Welcome to #LTYM North Jersey!

Meet the cast! 

Still Floating on Cloud #2017!

by deborah on June 2, 2017

Post by Brooke Lefferts, Producer

Ltym 2017 cast bow

The 2017 North Jersey Listen to Your Mother shows played to two sold out crowds and standing ovations Saturday May 13th, at our new space at The Woodland in Maplewood.

Thirteen cast members took the stage and shared their stories of connection, fear, despair, hilarity, and hope. Every year, my fellow producer-directors, Deborah Goldstein, Sandy Rustin, and I worry that the show won’t live up to the high bar set the previous year. And every year, as the show comes together in the final hours, we have that moment when we look at each other with a perma-grin face and knowing nod, and we realize that the stories are the star and this show will move audiences once again.

It’s natural that the cast bonds after sharing such an intimate, soul-bearing experience. But the day after the show there was talk of yoga retreats, group sleepovers, and a field trip to NYC to see a play. They really dig each other! It’s no wonder when they’re all talented writers. Some were experienced and others green—but all compelled to tell a tale that resonated with many because of their willingness to be candid about perhaps the most complicated subject: motherhood.

Ltym 2017 angle view from standThe new digs at The Woodland meant a less formal theater setting, but many in the audience called it intimate, and the persistent rain all day made the warm, inviting room feel like even more of a respite. Deborah served as emcee yet again, and had the crowd and cast howling with laughter at her planned and spontaneous jokes in between pieces, and calmed by her leadership onstage.

One of the highlights of the day came at our first show, when the head of the charity to which we chose to donate- Real House, Inc. –spoke about the good work they do to help people with drug and alcohol problems improve their circumstances by providing temporary housing and treatment. Two women who have been living at one of the Real House facilities then spoke about getting sober and thanked the foundation for saving their lives. Their words were honest and compelling and set a wonderful tone for the show.

We are grateful to all our sponsors — many of whom returned from last year– and all the volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly. It really does take a village to put on a show but the process is full of laughter and always keeps our creative juices flowing.

Ltym 2017 The ProducersWe want to thank Ann Imig and the support staff on the national Listen to Your Mother team. It’s been a terrific experience working with them, and we feel ready to strike out on our own next year.

It’s always bittersweet when the curtain comes down, the last hug is given, and the flowers start to wilt. But we know that the show will go on, buoyed by another group of brave people willing to share their stories, and other audiences eager to hear them.

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Meet Our Sign Language Interpreters!

by deborah on May 12, 2017

Lydia CallisLydia Callis is a sign language interpreter, community educator and advocate for equal access. Lydia is a proud CODA– the only hearing child in 3 generations of Deaf family. She gained national attention for her interpreting work alongside Mayor Bloomberg and New York City officials during Hurricane Sandy. She works to raise awareness regarding social issues, and is actively involved in public policy reform. Lydia is motivated by connecting people, preserving Deaf culture, and empowering individuals to pursue their dreams without limitation.

Robbie Berry

Robbie Berry

Robbie Berry is a Research Associate with SSIC, creating educational and health products accessible to the Deaf community. Robbie also works as a sign language interpreter in NJ and NY interpreting/coordinating many off-Broadway and community shows. Robbie’s been working and hanging out with the Deaf community for 30 years. You’ll also remember Robbie’s wonderful piece in our 2014 show, The Force.

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WELCOME BACK MICROPHONE SPONSOR JOY YAGID PHOTOGRAPHY

May 11, 2017

WELCOME BACK MICROPHONE SPONSOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER EXTRAORDINAIRE, Joy Yagid Photography!  In Joy’s wonderful words: I am your memory keeper. I work unobtrusively to capture the moment – your family being themselves, with candid portraits and a great time at your party! My style is editorial/documentary. I capture the moment without stopping it. I do things a bit differently: ask me about my packages that include all the final files on a disc – for you to keep. I don’t interrupt your celebration. I help you enjoy it.   FOLLOW Joy Yagid Photography on Facebook and Twitter too – @joyyagid by

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WELCOME BACK MICROPHONE SPONSOR KIMAYA KAMA

May 10, 2017

My husband Manoj and I live in South Orange and love being part of this great SOMA community. We just celebrated Kimaya Kama’s second anniversary and I cannot believe its been two years since we opened our store in Maplewood. Moving Kimaya Kama from South Orange to this larger space in Maplewood Village helped us expand our product line to include dresses, pants, tops, handbags, men’s cuff links, pocket squares, ties, brass and wooden artifacts, statues and a larger selection of our cotton and silk tunics.    Kimaya Kama is a collection of all of my favorite clothes and accessories for everyone to enjoy. We also design our signature kaftans, tunics and sterling silver jewelry; these items are unique in every aspect. We are constantly on the look out for new unique products and the latest addition to the store are our wide range of handbags, pouches, wristlets, keys rings and travel bags that are made in Turkey. These make […]

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WELCOME MICROPHONE SPONSOR FRONT AND CENTER

May 9, 2017

Sing!  Dance!  Act!  Front & Center offers individuals of all ages and skill levels, the opportunity to grow and develop artistically and personally in a nurturing environment.   We aim to provide a unique and comprehensive curriculum while maintaining the highest standards of excellence. Our distinctive atmosphere encourages students with professional aspirations, as well as those who seek recreational fulfillment through the arts.  As part of the culture here at FNC, we encourage an ongoing dialogue about all the wonderful life lessons our children can learn through the performing arts. Bring in your LTYM ticket and we’ll give you $40 off summer camp tuition!   Studio owner, Renee Celeste, is a mother of three and is proud to sponsor LTYM.     by

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