Helping Book Harvest Help the Community

by KeAnne on June 2, 2015

One of the elements that makes Listen to Your Mother so powerful is its emphasis on partnering with a local cause that supports women and children.  As you know, our 2015 local cause was Book Harvest, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide books to children in need.  In addition to giving Book Harvest a percentage of our ticket sales, we also asked the audience to bring new or gently-used books to donate.

I’m thrilled to announce that Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham was able to donate $1000 to Book Harvest, and our audience donated an additional $95 and 442 books!


But it doesn’t end there. Book Harvest’s need – the community’s need – still exists.  They give books year-round, and “the need for books is vast, ” states Ginger Young, Book Harvest’s founder and executive director.  They especially need books for preschoolers.

As schools begin closing for summer vacation, one of Book Harvest’s primary programs ramps up. Summer can be a tough time for children without books or access to enrichment activities.  Book Harvest created Books on Break to help combat summer learning loss and provides 10 self-selected books to children on free or reduced lunch:

In 2015, Books on Break is providing a string backpack and 10 books each to 2,525 low-income elementary school students in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro.

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2015 is a Wrap

by KeAnne on May 19, 2015

2015 Cast

Our two shows were fantastic, our sold-out crowds responding enthusiastically to the pieces presented.  BookHarvest received many new books for its needs. We saw old friends and met new ones.  It was wonderful. And now our Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham season is over for another year.

I’m always surprised by how quickly the time goes.  I swear it seems like yesterday we were holding auditions and welcoming 11 nervous women to our first read-through. And now it has been almost 2 weeks since our shows were held.

It took me that long to process the season, the shows, and our wonderful cast.  I don’t know what alchemy it is, but we enter this process as strangers and leave as friends, in some cases sisters.

I told Marty that the always bittersweet end of the LTYM season reminds me of the ending of Ocean’s Eleven: they’ve formed, stormed, normed and then performed and then after it’s all over, they just drift away to do their own things, to rejoin their former lives. Marty, of course, had never seen that movie, so the analogy was lost. And it isn’t exactly apt since they were criminals, but you get the point.

While I indulged my maudlin feelings about the end of the season, I had to acknowledge that it isn’t over. These women have formed bonds and just yesterday they met to work on Blogging 101 together.  One cast member is planning a potluck dinner for us in a few weeks, and there is talk of a monthly writing group.  Last year’s cast did just that and have become even closer as they meet every month to share writing and the highs and lows of their lives.

Don’t let anyone tell you that the power of telling your story can’t change your life.  It can. I’ve witnessed it every year for three years.


Huge thank yous to returning local sponsors Jess Rotenberg Photography and Myriad Media for making us look good both in print and on film and to Dana Hughens and Clairemont Communications for being a long-time supporter of Listen to Your Mother both as a local sponsor, a cast member and for hosting a rocking cast party.

See  you in 2016.

End of Show

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Show Time!

May 7, 2015

As unbelievable as it is to all of us, our first show is tonight!  Last night we had our tech rehearsal. It suddenly feels real when we are sitting on stage, facing the audience, fumbling with the microphone and trying not to knock over the music stand. Everyone brought their A-game, and I am so excited for our audience to be able to hear these stories tonight and tomorrow. Break a leg, ladies!     by

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Of Powerful Things

May 1, 2015

This post comes to us from our cause partner Book Harvest and its operations manager and 2013 Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham cast member Daniele Berman. *** Because I’m a lover and teller of stories, I want to tell you one. It’s a story about mothers, about social media, about writers, about curiosity, and about children’s books. (The common thread, I think you’ll find, is that those are all powerful things. And they make for a powerful story.) Once upon a time—is 2013 long enough ago to count as “once upon a time”? all good stories start that way, so let’s say yes—a writer acquaintance of mine posted something on Facebook about submitting some sort of piece of writing to some kind of thing about mothers. That vague description is as much as I knew when I clicked on the link she had shared. But I was curious to see what my writer acquaintance […]

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Meet Beth Messersmith!

April 20, 2015

Beth is open, engaging and appears to have never met a stranger. Her story is incredibly powerful and makes me want to cry, do a cheer and do cartwheels (no one wants that) every time I hear it. She is a powerful woman. Meet Beth! Beth Messersmith came to Durham over 10 years ago thanks to love and now makes her home there: I’m lucky to be married to my best friend and be the mama of two incredible kids-a son and a daughter. Beth works as the NC Campaign Director for When she isn’t working, her hobbies include living room dance parties, activism, and hanging out with her family. We have members of the prior Listen to Your Mother casts to thank for Beth’s participation: Two friends-Ronnie Bower and Stephanie Lormand – who guaranteed it was a life changing experience. Beth describes her reading tastes as eclectic: I like civil rights histories, […]

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