and her mother, respectively, and features music from Lauren Wilmore and Jana Nakoa, with multimedia projections of Thomas dancing to complement the arc of the story.

Sonia, born in India in 1934 to British parents, moved to the US as a young woman and lived a trailblazing life as a psychiatrist, feminist, and mother to Lineage’s Artistic Director, Hilary Thomas, whom she encouraged to pursue dance and the performing arts.

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Sonia passed away in 2020 in Pasadena, and Mother Places is the younger Thomas’ homage to her hilarious, complicated, and beautiful relationship with a larger-than-life woman.

“I spent the year following [my mother’s] death obsessively reading her words,” Thomas says of her process for creating the show. “There was so much to digest…Before I knew it, this show revealed itself to me. Bouncing back and forth between my mother’s words and my own, I’ve been able to examine our relationship in a whole new way. Without her physical presence, I only had her words. I only had the version of her that lived in me, in ‘the mother place’ as she once described it.”

Mother Places runs from April 8th to 16th at the Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. Tickets are $20-30, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. Go to for more information, or email

Runtime: 85 minutes. Age appropriateness: due to adult themes and mild language, adult supervision is advised.