Join Us May 12th at Shady Side Academy’s Hillman Center for the Performing Arts at 8PM!

Meet the cast!
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Cast Profile: Sally Ann Flecker

by stephaniejankowski on March 23, 2017

This year’s show is the first to include an aunt and niece duo! Today’s cast profile features the aunt in the pair, Ms. Sally Ann Flecker.

  • How did you discover LTYM?

My niece, Katie Long  attended a workshop, and then suggested we audition. [editor’s note: Katie Long is the niece in the pair! SO FUN!]

How sweet are they?! Circa 2010

How sweet are they?! Circa 2010

  • What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written?

One of the pieces of writing I’m proudest of is a profile that appeared in Pomona Magazine on the life of a brilliant young woman who died tragically. I spent several intense days with her mother, visiting her favorite haunts and meeting family members and friends. I felt like I was able to evoke her and provide insight into her decision to end her life. Here’s a link to the article, although I feel like I should explain that the space breaks were omitted in the online version and there are some jumps back in time that are jarring without the visual cue. http://magazine.pomona.edu/2011/summer/untimely/

  • What do you wish most for your children?

Oh, I so hope that they live happy and productive lives. My husband and I were foster parents to our boys and subsequently lucky enough to adopt them. They’ve had so many challenges in their young lives that I hope they’re able to finally rise above.

  • What do you love most about Pittsburgh?

I love Pittsburgh’s geography, its little nooks and crannies. I also love the “Pittsburgh left.” This was so difficult for my husband when he moved here from Chicago, where the drivers are so cut-throat and aggressive. “What are they waiting for? Why don’t they turn?” he would say when a Pittsburgh driver gave him an opening to make his turn first. It took him awhile to get it. Now he says he can tell what drivers are from Pittsburgh by how courteous they are to other drivers.

  • What do you hope the audience takes away from your essay?

Family is so important to me. There are a lot of us—6 siblings, almost 30 nieces and nephews, who already have produced 10(!) babies of their own—and they’re just getting started… So that’s one element of the story that I hope comes through. But the other sweetness I hope they take away is that so much of what is good in life is what happens in the smallest moments. That sweet/sad moment with my mother counterbalances, for me, so much of what broke my heart—and hers—in her decline. Sally head shot

  • If you could only ever eat at one restaurant in the ‘Burgh, what would it be and why?

It would NOT be Primanti’s, for sure. I’m a reverse snob…

  • If you were mayor of Pittsburgh for a day, what law would you enact/change/do away with and why?

I would codify the Pittsburgh left. The world would be a better place if more drivers were gracious. I’m convinced it would have an effect in other aspects of life, too.

  • Describe yourself:

I take great pride in being the Queen of Parallel Parking, and I seem to whistle all the time without really knowing I am doing it. Twelve years of Catholic school left me with an intense inclination to color within the lines. Unfortunately, my eye-hand coordination is lousy, and I’ve kind of lived the way I colored—messy and chaotic, but with great joy to have so many colors to play with. I love music. I love to make quilts—the more modern and improvisational the better. I love mystery novels. I love the color blue. I love my husband, our dog, and our 10 parakeets (long story.) And, most of all, I love my two wild, unpredictable, boys, who I’ve taught to take no prisoners when playing Sorry or Uno. As babies, no one came when they cried. No one picked them up to comfort them or to play peekaboo with them. No one smiled into their sweet baby faces or kissed their tiny kicking feet. Still they not only persisted, but survived with a sense of wonder and joy intact. They are my heroes.

 

I mean, come on. With that kind of writing, you just have to hear Sally Ann’s story on May 12th! Get your tickets today or we’re sending niece Katie after you. She’ll probably just hug you, but whatever. TICKETS. HERE!

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Cast Profile: Elizabeth Thogerson

by stephaniejankowski on March 21, 2017

2017 cast member Elizabeth Thogerson is such a fantastic example of how Listen To Your Mother Pittsburgh has empowered the people of our city. As a two-year audience member, Liz drank in her friends’ and complete strangers’ stories, helping her to realize her story was worth telling, too. And we’re so grateful she’s telling it!

How did you discover LTYM?
I had the honor of being in the audience for LTYM the last two years. I’m very proud to have had friends in prior casts – and seeing them in the show opened my eyes to a whole new part of their hearts. I was so inspired by hearing every single story – I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try to become a part of it.

What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you?
My mother was legendary for her crazy sayings. Got a run in your tights? “Don’t worry honey, you can’t spot a tick on a galloping horse!” Your strategy isn’t working? “Aw it’s okay babydoll, there’s more than one way to skin a cat!”

What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written?
I helped my mother write a musical for her kindergarten class, based on the book Skippyjon Jones. It is about a kitten who masquerades as a chihuahua and defeats a bumblebee to save the day. The kids left it all on that stage – I was so proud of them!

When did you first start thinking about your mother as an individual person and not just “mom”?
I was twelve or so, and my mom’s friends started getting their nails done at this salon. So, she started getting hers done too. I was trying to fit in with my middle school peers, and I just remember thinking, “Aw mom, we all just want to be cool, I get it.” Turns out it was just a phase, much like my high pony tail with a white ribbon…

What do you wish most for your children?
I want my kids to be kind. Kindness is a severely underrated virtue, one that builds on itself and can positively impact everyone we come across. As my mother would say, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

What do you love most about Pittsburgh?
French fries are my favorite food – therefore, Pittsburgh is my favorite city. Also, I find the people here to be no-nonsense, hold-the-door, no-you-first kind of folks, and I love it.

What do you hope the audience takes away from your essay?Liz Thogerson
I hope that the audience will want to call their moms after hearing my essay. And give their own kids an extra squeeze that night. But really, I hope that everyone is living each moment of their lives fully enough that they won’t take anything away from my essay.

If you could only ever eat at one restaurant in the ‘Burgh, what would it be and why?
Easy – that would be Piper’s Pub in South Side. And if I could only eat one meal at Piper’s Pub? Black Watch Burger, chips (they cut their own awesome fries in house), and their amazing bread pudding for dessert. Also, beer.

If you were mayor of Pittsburgh for a day, what law would you enact/change/do away with and why?
Down with the Pittsburgh Left! I know it’s not a law, per se, but it should be outlawed all the same. I can neither anticipate it, nor confidently execute it.

If you could tell a new mom one thing, what would it be?
I would tell her that she is enough for her baby, and that the loving, supportive, hilarious, glorious company of other moms will change her life. Motherhood is a ubiquitous, pre-historic blood-oath club that I had no idea existed until I became a part of it.

Can we please get that last line on a t-shirt?! Come listen to more of Liz’s wise words on May 12. Get your tickets HERE!

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Cast Profile: Lora Rigatti

March 21, 2017

Today’s cast profile has a big brain and a heart to match. We fell in love with Ms. Lora Rigatti at auditions, and we know you’ll feel the same when you catch her on stage on May 12. You got your tickets, right?! Lora is a veterinarian specializing in anatomic pathology, and works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a Pittsburgh native that came back to settle here and start a family after finishing her career training. She currently lives on the Northside with her husband, 2 sons, 2 cats, and dog. In her (very limited) free time, she tries to stay active with yoga, Pilates, and bike riding. Who is Lora? I have a huge heart, but often a short fuse. I would consider myself an intelligent person, but often lack common sense (ask my husband). I’m a scientist, an exercise fanatic, and an animal lover, but most […]

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Cast Profile: Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh

March 16, 2017

Today’s 2017 Cast Profile is Ohioan Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh. She already promised she’s not a Browns fan, so please welcome her with open arms.   How did you discover LTYM? A girlfriend of mine was a participant last year in Austin, TX.   What is the craziest thing you remember saying to your children? Either “Stop drinking your sister’s blood!” OR “We don’t smell butts in church.” What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you? “Girls don’t drive in high heels.”   What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written? Link us if you can! I have written lots and lots on my website, DadvMom.com.  If you are looking for an ode to head lice or the story of when I tried to hide in a port-a-potty during a 5K, it’s all there.  But I suppose my favorite writing is the book. I published it last year with my husband.  It […]

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Cast Profile: Katie Long

March 14, 2017

Today is our third round of 2017 Cast Profiles, and we’re very excited to introduce Ms. Kaaaaaaaatie Long! Yell that like Oprah please.   How did you hear about Listen To Your Mother? I first discovered LTYM when my husband, unbeknownst to me, arranged for a night out with two friends to see the Listen to Your Mother show 2016. I laughed hard, cried harder, and needed a debriefing sessions afterwards with my gal pals (thank goodness for drinks at The Porch!). I could not stop raving about the show for weeks afterwards, and with Steph’s promptings, Jen’s writing workshop at the library, and my aunt’s encouragement to just START writing (and to use a computer, because they make life easier, and not the pretty pen and notebook I was excited about) and not worry about how the story would end, I found myself auditioning for the 2017 show! What’s one of the craziest […]

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