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Shining a Light on Our Stories

by rochellefritsch on February 5, 2016

It’s quite fitting that Milwaukee’s Listen To Your Mother Show auditions are in February.

February is Black History Month – a time for capturing stories lost to popular history – and many are stories people don’t realize they are missing until this February brings them to light.

And that’s the way I see the Listen to Your Mother shows – not just in Milwaukee – but all across the United States and now Canada. Listen To Your Mother Shows bring to light the thousands of motherhood stories with views of which we aren’t aware until we experience them through the author’s eyes.

In our first year, I was excited to be a cast member, but didn’t realize I’d be engaging in so much more than reading my motherhood story. As I listened to my fellow cast mates’ stories, I learned about the motherhood journey from different viewpoints – many of which I had never considered.

Like Amy’s story. She was beginning her motherhood journey as an unanswered prayer. I, on the other hand, was a mom who experienced a surprise pregnancy and no concept of motherhood as a prayer or unanswered wish. Seeing, hearing and feeling Amy’s story put me in her shoes, and I better understood this particular leg of the journey.

After Jen and Alexandra invited me to be a show co-producer, I learned about the reality of post-partum depression and the steady climb upward toward mental wholeness. When I became a mom, I knew about fumbling through figuring out this new person in my life, but I had never once considered the new person after giving birth could have been me until I heard Katy’s story.

So much of my motherhood journey begins with my own mother who has now been gone for nearly thirty years. I’d often try and envision what my adult relationship might look like with her, but never could. That is, until I heard Jack – our sole male reader and senior citizen – who read a story about his adult experience with meeting mother’s fiancé.

Seeing motherhood through a lens different than our own.

Walking in another person’s shoes.

Understanding the joy, pain, laughter and struggle that are woven throughout the motherhood journey.

It’s what happens when Listen to Your Mother shines a light on all of our stories. We end up connecting to each other in a deeper way; and people involved with shows – from the producers, to the cast, to the videographers, to the audience – all leave a little better than when they came in.

Which is exactly why you should mark your calendars for Milwaukee’s show on Sunday, May 1st at Alverno College’s Pitman Theater.

See you there!

Rochelle, Jen and Alexandra

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We Announce LTYM MILWAUKEE Auditions Now Open!

by Alexandra on January 11, 2016

katyListen To Your Mother Milwaukee is now open for auditions for its 4th annual Listen To Your Mother Show!

Our venue is once more the beautiful Pitman Theatre located on Alverno College Campus, and our show date is Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Audition dates are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY Saturday, February 27 at Bayshore Mall Community Room. Please contact us for your time slot by emailing ltymmil at gmail dot com. We will not be able to accommodate anyone without a scheduled appointment time.

If you’re wondering what to audition with, Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee is looking for a 5-minute in length, original and non-fiction piece of what motherhood means to you. We don’t look for tributes or “eulogies” but something that represents the diverse and expanse of motherhood – as long as motherhood is the focus of the piece. We welcome submissions from everyone, and you don’t have to be a mother to audition.

Did you get that? You do not have to be a mother to read for Listen To Your Mother.

For an idea of the pieces that work with a Listen To Your Mother Show, please view our LTYM youtube channel. There, you’ll find essays, poetry, prose on the heavy and the light on the theme of motherhood. As Ann Imig, creator and national director perfectly puts it, “LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER features live readings by local writers on the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood in celebration of Mother’s Day.”

To be considered for a Listen To Your Mother Show, it’s not required that you be a parent, a woman, or bring us a story about your mother. What we hope you share with us is what motherhood means to you. You don’t need to have stage or public speaking experience. You do not need to be a professional writer.

You just need to have a story that is yours to tell.

Here’s what Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee looks for when considering a piece for our shows:

◾Motherhood is the star focus of your piece.
◾It must be a true, yours, and original. No fiction.
◾Your piece should not be longer than 5 minutes when read aloud.
◾Poetry is welcome.
◾Pieces should not be memorized. Work is read from your pages on stage, so please don’t memorize.

If you’re still not sure you’re up to audition, let us offer you some encouragement by watching the LTYM youtube channel  – we want to hear your story!

Whether you decide that this is the year you’ll give life to your words or not, either way, be sure to ATTEND A Listen To Your Mother Show. Seeing a show may inspire a story in you!
Take on those dreams, push the nerves and doubt out of your way, and come tell us your story! Reserve your audition slot online by emailing the Milwaukee LTYM production team at ltymmil at gmail dot com.

And if telling a story isn’t your thing, but you know of someone perfect for this amazing opportunity, please share this audition information with them.

In the meantime, be sure to follow us here for LTYM Milwaukee updates on our 2016 season, to include our local charity announcement, cast announcements, our wonderful sponsors, and details on our beautiful venue!

We hope to hear from you, Milwaukee!

“Listen To Your Mother – a national series of original live readings shared locally on stages and globally via social media.”

Your Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee Team,

Jen, Rochelle, and Alexandra


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Speak Your Words, Our Stories Matter

December 28, 2015

Together, communities create a new existence. One that wouldn’t be possible without the input of one coming together with the sharing from another. We exist within the whole of the stories we bring to each other, words that we entrust and give as an offering to bridge our neighborhoods and to shrink the gaps across Milwaukee’s communities.   When we tell of who we are, we come closer to understanding cultures and lifestyles different from our own. We create a middle, where we are more alike than different, and where we take these feelings of new understanding with us as we return to our neighborhoods, eager to tell others of the stories we’ve just heard.   This is the chain of events that a microphone, a stage, and a podium, give birth to with our Listen To Your Mother Shows.   I work to bring these shows together, with the passion and commitment […]

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A Little Bit About LTYM-Milwaukee

December 18, 2015

Name one thing that the three members of the LTYM Milwaukee production team pictured in action above, have in common. If you answered that each of us has had the life-changing opportunity to be audience and cast member of a Listen To Your Mother Show, you would win holiday cheer for a year! Since you did so well with that first LTYM pop quiz, let’s go for another. What second thing do the members of the LTYM Milwaukee production team have in common? You’re right again! Each of us had our lives so enriched, so energized, so altered by being part of Listen To Your Mother, that we knew we had to bring the show to Milwaukee. Holiday cheer for a year and my recipe for cherry berries in a cloud! Sharing and hearing true tales from a moment in the life of another is the heart of our Listen To Your Mother […]

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Milwaukee Announces Our LTYM 4th Season!

November 17, 2015

The Listen To Your Mother Show Milwaukee is thrilled to announce that it is returning to our city for its FOURTH season! The show’s producers, Rochelle Fritsch and Jennifer Gaskell, and me, are honored and excited to be able to celebrate Milwaukee and its unique voices with you. 2016 marks four years of LTYM Milwaukee helping to spotlight voices in our community that need to be shared and need to be heard. The heart of our LTYM project is to build community by getting to know our neighbor. Nationwide, Listen To Your Mother will be hosting a total of 41 cities: 33 returning cities and 8 NEW cities with Canada making LTYM shows international. It’s pretty hard to not pull out all the exclamation marks with that one. Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee will be announcing auditions in the start of the new year, so follow LTYM on twitter, facebook, and here on […]

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