Get to Know Our Cast: Maureen, Nancy, Sylvia, Jonathan, and Susan

by jessw on April 21, 2017

Join us behind the scenes and get to know our amazing cast of 13 women and men with mother stories to share! We asked them to tell us some of their funniest moments, hope-filled wishes, what their favorite books, music, and shows are, and more!

Come see them LIVE on show night, April 28th at 7:30pm at the Weber Center. Get your tickets today!

Maureen Freedland

La Crosse, Wisconsin, 2006: Justice, Education, and Opportunity were the dreams my mother had in the USA, her new home.

La Crosse, Wisconsin, 2006: Justice, Education, and Opportunity were the dreams my mother had in the USA, her new home.

What are some fun facts about yourself?

Fact #1: What made me the person that I am (besides, of course, “listening to my mother” or “not-so-much listening to my mother”), was Girl Scout Camp.

Fact #2: I once laughed so hard at the dinner table with my older brother, Russell, that a piece of spaghetti came out of my nose.

Fact #3: My college BFF, Dianne, and I were the freshman girls underwater distance swimming champions. I travelled from Miami to Atlanta in the trunk of a car one Spring Break and during a law school break I bicycled solo from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco.

What do you collect?

I don’t collect anything. My husband Robert collects PEZ and that’s enough even though they are small. When we first married he tried to get me to collect snow globes (we called them shaky-things) but I gave that up. Kids were plenty to keep after.

When did you start resembling your own mother?

When I realized I was taking over my daughters’ closets!

A picture is worth a thousand words:

My mother’s European flair and a memory of the furs stolen from her; here in her new life in New Orleans wearing white gloves while pushing a baby stroller with a handmade sign that said “Clocks for Repair.”

Jirina young mom copy


Nancy Heerens-Knudson


Tell us a story about your family. 

Imagine five scrubbed til shiny little girls with Sunday best dresses sitting in a wooden church pew flanked by well dressed parents. The hymns start and rising above the congregational voices is the unmistakable flat, loud and undulating voice of Mrs. Lunde. The snuffles start, followed by a snort. My mother’s gimlet eye sweeps over us trying to identify the perpetrator before it gets out of hand. The snorts multiply, followed by squeaky guffaws, then smothered giggles rise out of the five and kaboom –  explosions of frank and loud giggling. My mom and dad try loud shushes, evil eyes, random grabs to make us stop. The giggle contagion is rocking the pew! Oh no! It’s THAT kind of giggle and the older three of us have to run to the bathroom!! Whew! We made it! (kind of)

My family of origin loved to laugh. My dad told frequent puns and jokes and we thought he was so funny. We also tickled each other while wrestling and playing like little cubs. My mom had a silly side too and we loved it when she laughed with us. We also knew that there was a certain kind of laugh or giggle that would make some of us wet our pants if we weren’t careful.

When I went to PA school, I learned that there was a genetic condition called “Giggle Micturation” in which an important sphincter gets the wrong message when a certain resonance is received (due to THAT kind of giggling). In my family it affected my grandma, mom, and three of five sisters (although I think the other two just aren’t telling).

Somehow growing up, the “giggle issue” got better. Perhaps I was more serious and didn’t giggle as much. But after my daughter and son were born, the giggling returned as everyday happenings. They were so funny! When Laura dumped baby powder all over Nick, herself, and everything in the bathroom, my first impulse was to laugh at the powdery ghosts, then grab the camera.

My daughter is a family physician with children of her own now and occasionally recognizes her “resonant laughter” a little too late. My son is an artist and a comedian and their goal when we get together at our family reunions is to get me to laugh until I have to dash out of the room. When that happens my children high five each other that they “got me” once again (the snots!).


Sylvia Jimison

Sylvia and her Mom

Sylvia and her Mom

Tell us two fun facts about yourself. 

Fact #1: I start a new diet every Monday.

Fact #2: I once interned at Saturday Night Live in NYC when Chris Rock, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, etc were in the cast and I was able to go to all the SNL tapings for years afterwards.

What’s something you collect? 

I collect autographed books by not so well known authors and a few well known authors.

Favorite movie and why? 

Favorite movies: “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “Ray”. I like autobiographies and how people overcome adversity in their lives. The characters in each of these movies had to overcome dire adversity and were able to move beyond poverty to riches.  That is my desire to do in life.


Jonathan Lamb

20161229_160917Tell us two fun facts about yourself.  

Fact #1: I was a Zumba/Spin Instructor. I taught lots of fun classes.I still have people tell me they hear certain songs and remember the moves.

Fact #2: I have been to Japan for an amazing theater festival with La Crosse Community Theatre. I learned how to make Washi paper. Also, I met some wonderful people from around the world.

What’s a crazy story about your family?

One crazy story about my family happened when we were on a summer road trip through New York. Well what happened is we were coming out of McDonald’s and my sister stuck her finger in my back in the form of a gun. I was carrying the bag of food. She then whispered in my ear, in her best Godfather voice, “Give me the bag NOW!!!!” And I did. Quickly.  She is also an expert at a Dead Fish Dance!

What do you wish most for your niece and nephew?

What I most wish for my niece and nephew is a world full of people that love. I wish them all the confidence to conquer all their dreams. I wish them the strength to be happy with who they are and the love to proudly lead this world to all things grand.


Susan C. Schuyler

IMG_2720What’s new with you? 

I love being a grandma!

What’s the best part about it? 

I’ve been a grandmother since July 23, 2016, and it rocks! Being a grandma is almost as good as being a mom. The best part is it really makes me think about my children differently. Mostly it makes me even prouder of my sons–if that’s even possible.




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