2016 is a Wrap

by KeAnne on May 10, 2016

By Marty Long


Gathered backstage, the energy was palpable. Cast members who were strangers just weeks before, were standing together as sisters, ready to tell their stories.


This year was different. It was the fourth time Listen to Your Mother had been held in Raleigh, yet the first time that we were truly a statewide event. Writers came from as far away as Surry County and then just down the road apiece in Greensboro to join the 2016 cast. We had the longest roads to get to where we were a family by show time, and we made it.

Our show this year wove together themes of our protective nature. As mothers, we protect our children by standing up for them, by providing them with rules, by always trying to become better mothers. We care for our memories of our loved ones by keeping their stories alive. We offer our protective arms around mothers who feel alone in their grief, and we wrapped our stories around our sister who was so brave to bring her grief to the light of the stage.


We are fierce, loving, wounded, strong, tenacious, hopeful, caring, and protective. Each of our chapters told our own story, but together, we wrote a book of motherhood that rang true and touched people throughout the audience that night.


Every year I think I don’t know how we will be able to pull off another show. Every year, I wake up the morning after and wonder what could possibly come next. Every year, it happens all over again, and we are somehow are brought stories that need to be told. Stories that need to be heard.

Until next year, thank you. Thank you for helping us continue to give motherhood a microphone in North Carolina.




All photographs courtesy of local sponsor Jess Rotenberg Photography

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pads_tamponsMany of the stories you will hear Wednesday night are about things we have kept hidden. Pieces of ourselves we have chosen, for whatever reason, to share with you on this one special night. It is in these hidden things where we find connection.

Things we share in common with almost all women, but that we rarely talk about, are the powerful forces that bring us together for an event like Listen to Your Mother. They are also the ones that cling tightly to our hearts as we leave.

Imagine that you are sitting in the audience when you realize that you really need a pad or a tampon. No one else knows you need it, and most likely you have one in your purse. You simply leave your seat, excuse yourself to the bathroom, and you take care of the issue.

Now. Imagine that you are sitting on a bench in Moore Square when you realize that you really need a pad or a tampon. No one else knows you need it, and since you are homeless, you don’t have the luxury of carrying pads and tampons with you. Suddenly, your need, once private and hidden, is about to become something you are forced to share.

The Women’s Center of Wake County exists to make the connections in these needs. Something we rarely think of being grateful for, like pads and tampons, is something that the clients of WCWC can get through basic services there.

On Wednesday, we will come together to share what is hidden. We will find community in the pieces of ourselves we aren’t used to sharing. Please help us extend that same kindness to the women served by the Women’s Center of Wake County by bringing pads or tampons with you to the show. We will collect them, along with any monetary donations, and deliver them to our charity partner with the knowledge that we are all connected.

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Meet Local Sponsor Myriad Media!

May 1, 2016

Four years ago, Ilina Ewen – marketing guru mama – introduced us to the incredible folks at Myriad Media and helped us sign them on as a first year sponsor and the videographer for our show. They’ve stood by us ever since. That’s what Myriad Media does. They stand by you. They stand up for you. They are there when North Carolina needs them. I want you to see their 360 virtual reality videos. The ones in Kings and for the Oak City Cycling Project are a couple of my favorites. Go ahead and watch them real quick. I’ll wait for you because the next part is super important. Are you ready? Here’s the important part: Myriad Media understands that our community has stories to tell and that our stories are what bring us together. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you how Myriad Media has time to do actual billable work except that they […]

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Meet Local Sponsor Susan Boylston!

April 28, 2016

By Marty Long Here at Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham, we are encouraging people to tell their stories. We believe that the community created in storytelling is a powerful bond that is only found in the bridges we build through listening. I can’t imagine a more fitting sponsor than Susan Boylston LulaRoe. LulaRoe is a company that encourages people to write their own stories by finding a way to make “work” work for their families. Susan has done just that and more. LulaRoe isn’t just Susan’s business. After 14 months, her husband Brooks left his IT job of 16 years to join Susan in what has become their family business. Their next chapter is one that they will write together. Like Listen to Your Mother, LulaRoe finds a lot of its fans online. Susan discovered the clothes through an Instagram friend who was wearing a super cute pencil skirt. One call with DeAnne […]

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Meet Local Sponsor Jess Rotenberg!

April 20, 2016

By Marty Long I’ve never felt comfortable in front of the camera. Pictures of me never look like what I see when I look in the mirror, or even what I feel like I felt in the moment. I’m awkward, I have 18 more chins than usual, and when I smile, my mouth is either sealed shut in an attempt to look demure which only translates to RBF, or it’s wide open, only detracted from by my enormous psychotic swirling eyes. Usually, a photography session with me is just one big hot mess, and because of my own insecurities, a family portrait session is just out of the question. Here’s the deal, though. I want pictures of my family. I want memories preserved and moments captured. I want these things, but we aren’t models – even though my daughter used to practice smiling in the mirror – which I went from laughing at […]

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