Welcome to #LTYM Milwaukee!

Meet the cast!

5 Years, 65 stories, A Community Celebrated

by Alexandra on July 31, 2017

ltym trioWhen Milwaukee performed its first Listen To Your Mother Show five years ago, we did it powered with pounding hearts of adrenaline.

What we worried about then, ticket sales-nerves-media coverage-would take a back seat in the years to come. Through the five years of our shows, one theme arose over and over. It was a process that comforted, encouraged, and reassured. What we learned in our five years began and ended, with trust.

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Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee was a leap of faith in 2013, and the net that caught us was the magic that we created when our community was brought together through the sharing of lives through stories. What we saw from our very first show was how the people we live with want to hear about the world of others. Somehow, this craving for intimacy and glimpses into the days of another’s life, overcame any of the logistical challenges of putting on show.  Finding a venue, contracts, auditions, press releases, rehearsals, knock-kneed performance day nerves!-they fall away with the common desire of sitting back and hearing the voices that stand before you, ready and more than honored, to tell you their story.

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We’ve had five years of casts, and in that time, LTYM became part of the breath in our lives. Some of those habits die hard, like wanting to invite people to tell their story. Last week, I met a woman, what she told me about growing up and the lesson she learned along the way, had me automatically pressing my lips together, ready to ask “Would you read for our show?” Then I remembered, Listen To Your Mother has had its finale.

There are five years to celebrate in our city, dozens of stories that we’ve shared and will forever carry in their own corner of our hearts. And we want to end our LTYM season by paying honor to these voices, to show appreciation to our audiences that came in support and love, to our sponsors that made our Milwaukee shows possible. And to so deeply thank our friends and families for being there while we sometimes spun in circles getting our last bits of shine and polish up for our stage.

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We thank you all. Ann Imig for her heart-gift of conceiving this show, we thank BlogHer for being our first and final sponsor these past five years. We thank our support staff of Listen To Your Mother, Melisa Wells, Stephanie Precourt, Taya Johsnon, and Deb Rox.

And we thank through hearts filled with gratitude and awe, to our brave and giving cast members of the last five years of Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee.

May you always carry the love we felt for you, from our community and from the production team, as one of your warmest memories in your life.

We love you, Milwaukee, and thank you.

best cast ever

Your Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee Production Team,

Alexandra Rosas

Rochelle Fritsch

Jenny Gaskell

 

 

 

 

 

 

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grnad finale

I have always loved words, the stories they tell and the emotions they evoke. Writers have long been on the top of my list of life wizards—those who do what the rest of us cannot.

Only writers write, I’d think. And then I’d wish that I could do what they do.

Seven years ago, I learned that the start to anything that you want is to turn your face in that direction.

In 2011, I auditioned for the LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Show in Madison, Wisconsin. I had never tried out for a cast before. I had never read my writing out loud before, and I had never imagined myself as someone up at a podium, behind a microphone.

But when I learned of LTYM shows, I couldn’t ignore the pull I felt. I knew that public speaking wasn’t something I did, and that to think of myself as being part of a show was the most outrageous endeavor I had ever put my mind to, but I didn’t know how not to try. My reaction was a lovesick yearning to tell my story. I drove the two hours to audition, with a printed copy of my story in the passenger seat next to me. I had taken my lifelong dream and set my face in its direction.

I did audition, and my story was chosen as one to be read on stage that year. What I didn’t know then is that on show day, while on the stage reading my words, that there would be a whisper behind the voice that the audience heard. I would be the only one hearing it in the undercurrent as I spoke, I am a writer I am a writer I am a writer.

As I drove home that night after the show, I smiled like a goose at my reflection in the window. I felt ridiculous, heady, but I finally said the words I had wished were mine my entire life: I am a writer.

I don’t talk about that day much, about my time on stage during the 2011 Madison show, but I write about it in my personal journals. I remind myself how it was that first step in belief of what I could offer that changed my life. Today, I can only say that I can’t imagine anything that has happened since without LTYM behind it.

This 2017 LTYM season will be our Grand Finale LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Show for Milwaukee. When I think of this being our final show in our city, my throat tightens. Emotion overwhelms me and I grow grateful all over again for all that LTYM has brought into my life. The stories I’ve heard, the women I’ve met, the relationships I’ve seen form between our cast members.

In 2011, I had planted a seed when I auditioned, even though I had never auditioned before. In 2013, when I applied to produce LTYM in Milwaukee, I planted a second seed, even though I had never produced a show before. I look at my journal and see empty pages up ahead. I can go back and add to them as I see events unfold in my life, and I will go forward and complete these pages with the new opportunities that I have learned to recognize. My words since my first show with LTYM have grown, and I have along with them.

Before LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER, I used to wait, watch, be patient, for everything to feel right, align, for opportunity to present itself. What I learned seven years ago with that first LTYM show, is that we are the opportunity.

We are the chance we’ve been waiting for.

Though this is Milwaukee’s last LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER SHOW, I know this is not the last of the stories that our past casts have told, nor that our 2017 show cast will tell.

We will keep writing our stories, we will find chances to share them and we will remember that it is in us where we find the key to unlock all the fierce and unforgettable moments that we have yet to share.

To our past LTYM casts and final 2017 cast: promise to return again and again to yourself and to drink in what you will absolutely continue to find. Plant your seeds and grow your vines, live in wonder of you and the moments in your life.

As LTYM producers and directors, we thank you. We have been privileged, humbled, and honored to have had a part in bringing your stories to our community. Thank you for your gift of time, and self.

Your LTYM Milwaukee Production Team 

Alexandra Rosas

Jenny Gaskell

Rochelle Fritsch

 

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LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Milwaukee’s 2017 Cast

April 26, 2017

2017 marks LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER MILWAUKEE’s 5th season. We celebrate five years of uniquely personal storytelling  surrounding the theme of motherhood. We also celebrate five years of community building through a glimpse of one another’s lives. And with this year’s show, we close out our final collection of voices from local writers. On Sunday, May 7, we will host our final LTYM in Milwaukee. The time feels right to close this chapter on storytelling and we promise you that on show day, we will leave you with stories that you will not soon forget. Please join us on Sunday, May 7 at Alverno College’s Wehr Hall, as we hear our community share their lives, each one reaching out to you and you reaching right back with your presence and spirit of coming together. Come hear these incredible stories from anything but ordinary lives. You will feel something incredibly powerful happen as we step out of our busy days, […]

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Returning To Our LTYM Milwaukee Roots

April 16, 2017

We are so delighted to return to the beautiful Wehr Hall on the Alverno College Campus.  As the resident theatre geek of our production trio, I wax poetic about our venue and the staff all the time.  Our technical director, Rollie, is super-efficient, extremely professional and an all-around nice guy.  Technical directors have to be the jack of all trades for a venue.  They need to understand both the technical specifications and the artistic vision of the show, and they use those technical elements of lighting, sound, and furniture to pull it all together.  Rollie does an excellent job because he cares about the end result of our show as much as Alexandra, Rochelle and I do. Wehr Hall is a small, intimate theatre nestled in the heart of the city of Milwaukee.  Parking is widely available on both sides of the hall, and it is conveniently located along the bus line and […]

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The LISTEN part of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER

February 20, 2017

Have you ever listened to the silence of an audience while someone is telling a story? It is not a silence at all but an energy that crackles with life. The people in the seats anticipate the speaker’s next words, we hope for an outcome that won’t devastate and we forget to breathe while we hang on words that now are alive in our hearts. We all hear the same story, but is it the same for everyone who hears it? It never is. It can’t be because our minds and guts process the words we hear through what we’ve lived. Maybe a story is the first time that we’ve heard the experience of parenting with a mental illness. Or we are offered a new perspective of life growing up without a mother. Did we just hear about becoming a parent when only a teen when we were in our 40s as first time parents? Are we celebrating someone […]

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