We did it!

by Divya on June 5, 2016

Four weeks ago, on a cold, dreary, rainy, un-spring like Saturday in May, a group of seriously kick*ss women got on a make-shift, intimate stage in a church in Jamaica Plain and performed Boston’s tLTYM0024AmyEmilyPhotographyhird annual Listen To Your Mother show.  Even though Jessica and I had heard everyone’s stories several times before show day, hearing them again in front of an audience as part of the show we had hoped to create for months was so much more powerful and amazing than we had anticipated.

Oh, what energy that morning when we gathered in the church!  We were a little nervous, but mostly so excited and thrilled to stand up together and share our stories.  I have fond memories of sitting around laughing as we set up the stage and all of our equipment.  Here’s our fabulous videographer, Austin!LTYM0027AmyEmilyPhotography

Our cast and their stories represented a wide range of what motherhood can be.  From the funny to the heart-breaking to the edgy to the unexpected to the let-me-break-your-heart-yet-again, to the utterly courageous, our stories were true and uniquely ours.IMG_5547

 

The venue ended up being the perfect size for us, and when we walked out to start the show, the room was packed.  What a wonderful sight to see so many family members, friends, and former LTYM cast members who came out to see our show and support us.  I loved watching people’s faces as they laughed, shed tears, hugged each other, and nodded in agreement as we read our stories.  And we raised $240 for BARCC!

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It was such an honor and privilege to participate in this show with these phenomenal women and their words and stories, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful creation.  Thank you all for supporting our show!

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Many thanks to Amy Emily Photography for these wonderful photos!  Stay tuned– videos from this show will be up on the LTYM YouTube channel in July!

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Our amazing local sponsors

by Divya on April 26, 2016

I remember being a kid and going to see a show or a play or some sporting event, and I always rolled my eyes when someone took the microphone and started the “thanks to our sponsors” bit.

But here’s the thing– Listen To Your Mother is very much a labor of love, and Jessica and I put together the show from scratch.  What started as she and I having a coffee last summer turned into a venue, a show date, rehearsal dates, a cast, rehearsals, and so much more (yes, programs, printing, a photographer, etc.) As we round the corner into the home stretch before our show on May 7th, we wanted to take a minute to acknowledge our local sponsors and thank them, because their support makes such a difference as we continue with our labor of love.

For me, the best part about contacting potential sponsors was the fact that I could reach out to so many amazing local small businesses, and in many cases, I could reach out to the business owner personally.  When you live and work in a close-knit community where small businesses know each other and play well in the sandbox together, the prospect of seeking sponsors becomes much less daunting than it would be under different circumstances.

Ula Cafe is a fantastic spot for coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, and all things delicious.  I had the pleasure of going to graduate school with one of its co-founders, and its opening coincided with the end of my first pregnancy, so let’s just say that I was thrilled to sample everything they had to offer!  A neighborhood favorite for meeting up with friends, Ula has become a cornerstone of JP.  Thanks, Korinn and Justin, for your yummy treats and big hearts!

For Boing! JP’s local toy shop, the motto “building community, one toy at a time” could not be more apt.  Here’s a vignette that illustrates the deep connection owner Kim Mitchell has to the JP community: Kim stocks doll “families” that are sold in boxes containing specific “family members”– a mom, dad, brother, sister, and grandparents.  Each box came with this specific family configuration and with dolls of the same color.  Recognizing the diversity of families in our neighborhood, Kim opened the boxes, put the dolls in a bowl all together, made a sign reading, “make your own family” and sold them individually.  Thanks, Kim, for your commitment to our community!

The Leggett Group is a group therapy practice in Roslindale, right next to JP.  Their highly skilled therapists and counselors work with individuals, couples, and families on a variety of behavioral health issues.  As someone who works with perinatal women going through massive life adjustments, I can’t underscore the importance of having such an exceptional behavioral health service right in our community.  I can’t tell you how many new moms I have spoken to who rave about the clinicians in this practice.  Thanks, Jen Erbe-Leggett, for taking care of all of us!

Mama & Me has been my home away from home for nearly 5 years.  It’s where I started doing postpartum support and new parents’ groups, and it’s where I dug myself out of my own postpartum funk and restarted my career.  Offering a wide range of prenatal, postpartum, and child development programs, Mama & Me’s unique parenting community brings folks together and is staffed by some truly wonderful professionals, many of whom are dear friends of mine (including cast member Rachel Hess!)  Thanks, Shannon Nelson Pope, for offering this space for so many families to come together, learn, speak honestly, and create community.

JP Knit& Stitch, JP’s yarn and fabric shop with a community soul, offers everything a creator’s heart could desire, including yarn, fabric, notions, as well as all sorts of classes and workshops on knitting, crocheting, sewing– you name it!  Owner Genevieve Day has created a shop where you can bring your project in and plunk down in a comfortable chair by the beautiful windows looking out onto Hyde Square and get lost in crafting for a bit.  Thanks, Genevieve, for reminding us to Be Inspired!

GrubStreet, a leading creative writing center, has always been a friend to Listen To Your Mother Boston and has publicized our auditions and shows.  Numerous past and present cast members have found their way to LTYM Boston via this unique resource for all types of writers of every genre, and we are thrilled to have their support at the sponsorship level this year.  Thank you, GrubStreet, for supporting writers in our city!

Fresh Copy is our local copy/print/scan/fax place.  Staffed by friendly folks who greet me by name (after all those years we didn’t have a printer, they got pretty familiar with me), they have been kind enough to offer support our show by printing our programs at a reduced fee.  Why go to a chain store when a local business can do this for you?  Thanks, Ren and Richard!

Finally, On Centre, a unique shop that stocks all sorts of fun and beautiful things such as bags, accessories, clothes, books, and gifts, is providing a trade sponsorship for our this year’s cast gifts.  This lovely spot is one of my favorite locales for browsing for a gift (we bought a “I heart you, JP” tote bag and a t-shirt with the Orange Line on it for friends who had moved out of JP) or fun new socks that say, “I am a badass” on them.  Thanks, Phil, for making Centre St a little more funky and interesting!

Thanks to all of you.  One of the many reasons I was excited about participating in LTYM Boston in this capacity this year was the idea of bringing the show into my neighborhood and sharing it with this community, and all of this is made easier by the support of these wonderful businesses who are supporting our show this year.  You can check out our sponsors’ table at the show and learn more about these folks and the work they do!

Tickets are selling fast!  Don’t forget to get yours here.

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Cast Spotlight: Judith, Divya, and U-Meleni

April 4, 2016

We had our final rehearsal yesterday, and all of us were amazed, once again, by the power of this collection of stories.  Since our first rehearsal, Jessica and I adjusted the order, and the changes made a huge difference and created a much more fluid and well-flowing show.  Many of us had the pleasure of going out to lunch after our rehearsal, and we lingered for a couple hours and enjoyed chatting and learning more about each other.  What a wonderful day!  Here’s our last cast spotlight: Judith Rosenbaum is a historian, educator, and writer, as well as the Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive, a national organization that documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change. A feminist from birth, Judith earned a PhD in American Studies from Brown University, with a focus on the history of women, gender, and social movements, and has taught Women’s and […]

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Cast spotlight: Sarah, Lynne, and Val

March 27, 2016

The weather this week has been cold, and we even had a ridiculous and unnecessary snow day!  But I see robin red-breasts everywhere, and I even saw some magnolias on the verge of blooming, so Spring (real Spring) must be around the corner.  We have been acquiring some local sponsors (more on that in a different post) and are thrilled about the hyper local aspect of this show.  Our second rehearsal is coming up next week, and we can’t wait to get everyone in one room again and do another read-through!  Here’s an introduction to another 3 folks in our fantastic cast: Sarah Sherman-Stokes is an immigration lawyer and law teacher, and novice-sometime-blogger at www.momspelledbackwards.com. By day, Sarah is a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Boston University School of Law where she and her students represent immigrant children, refugees fleeing human rights abuses and detained noncitizens facing deportation. Sarah […]

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Cast Spotlight: Abra, Robin, and Letta

March 21, 2016

Here’s our next cast spotlight.  Have I mentioned that these folks and their stories are amazing, and you absolutely do not want to miss our show on May 7th? Abra Mims is a native Texan who came to Boston ten years ago and then decided she was too lazy to leave. Having dropped out of the June Cleaver School of Domesticity, she now has aspirations of someday becoming a crazy cat lady. In the interim, she spends her time looking for old stuff in thrift stores, and following her best friend to concerts. When she’s not doing those things, she’s mothering her fabulous daughter, and writing about her life. You can find her work on Knot So Subtle and her blog Brown Mom, White Baby.   Robin Schoenthaler is a cancer doctor and mom by day and a writer and solo mom by night. Her boys are 17 and 20 and polar opposites in […]

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