Welcome to #LTYM Milwaukee!

Meet the cast!

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

by Alexandra on April 26, 2017

Cast collage

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, and take in the presence of one another.

Come Sunday, May 7: meet our storytellers and see for yourself:

anne k


My passion for written communication extends beyond this written piece for the show. I am published in a national poetry anthology, write & edit a monthly newsletter, have co-created a hand done calligraphy calendar for almost 30 years, and regularly send hand written notes and letters to friends complete with decorated envelopes. I find joy in biking, reading, cooking, gardening and yoga. I am a daughter, wife and mother. Without these roles, I would not be part of this show. Thank you to everyone who made this experience possible for me.



Kim Suhr is honored to be among the cast of Listen to Your Mother. She is the author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom and Director of Red Oak Writing, an organization that supports writers in Southeastern Wisconsin. While she has been a life-long wannabe writer, having children finally prompted her to get serious about it and start helping others do the same. She earned her MFA in fiction in 2015. Kim is happiest when outdoors with her husband, Rob, and now-teen-aged kids, Shelby and Ethan. She still struggles with what to fix for dinner.



Grew up a military brat with no hometown. In 1993 she found her way to Wisconsin (OK, she followed her husband) and looks to be here for the long haul. Since settling down she has been a teacher, bank manager and currently works in healthcare. Her favorite jobs are acting and writing, the ones that don’t pay, and the one about which she is most passionate is Mom, which has paid far more than she could ever have imagined.




The daughter of two true lovers of literature, Katie Zapfel was literally born to write. Now she uses that lifelong passion as a full-time marketing and communications professional, a part-time blogger and hoping-to-sometime-be-published children’s book author. Her work as been featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, SheKnows and the actress Roseanne’s website. Katie is a mom to three boys, a wife and a volunteer group facilitator for Kyle’s Korner – a nonprofit grief support center for children and families. You can read her blog at katiez.me.




Myles Hopper is the author of the forthcoming The Color Red and Other Memories. Memoir is his preferred way of attempting to understand what he has referred to as, “my possibly incomprehensible family of origin, including myself, of course.” Writing is now his full time pursuit. In an earlier life as a cultural anthropologist, he taught in several universities in the United States and Canada, and was a consultant to nonprofits engaged in strategic planning and community development. He and his spouse are parents of two adult children, and live in Shorewood, Wisconsin.




I work in the field of Human Services as a Lead Recovery Support Coordinator for a local non-profit organization in Milwaukee. I’m a mother of two grown up sons and a grandmother of two. I’m a wife of 20 years to a wonderful supportive partner who is also a mother. My hobbies consist of playing online hidden object games, reading, and storytelling. I am an ExFabula Fellow and love to travel. I am a lifelong learner and was recently admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee- Graduate School in the program of Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education.




Kelly Arnell is a stay at home mom to four little monsters. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Mock Mom, Mamalode and Go Valley Kids. Find her on her blog, Why did we have to have all these kids anyway? and on Facebook.



Liz is a Wisconsin native who lives in East Tosa. When she’s not working as an event and communication specialist for Alverno College, you can find her with her three boys, ages 7, 6 and 4. This all means her “free” time is devoted to soccer games, Cub Scout meetings and simply maintaining her sanity by running and drinking wine — not at the same time. She and her husband have been married for nearly 10 years. An ideal weekend includes canoeing, camping and hiking. Her future includes a few lofty goals, including running a marathon, owning a cabin in Bayfield and showering and using the restroom without interruption from one of her sons.



LTYM Milwaukee is thrilled to announce that as part of this year’s final show, we have special guest performances by authors Julie Davidson (From Conception to Confusion) and Mel Miskimen (Sit, Stay, Heal.) !!


We hope you come to our May 7 show. It is LTYM’s grand finale in Milwaukee and will be an event you will talk of long after you hear our last cast member speak.


Love to you all,

Jenny Gaskell

Rochelle Fritsch

Alexandra Rosas

LTYM/Milwaukee Production Team

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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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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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February 17, 2017

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER MILWAUKEE is excited to announce that we have our 2017 cast! The readers for our final LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER MILWAUKEE Show have been selected and this process of finding which stories work best with the stories around them, was harder than it was the prior four years of our Milwaukee LTYM show. For whatever reason, the stories we heard over two weekends of auditions had us taking longer than usual to make our choice. Everything seemed to want to be heard and it all had an urgency:  what our Milwaukee storytellers came to share with us was astounding. We promised a decision to our auditioners on February 6, then we had to ask for their patience while we added an additional two days to try pieces on one against the other, and on February 9, our decisions were made. The pieces for our show always come forward, they […]

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