Charlie and Kate Kraus are living a relatively normal life when Jenny, Charlie’s ninety-year-old mother, suffering from senile dementia, comes to live with their family—none of whom she actually remembers. Although she knows no one in her new home, Jenny is about to play a major role in the lives of everyone she meets.
Kate is more cosmopolitan than her chemistry professor husband Charlie, but has been perfectly content to stay home to raise their five children. She drinks Scotch out of a sippy cup, entertains herself by killing cockroaches, and has not seen her mother-in-law in over ten years. While worrying that Jenny will not be able to adjust to the craziness of their lives, Kate learns that she will not only be taking in her mother-in-law, but also her son’s friend, whose father has just kicked him out of the house. After Jenny makes herself at home, everyone soon discovers she is not just a little old lady with dementia—she is a motivator and a catalyst, and is ready to help everyone make positive changes.
The diverse and eclectic characters in the two-act play Riverbank illustrate that all stages of living are best accomplished through listening and communicating with one another.