“Confessions of a Mulatto Love Child”: The Gateway’s Heartfelt Theatrical Tribute to Mothers and Daughters



Photos courtesy of The Gateway Theatre.

The place to be on Mother’s Day is the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport for a spectacular event co-hosted by Isabella Rossellini and Laura Dern. The afternoon features a one-woman autobiographical play by Bellina Logan, “Confessions of a Mulatto Love Child,” directed by Maggie Soboil. This May 12 fundraiser is a Mother’s Day gift to the theater and Rossellini’s Mama Farm.

Isabella Rossellini is an Italian fashion model, Lancôme ambassadress, actress, filmmaker, writer, producer, director, and animal behaviorist. Rossellini, who has a Master’s Degree in Animal Behavior, founded the 28-acre Brookhaven farm in 2013.

When I asked this incredibly talented woman, “Of all the places in all the towns in all the world, why Bellport?” she responded:

“The reason why I ended up living in Bellport happened organically. There is a T-shirt in Bellport that says, ‘New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Bellport,’ and I think thet did it for me! Bellport is a wonderful community of artists, writers, and painters. It’s very accessible to New York, and when I first came here on a shoot for a well-known fashion photographer, Bruce Weber, I discovered how easy it was to come to Bellport. In the summer, when I had my children and didn’t have a second home yet, I used to take them here to a Bed and Breakfast and enjoy the beach, the farms, and the intimacy of the village. That was the place that gave me the most peace. It’s cozy, friendly, and warm, and little by little, Bellport became my place to live.”

In keeping with the fundraiser’s theme of paying homage to mothers, Rossellini will share some intimate and insightful stories about her beloved three-time Academy Award-winning mother, Ingrid Bergman.

Laura Dern is an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice, BAFTA, and Academy Award-winning actress whose mother is the award-winning actress Diane Ladd. Dern and Ladd made Academy Award history for their mother and daughter nominations for their outstanding performances in “Rambling Rose.” On an Instagram post on November 29, 2022, Dern sang her mother’s praises, “Happy Birthday, goddess mama! You are my endless inspiration and my favorite buddy to go for a swim with!! And just the best darn actor EVER!”

Bellina Logan’s mother was an actress, writer, and painter and the inspiration for “Confessions of Mulatto Love Child.” Logan, a childhood friend of Dern, is an accomplished actress whose theatrical credits include working with The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and the New York Philharmonic. Logan, Dern, and Rossellini appeared in American surrealist filmmaker David Lynch’s 1990 romantic crime drama “Wild at Heart.”

Director Maggie Soboil was born in South Africa and became that country’s leading female satirist. She picked up an Obie Award in New York for her 2019 performance in “Poppie Nongena” and starred in her own TV special for the BBC. She has directed theatre in New York and Los Angeles, and her 2004 feature film, “Myron’s Movie,” and her 2012 short film, “Missing You,” have played numerous festivals and garnered best narrative feature awards.

“Confessions of Mulatto Love Child” is billed as an “inappropriate over-share of a codependent bi-racial child’s life with her acerbic English mother and the deep bond they forged.” This heartfelt and humorous exploration of a loving yet complicated mother-daughter relationship is revealed through a series of interwoven anecdotes. The show’s funny opening lines tell the audience they are in for quite an adventure, “Let me tell you a story. My mother is very white, very blonde, very blue-eyed and very English. Imagine Maggie Smith. Now, imagine Maggie Smith getting together with Shaft… you get me.”

In a 2019 interview with freelance writer Donasia Sykes, Logan shared her creative reasons for writing this solo show: “I was having lunch with a friend of my mom’s, Maggie Soboil, a wonderful actress, director, and writer. I was making her laugh, telling her many stories from my life, and she said, ‘You need to tell these stories, Bellina.’ I said, ‘I do tell these stories – I tell them to my friends all the time.’ She said, ‘No. You need to tell these stories on stage to an audience. You need to create your own show.'” With that said, Soboil went on to help Logan develop this play, and the rest is history.

After asking Soboil and Logan, “Why is this afternoon at the theatre a perfect way to spend Mother’s Day?” Soboil replied, “Because Bellina’s show is a love letter to her mother, and all mothers deserve to be celebrated on this day.”

Logan added, “Apart from hopefully being entertained by some fun, irreverent, touching anecdotes, at its core, it’s a show about the love and devotion between a mother and daughter. It honors the strength and complexity of maternal figures and their stories. Reflecting on family, heritage, memory, and belonging – and maybe even a cat adventure or two. As an afternoon of theatre, my hope is that the show will inspire the audience to embrace their own stories and celebrate the journeys of those around them.”

These three seasoned actresses all have theatrical moms; therefore, presenting a memorable onstage Mother’s Day tribute to the women who make and shape us seems like a fitting way for them and us to commemorate the day. Tickets are $100, and for an additional $50, you can attend a post-show reception with the artists at Isabella Rossellini’s Mama Farm, just down the road from The Gateway Playhouse. The Italian piazza design of Mama Farm is a secluded and serene spot to sit back and spend quality time with four inspirational women.

To purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at (631) 286-1133 or visit the website at TheGateway.org.