In Painting Churches, the theatrical portrait is the complex relationship between aging parents and their artist daughter, a collage of competing needs and emotional demands. Margaret (Mags) Church, on the brink of a prestigious New York gallery show, comes home to Boston to help her aging parents move from their Beacon Hill home to their Cape Cod cottage. She is also intent upon finally painting their portrait to include in her show. But Mags is ill-prepared for the turmoil she finds. Gardner, her gentle Pulitzer Prize winning poet father, has been losing his bearings to Alzheimer’s. Her mother Fanny, a slightly eccentric, tart-tongued and narcissistic Bostonian of the upper class, loves her doddering husband dearly but fears and resents the loss of their cultured life, due to her husband’s illness and loss of income. She is half-cracked from caregiver stress and is becoming slightly undone. Conflict between mother and daughter, husband and wife arise, and as the portrait progresses, the Churches gain understanding about the past, cope with the present, and open their eyes to the future. Though dealing with a serious and emotional subject, Painting Churches is full of beautifully written humor – at times almost farcical. The play’s central theme is not about degeneration and hopelessness, but rather, as the finished portrait expresses, the power of enduring love.