Two old friends want what the other has: wealth or love. Both are pretending to be someone they’re not. That’s the premise of The Mockingbird On Main’s next premiere – Alexander Richardson’s Your Better Self – opening July 8.

The Mockingbird On Main, an arts incubator dedicated to the presentation of new works, is thrilled to be bringing yet another world premiere to Downtown Davenport.

Richardson’s new play deals with the wealthy Zenola Goodrich who feels lacking in the love department, and Antoinette Caldwell who married for love and lives in poverty. After a chance encounter, these two old friends catch up and realize they’re living the life the other wants. A photoshoot scheduled as a favor will upend both of their lives and send them in search of their better selves. Funny and thought-provoking, this new play revitalizes an old classic and asks the question: who is the best version of you?

Iowa's Mockingbird On Main Debuts 'Your Better Self' This Weekend

“I’m constantly reading older plays and novels in search of the forgotten. Many classic plays live long lives- Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Chekov all continue to draw artists and audience alike. But many plays, many stories, fall through the cracks of history,” playwright

Alexander Richardson said. “Alice Gerstenberg’s Overtones, originally written in 1915, is one of these stories.”

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Mockingbird on Main is a new theater opening in downtown Davenport where will be sponsoring new shows.

“In the early 20th century there was an explosion of theatre as regional and community theaters sprung up across America- what’s fascinating is that in a time where women still did not have the right to vote, community theaters were run largely by and for women and Overtones is one of the relics of this movement,” he added.

Richardson continued, “At a time when this was a radical concept, Gerstenberg wrote a play showing women having interior lives and thoughts; More than being a hostess, mother, or wife, women were people first.” He added, “The way she illustrated this point was by having two sets of women on stage, portraying only two characters and while it’s now relatively common to have one actor playing multiple roles, I can’t recall any shows (other than Overtones) that required multiple actors to play one role.”


“When I finished reading it the first time I said, ‘where’s the rest of it? This is really fun, there should be more of it.’ And unprompted, the rest of the play came to me in the span of a weekend,” Richardson said.

Your Better Self is being directed by Cynthia Taylor and produced and designed by Mockingbird co-founders Tristan Tapscott and Savannah Strandin. The cast will be announced soon.

Your Better Self will play the intimate Downtown Davenport venue July 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8pm with doors opening at 7:30pm. The Mockingbird on Main is now a Pay What You Can venue and guests pay via cash or Venmo at the door. For further details, guests can visit

Iowa's Mockingbird On Main Debuts 'Your Better Self' This Weekend
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
Iowa's Mockingbird On Main Debuts 'Your Better Self' This Weekend

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