Jessica Lange Calls “Mother Play” with Jim Parsons and Celia Keenan-Bolger 'One of the Great Joys of My Life'

Jessica Lange, Jim Parsons and Celia Keenan-Bolger are all nominated for their ‘Mother Play’ performances

<p>Joan Marcus</p> (Left-right: Jim Parsons, Jessica Lange and Celia Keenan-Bolger in

Joan Marcus

(Left-right: Jim Parsons, Jessica Lange and Celia Keenan-Bolger in 'Mother Play'

Jessica Lange has worked with some of the best actors of stage and screen, but her newest costars hold a special place in her heart.

Mother Play — A Play in Five Evictions, Paula Vogel’s new drama now playing at Broadway’s Hayes Theater, stars Lange alongside Emmy-winner Jim Parsons and Tony-winner Celia Keenan-Bolger.

The 75-year-old actress shouted out her costars as “wonderful” in her statement reacting to all three actors earning nominations at the 77th Tony Awards, set for June 16.

“Working with Jim Parsons and Celia Keenan-Bolger has been one of the great joys of my life,” the American Horror Story alum tells PEOPLE. “From the very beginning, we found this language and this connection, and it makes a huge difference if you are looking forward to going onstage with these actors.”

Related: Jessica Lange Says Delayed Long Day's Journey Into Night Film Is 'Finally Finished' (Exclusive)

The Tina Landau-directed production is "a bitingly funny and unflinchingly honest new play about the hold our family has over us and the surprises we find when we unpack the past,” per its synopsis.

Second Stage Theater opened it on April 25 at the Hayes without a prior run, marking Lange’s first time originating a role on Broadway (following A Streetcar Named Desire in 1992, The Glass Menagerie in 2005 and her Tony-winning Long Day's Journey into Night in 2016). 

<p>Taylor Hill/Getty</p> Jessica Lange on March 10

Taylor Hill/Getty

Jessica Lange on March 10

“To open cold on Broadway, a brand-new play, not even moving from downtown or something, after only three weeks of rehearsal,” she admits, “it's insane. At the time it was thrilling. But when I look back and think about it, it's just like, ‘Oh my God, were we nuts or what?’ ”

In Mother Play, Lange plays Phyllis, a strict matriarch to daughter Martha (Keenan-Bolger, 46) and son Carl (Parsons, 51).

“It's a mixed bag because of course there are things about her that are incomprehensible to me as a mother,” says Lange, who shares daughter Shura with the late Mikhail Baryshnikov and daughter Hannah and son Walker with the late Sam Shepard.

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“There's so much too to really discover with this character, but that journey that she goes on, to me, it's heartbreaking,” continues Lange.

Phyllis’ refusal to accept Carl’s coming out as gay circa 1968 must be put “in the context of time and what her background is,” she says, but “we all have that experience in life where you've made a decision based on something, and then you spend the rest of your life regretting it.”

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<p>Brooke DiDonato</p> (Left-right:) Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jessica Lange and Jim Parsons

Brooke DiDonato

(Left-right:) Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jessica Lange and Jim Parsons

Although many scenes in Mother Play are, in Lange’s own words, “heartbreaking or tough or insane,” it’s Broadway veterans Parsons and Keenan-Bolger who keep her connected to the thrill of live theater.

“When you step onto that stage, I mean, you have no out,” she says. “And you can sometimes hear people crying, you can hear people gasping.”

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Alongside her fellow Tony nominees, she adds, “I don't want to sound too crazy about this, but it fills you with joy. Just to be onstage with them, to know that they're there and we're all supporting each other, that makes a huge, huge, huge difference.”

Mother Play — A Play in Five Evictions is now playing at the Hayes Theater.

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