Join Us Friday, May 5th at Jones Auditorium at Meredith College – 7:30PM!

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Meet the cast

Meet Aleta Payne!

by KeAnne on March 29, 2017

Aleta is another returning auditioner. She is calm, thoughtful and wise with a lovely way with words. Her children are older, and her piece hits all the ages and stages, making us laugh and cry. Meet Aleta!

Aleta Payne

Aleta Payne lives in Cary with her family. She  describes them:

Three sons, Sam is 25 and works for the City and County of Durham; Josh is 23 and is serving a fellowship year with ASP; Andrew is 19 and a freshman at Carolina; husband Neil is a consultant to pharma companies; my Mama still lives in the house I was raised in and did all of it on her own before folks really appreciated what being a single mom meant. Pups — Ella and Phoebe/Horrible and Adorable (but which is which changes with the day).

Aleta works as the Deputy Director of the NC Council of Churches.

We have the magical “interwebs” to thank for Aleta’s participation in this year’s show.

Aleta notes that much like her, her favorite writers are “all over the place.” When I emailed her about her list of books for clarification for this post (due to a technical glitch on my part), she added more, explaining that she had recently listened to a NPR program about what music you’d want on a desert island which she extrapolated to books:

Anne LaMott, Michelle Alexander, Maya Angelou, Rachel Held Evans, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and having raised three sons during the height of Potter-Mania JK Rowling (bless her for helping me keep my boys reading), Marisa de los Santos and Madeleine L’Engle (praise Madeleine L’Engle!)

Her hobbies and interests are diverse:

Reading (see above), yoga, dog wrangling, and I am pretty active in my church, particularly with our Outreach ministries. Also hoping to regain my modest knitting skills in 2017.

Aleta has an impressive list of writing credits. She admitted some of them are fairly old, but she wants to help “gild the lily that is LTYM.” Her credits include:

  • Parenting Publications of America, Gold Award –Team; Bronze Award – Individual, 2009
  • Parenting Publications of America Silver and Bronze Awards –Team, 2008
  • Baccalaureate Speaker, Peace College, 2004
  • Wake County PTA Council Outstanding Volunteer of the Year 2002, K-5
  • Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals Excel Award 2000 – Print Commentary
  • Education Writers Association National Awards 1996, Special Citation – Breaking News
  • Endependence Center 1996 Outstanding Media Award
  • Education Writers Association National Awards 1995, First Place – Regional Magazine
  • California Teachers Association 1994 Award of Merit – Outstanding Education Coverage
  • California School Boards Foundation 1994 Media Awards – News Series
  • California School Boards Foundation 1993 Media Awards – News Story

We always ask if any of our cast members have anything else we want to know about them, and this was Aleta’s somewhat sassy reply:

If you want something philosophical about the value of the written word, I can go on and on about that. But otherwise, I think you have it covered. 


Aleta is delightful, and so is her piece. Buy tickets now to hear her on May 5, 2017.

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Meet Kirsten Reberg-Horton!

by KeAnne on March 22, 2017

Kirsten is a bit of a renaissance woman, and it emphasizes the powerful story she shares. Meet Kirsten!

Kirsten Reberg-Horton

Kirsten lives in Raleigh with her family. She describes her family:

I’m a mom of 3 children. 2 by love, 1 bio. I have a husband of 24 years who is my rock. Blessed to have parents, sister and sister in law all in the Triangle area.

By day, Kirsten works at Kalmia Landscape Design and Painty Faces by Kirsten, but her hobbies are extensive:

Gardening, Painting, admiring nature, reading, cooking, writing, special needs education, racial justice.

We have co-producer Marty to thank for Kirsten’s participation!

Kirsten’s favorite writers include Haven Kimmel, Pattiann Rogers, Pablo Neruda, Zadie Smith, Sue Monk Kidd and Bob Graham.

Kirsten is a talented landscape designer who has contributed to the landscape design portion of the Maine Master Gardener Handbook, and the Maine Extension bulletin, Designing your Landscape for Maine.

When we asked Kirsten what she wanted us to know about her, she replied:

I’ve done lots of things with my life, but nothing compares with both the challenges and rewards of having children.


Kirsten is quiet, but she is full of passion and conviction, and her piece reflects that. Buy tickets now to hear Kirsten on May 5, 2017.

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Meet Candice Burton!

March 17, 2017

Candice was one of our final auditions on audition day 3, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Her piece is short but powerful, and it packs a wallop. Meet Candice! Candice came to Raleigh for work and has made it her home for the last several years.  She lives in Raleigh with her family: I have been married for 10 years to my husband and best friend. We have a 13 year old son Gavin and a 4 year old daughter Mia. They are the absolute loves of my life! Candice is an entrepreneur, but when not thinking up new business endeavors, she has the following hobbies: Listening to music, dancing terribly, reading, writing, working out, and spending time with friends and family. Candice heard about Listen to Your Mother through friend, photographer (and now cast member ) Jess Rotenberg. Candice’s favorite writers include her sister Janis Nicole Townsend, Thich Nhat […]

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Meet Erica Kosal!

March 13, 2017

We love it when prior auditioners return, and that most definitely includes Erica. We are honored she returned to audition and thrilled with the piece she shared with us. It is witty, wise, introspective and sweet. Meet Erica! Erica has lived in Raleigh for two decades. She came for graduate school and stayed for work. She describes her family: I have been a widow for about 2.5 years after being married for 15 years. I have a 10 year old son and an 8 year old daughter. We are planning on adding a dog to the family in the next several months. Erica is a biologist and currently teaches at North Carolina Wesleyan College but has many hobbies: Travelling/exploring, hiking, good wine, hanging out with friends and my kids on a warm sunny afternoon and laughing (comedies are a plus in my mind!) We are thankful for word of mouth for connecting us […]

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First 2017 Read-Through!

March 8, 2017

We had our first read-through at Marty’s house last Sunday, and it is always one of my favorite parts of doing the show.  I love watching our cast meet each other, get to know each other and be blown away by everyone’s pieces.  You can feel the bond forming among the cast members.  Unfortunately, we had two cast members who were unable to join us due to long-standing prior commitments, but we look forward to having the entire cast together at our April read-through! Here are a few pictures from the afternoon:           by

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