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LTYM in Charleston: That’s a Wrap

by Anna Hartman on June 27, 2017

LTYM Charleston 2017

I have put off writing this. It’s been sitting there on my to-do list for too long, but I’ve been pushing it off and back again and again. But now, far too long after our April 29th show here in Charleston, I finally have to say goodbye.

If you look at that photo, you can see the love. And I mean room-filling love. Overflowing love and kindness and friendship. And I’ve been floating on that cloud of love since our show.

Our location at the Circular Church was perfect, intimate historic. And our cast was every inch of amazing. Each one had their own story to share and their own power to give, and they did. I was so proud to be there, to bear witness and to get to hold them all close and call them my friends.

So please excuse me that I didn’t want the moment to be over, that I didn’t mark the ending here until now. There won’t be another LTYM in Charleston, and I’ve been mourning that loss and celebrating our power with each breath since.

Thank you to the Circular Church, CAMP, Focus on Fabulous Magazine and Story Club Games who made our show possible. We are proud to support Charleston Area Justice Ministry with a portion of our proceeds. And thank you to our amazing cast and audience who we create for.

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Cast Spotlight: Anna Hartman

by Anna Hartman on April 25, 2017

Cast member Angie here. I’m borrowing the blog mic from our producer Anna because today, she’s the one in the spotlight. I met Anna four years ago when I directed and produced Charleston’s first Listen To Your Mother show. When Anna came in for the audition and read her story, Traveling Mercies, I knew instantly that she would be part of the cast. It was the perfect story to end the show that year. In a word, Anna is a light. We are drawn to her because of everything she is. Soft-spoken and mighty. Kind and in-charge. Anna’s energy is magnetic. This year, for our final LTYM show, Anna’s story will kick things off. She reminds us that “Mom” is a verb, and she will inspire you to go home and Mom the heck out of your kids. Come fall in love with Anna (like the rest of us have) on April 29.


What is your name?
Anna, Mom, Mama, and my son’s kindergarten class sometimes yells Mrs. Hartman at me across the school parking lot.

 Where do you write, blog, are published?
Recently, I’ve been blogging and publishing on AnnaHartman.com. It’s where my passion for writing, design, and photography all collide. I used to blog regularly at InTheNext30Days.net, a self-improvement and personal challenge blog. I also regularly publish right here on the LTYM: Charleston blog.

 How did you find LTYM?
I was a part of super-supportive and amazing group of bloggers. When I joined, I knew nothing of LTYM, but several of the members had auditioned that year and one or two were selected in cities all over the country. I knew instantly that THIS was a project I wanted to be a part of. The next year, Angie brought the show to Charleston, and I was a part of that first cast. Each Spring since, I’ve been devoted to the show here.

What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you?
My mother grew up in Arkansas in a large family with lots of sayings. Her words come straight from my grandmother, and they’re all the most amazing southern clichés. “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” Or “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” were always two favorites. Of course, her favorite advice wasn’t at all crazy, but it’s what sticks to me most. She says “Traveling Mercies” each time we leave each other after a trip. That saying grew into my first LTYM essay.

If you are a blogger/writer, what is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written?
I love lots of things I wrote on In The Next 30 Days because they were powerful for their vulnerability—one of the side effects of a personal challenge blog. But I love this piece about giving Girl Power to my Son and this piece about writing love letters to myself.
One day, though, I’ll write a book, and that will be my very favorite.

When did you first know that your family wasn’t quite like other families?
I knew very early on. You see, my grandparents lived next door (lucky me), and that meant when I had a great day at school, I could run over the hill to tell them. Or if I needed to escape my own house, their door (and cookie box) was open. We had weekly dinners as a whole family—parents, brothers, and grandparents—yearly family reunions—uncles, aunts, cousins too. And everyone always got along.
But in my immediate family, for as long as I can remember, we always sat down around a dinner table together for a meal my mother made. It didn’t matter that there was sports practice or that the kids ages in my household spanned a decade, we came together for dinner. And honestly, we ate breakfast together too. My father made me eggs every morning until I left for college. Is that believable at all? It feels very Leave It to Beaver. If nothing else, that together time is something I’d like my kids to experience and thrive in as well.

Come see Anna read on April 29 at Circular Church! There are still tickets left at 5 and 7:30! 

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Thank you Circular Church

April 24, 2017

The sign outside the Circular Church declares that the church is a “progressive and inclusive community since 1681.” This theme of love and inclusion makes this historic spot the perfect spot to hold our LTYM Grand Finale. Like it’s name suggests, the church is truly rounded. The walls curve. The high ceiling arches. It’s lovely and unique. And the special shape means the room has amazing acoustics and great seating. Truly, there is not a bad seat. Join us at LTYM on Saturday, and you’ll immediately both see and hear the perfection in this architecture. The church also boasts one of the oldest graveyards in our city that is brimming with graveyards. But this one feels welcoming, and the crumbling headstones are nothing short of Charleston perfection. These church walls have seen a lot. The building of Charleston. The Revolutionary War. The Civil War. The Earthquake. Hurricanes. Celebrations. Tragedy. Loss. And Love. Centuries of love! […]

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All Over But the Shoutin’

April 21, 2017

I’ve written about the love. You can see it in this cast selfie. We’ve rehearsed three times now, we’ve stayed late and giggled and cried and hugged. And now, as my own grandmother would say, “It’s all over but the shoutin’!” We will take the stage at Circular Congregational Church on Saturday, April 29 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. to share our stories. It will be the last time for LTYM to be in Charleston. The last time to fly that flag and hang that shingle. I cried tears of pure joy last year when the curtain went up, and I know I will again this year. But I’ll also shed some tears of heartbreak that it’s over and done, that it won’t be again. But here’s what I get to take with me: I get to take these people and last year’s people and all the people who have stood with me in […]

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Cast Spotlight: Sarah Bunton-Lauer

April 20, 2017

Sarah Bunton-Lauer is side-splittingly funny. She’s a professional writer and an amazing mom to a 3 year old Max. She recognizes that when it comes to motherhood, sometimes you have to laugh or you will sob instead. Sarah writes for Romper and has been published all over the Internet and in print. We are thrilled she will join us on the LTYM: Charleston stage. What is your name? Sarah Bunton-Lauer Where do you write, blog, are published? I’m a staff writer for Romper, a site for a new generation of women figuring out what motherhood means to us. In addition to working for Romper, I’m a contributor for Bustle, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and was feature in Arianna Huffington’s latest book, The Sleep Revolution. How did you find LTYM? Through my fellow writers. What is the craziest thing you remember saying to your children? “Yes, Max, you’re right. You do walk better in mommy’s heels than […]

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