Welcome to #LTYM Chicago!

Meet the cast!

What a Journey!

by Melisa on May 16, 2017

We hate to continue to use the motherhood analogy with our show, but we’re going to do it anyway. Just as moms are bereft when their children graduate and leave the house, so too are we that our shows are over and we only get to see our casts at family reunions. We’ll miss it SO MUCH, but it was time to move on. FLY LITTLE BIRDIES! We’re ready to become figurative grandmothers and attend the creations of our cast members instead.

We say it every year, but this year was amazing. This season was a fabulous one for us (okay okay, they all have been!); it was incredibly smooth overall and aside from minor blips here and there that occur naturally when you’re trying to keep a hundred gears running smoothly without jamming to a complete stop, it was pretty darn perfect.

15 people coming together on one special day to present the best grand finale we could have ever hoped for.

Perfect.17857496_10212712863360829_864411607_n

We invited our VERY supportive LTYM Chicago alumni family to come in a little early for pictures to commemorate our sixth show, and I loved watching those who were able to get there, joke around with each other (and our 2017 cast!) and have pre-show fun together. We kept thinking, “This is our family.” Our hearts soared.18519076_10212989767089266_1846841138_oAll remaining photos in this post were taken by our Official Photographer, Brandi of Balee Images. We can’t thank her enough for hanging with us for the last four seasons.ltymcollage2017

We are so thankful to our sponsors. We always say that we wouldn’t be able to put on our show without them and that statement is 100% true:

BlogHer, part of SheKnows Media, once again supports LTYM as our North American media sponsor. BlogHer hosts the leading annual conference for women in social media–the very event that inspired LTYM founder Ann Imig’s first LTYM show in Madison and where we are proud to co-host an open mic storytelling event. Join us this June 22-24th in Orlando and experience an exhilarating mix of content creators, social media stars, entrepreneurs, top brands, activists and fans. We are so grateful for BlogHer‘s ongoing support!

Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital is a state-of-the-art hospital dedicated to providing top-notch care for Chicagoland women in all stages of life. In other words, while they excel at pregnancy and newborn care, that’s only part of what they do! Prentice exists “to provide the highest quality of comprehensive and personalized gynecologic care to meet the unique needs of women.”

Something exciting to drive that point even further is imminent: In July 2017, the Northwestern Medicine Women’s Health Services housed under Prentice Women’s Hospital will open a new Center for Comprehensive Gynecology for women by combining extraordinary and multidisciplinary expertise to the diagnosis and treatment of fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, sexual disorders, menopause and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery for women of all life stages. Visit ccgyn.nm.org to learn more.

Covering local events and attractions, offering advice, and growing and maintaining an incredible community with help from special projects like Going Places, Hey Baby, and Chicago Special Parent, local sponsor Chicago Parent magazine has been THE source for Chicago families for over thirty years. You can find this award-winning monthly publication all over Chicagoland; check their website for the most convenient pick-up location for you.Chicago Parent has been a great partner and we appreciate Editor Tamara O’Shaughnessy and her entire team so much.

Our other terrific local sponsors for 2017 were: Anicca Float Club, Naperville Moms Network, Chicago Elevated, Naperville Art League, Balee Images, Arranmore Farm and Polo Club, 404 Wine Bar, and Samantha Schultz and Marisa Vales. We can’t thank you all enough.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to LTYM Founder and National Director Ann Imig for her continuing vision and support. Many, many thanks also to Deb Rox, Stephanie Precourt, and Taya Dunn Johnson for their national behind-the-scenes work.

We have to send out a special “thank you” to Howard Little of VideoTwist Productions who captured our show for 5 years. Even though the 2017 readings won’t be on YouTube, we are so grateful for the quality of work that he brought to our previous years’ videos. Thank you, Howard!

Many thanks to Allan, Jeff, Beth, Elizabeth, and Jerry at the Athenaeum Theatre. The Athenaeum has been our home for the last five years and we have enjoyed working with you more than we can express in words. Thank you so much, for everything.

Thanks to Patti Minglin for helping us with auditions and to Jennifer Evers for allowing us to use her home for our first rehearsal as well as for helping us on show day with all front-of-the-house details. Mwah!

Thank you to all of our alumni! Seeing your faces in the audience, reading your personal stories about how Listen To Your Mother has changed your lives, and connecting with everyone on a family level has made this a watershed moment in our lives. You have affected us more than you realize and we hope you know that you have friends and a soft spot to fall, should you ever need us.

Last but certainly not least, we want to thank our 2017 cast: Brandie, Danielle, Emma, Jackie,Janine, June, Karen, Kim, Kristin G, Kristin M, Lea, Natasha, and Steven. Doing this final season with the thirteen of you was so much fun for us and we hope that you enjoyed being a part of it.18516550_10212989767049265_1415123433_o

 
All LTYM shows donate 10% of ticket proceeds to a local charitable organization. Chicago’s donations have gone to Bright Pink, The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Recovery on Water, The Red Pump Project, and Mujeres Latinas en Acción. And this year, we were honored to work with Deborah’s Place. Deborah’s Place provides supportive housing and services offering women their key to healing, achieving their goals and moving on from the experience of homelessness. Please visit their website for more information on how you can help this amazing organization!

One more thank you: to YOU. Whether you were a part of our audience or if you shared our news or encouraged a friend to submit an essay or even auditioned yourself, or if you’re just a loyal reader of this blog, we are so happy you became involved with LTYM Chicago. THANK YOU.

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One More Sleep!

by Melisa on May 6, 2017

This season of preparing for our sixth and final LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO show has flown by! It seems like only yesterday that we were here, putting the call out for submissions. Now we’ve got one more sleep until show day and it seems very surreal.

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If you HAVE NOT PURCHASED your tickets yet, you can still order them online or via the box office line: 773-935-6875. There will be tickets available for purchase at the box office window tomorrow as well (We recommend allowing extra time as the line may be long!).

Speaking of allowing extra time: It is important to note that there are two other shows in the Athenaeum Theatre on separate stages at 2:00. This means that parking may be tricky! (There is plenty of free parking in the streets of the neighborhood behind the theatre if you can’t find a spot in one of the lots.) Please allow PLENTY of extra time to find a spot and pick up your tickets at the box office as our show will start PROMPTLY at 2:00! You can find parking suggestions and directions on the Athenaeum Theatre’s parking/directions page.

We can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Are you ready? WE ARE! Let’s do this, Chicago!

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Our 6th Annual Pre-Show Conversation Post

May 5, 2017

Each and every year a couple of days before our show, we sit across town from each other with a Google doc open, typing a conversation in real time. This tradition will always be one of my favorite behind-the-scenes moments when I look back on our LTYM Chicago experience. Tracey: Hey Melisa? Melisa: Yes, Tracey? T: Guess what? M: What? T: It’s almost…over. (Sniff) M: Ugh, I know. But let’s focus on the GOOD stuff for our final pre-show conversation post. This is our sixth year of bringing motherhood stories to the Chicago stage! And many of our cast members would never, ever, ever, ever have gotten on stage for any other reason. (and some of THOSE have continued to perform in other shows as well as gone on to other things like activism and taking their pet projects to the next level!) Plus, ALLLL the “Me too”s in the lobby after the […]

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Cast Spotlight on Emma Langer

May 4, 2017

Our cast members are complex, intelligent, and witty people. You simply have to hear them to believe us. We asked 4 questions to give you a feel for the innermost workings of their minds, and the variety of answers has been one of the highlights of this year’s process. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! ~~~ 1. If you could meet any person in history (living or dead, real or fictional) who would it be and why? The 11th Doctor, because bow ties and fezzes are cool. 2. Have you ever been on stage before? How do you feel about going on stage for the LTYM show, knowing you’re also reading your own words? No, very nervous and excited at time. But a little more excited then nervous. 3. Unrelated to your essay, do you have a motherhood story to share? Once upon time…  (I’m not a mother so […]

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Cast Spotlight on Kristin Mantta

May 3, 2017

Our cast members are complex, intelligent, and witty people. You simply have to hear them to believe us. We asked 4 questions to give you a feel for the innermost workings of their minds, and the variety of answers has been one of the highlights of this year’s process. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! ~~~ 1. If you could meet any person in history (living or dead, real or fictional) who would it be and why? I often fantasize about hosting Abigail Adams for tea. I love her use of descriptive vocabulary and mixed emotion with plain and simple directives in her letters to John. I would love  to know just how much of her ideas he truly implemented as President! 2. Have you ever been on stage before? How do you feel about going on stage for the LTYM show, knowing you’re also reading your own words? […]

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