Welcome to #LTYM San Francisco Bay Area!

Meet the cast!

On May 13th at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 11 storytellers took the stage with power and grace, captivating the audience with the complexities and the realities of motherhood.

2017 cast

photo by Ian Tuttle Photography

For Mary, Janine and myself, the 2017 Listen To Your Mother season was a rollercoaster of emotion: nostalgia, elation, sadness, pride, it was all so bittersweet. We felt each turn more deeply, from the submissions to the rehearsals to the show itself: an opening of our hearts and our stories, while at the same time, closing a chapter.

It was a powerful evening, as always, but each year has its own feel, and this year felt intense, emotional and brilliant. The theme that emerged in our stories this year was that of “Identity and Courage” and I’m so proud of our cast for the strength to share their stories.

cast in line

photo by Ian Tuttle Photography


To these amazing women for their powerhouse performances. It was a privilege working with each of you and accompanying you on this journey.

To Ian Tuttle for capturing each moment of the night with his beautiful photography.

To BlogHer & SheKnows Experts Among Us, our North American media sponsor, and of course, to our fabulous local sponsors, without whose support the show wouldn’t have been possible:

To Sara Marshall Flowers for our gorgeous on-stage arrangements!

To Elizabeth at Riva Letterpress for her perfect gifts of letterpress stationary to our cast!

To Boo Koo Restaurant for our delicious cast dinner!

To DanSpace for East Bay audition space!

To  The Hivery for North Bay audition and rehearsal space!

To A’Driane Nieves, for being the best emcee a show could have!

To Ann Imig, our National Director, for her inspiration, tenacity, brilliance and big heart. And to our entire National Team, we deeply appreciate all of the work you’ve done on our behalf.

And to you, San Francisco, thank you. What a wonderful six years this has been.

photo by Ian Tuttle Photography

photo by Ian Tuttle Photography

Keep telling your stories,

xoxo Tarja, Janine, and Mary

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Last year, Janine came to me and said, “I think I’ve found our Emcee for the 2017 show!” I was so excited when Janine told me her name because I knew this woman. If you’re in the blogging world – or were in the blogging word – you know this woman. I heard her speak at the BlogHer Conference in San Jose as a BlogHer Voice of the Year and she was electric, powerful. Janine felt it too when she heard this woman read at LitQuake. And of course, there was the Listen To Your Mother connection: she performed in LTYM Austin and is a huge fan of the show.

So when we popped the question and she said ‘yes,’ it would be an understatement to say we were ecstatic.


Introducing the Emcee of the Listen To Your Mother San Francisco’s Grand Finale show…


Adriane_Nieves copy

A’Driane Nieves is a USAF veteran, artist, activist, and speaker with a heart for serving others and social good. She’s also a mental health advocate living with bipolar disorder, and runs an online platform and mental health support group for women of color called Tessera Collective. She empowers women to transform brokenness in their lives into power and beauty, and works to amplify the voices and experiences of those marked as Other in society.

As a writer, she has been honored as a BlogHer Voice of the year and invited to speak at several writers conferences including BlogHer and Mom 2.0. From 2013-2015 she was a contributing editor to Postpartum Progress, the most widely read blog on maternal mental health. She has spoken at the Austin ensemble of Listen to Your Mother, and in 2015, received an Iris Award nomination for Most Thought-Provoking Content. In 2016, A’Driane received two Iris award nominations in the categories of both Influencer of the Year and Most Thought-Provoking Content. As a visual artist, she participated in an exhibition & Q&A on social justice at the 2015 Wild Goose Festival.

Most recently she was featured alongside Bono as a ONE Campaign activist and volunteer for Glamour Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” issue, where Bono was awarded their first ever “Man of the Year’ award for his work on gender equity and extreme poverty.

She believes creating and viewing visual art that addresses difficult topics can serve as a catalyst for personal growth and social change. Her work has been featured on BlogHer, Everyday Feminism, Upworthy, Buzzfeed, Mashable, and MISC Magazine.

She lives in California with her robotics-loving husband and three boys.


Thank you, A’Driane, for giving your time and energy to our final show! Our audience is in for such a treat next Saturday, May 13th. Three cheers for #WomenCelebratingWomen!

See you there.


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Final Cast Spotlight: Allison & Julie!

May 2, 2017

Next weekend is our big show! I’m practically bouncing in my chair as I type this. The excitement is building and I can’t wait for you to hear the words of our 2017 grand finale cast! We had a wonderful second rehearsal (stay tuned!) and the cast continues to click. It was evident to me and Janine that the magic was working – and we are so ready to share it with you. The early-bird ticket pricing ends next Monday, May 8th, so take advantage and get your tickets right HERE. And now onward to meet the last two members of our talented group of readers. While Allison is part of our East Bay cast contingent and Julie hails from the city, both are from #AwesomelyTalented, with roots going back to #StorytellingStar. __________ ALLISON STOCKMAN Allison Stockman is a writer with a peripatetic streak—she has lived and worked in New York City, Utah, […]

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Cast Spotlight: Claire and Emma!

April 24, 2017

Our big show is in 19 days! I am both counting down (why isn’t there an advent calendar for Listen To Your Mother?!) and in complete denial that the grand finale is almost here. We had our second rehearsal yesterday and I can’t wait to tell you all about it – stay tuned for an upcoming blog post. Here is our next Cast Spotlight post introducing Claire Hennessy and Emma Carlson! ____________ CLAIRE HENNESSY Claire Hennessy moved from the UK to live in California in 2008, the shock of which propelled her to start writing as a form of cheap therapy. She is currently editing her humorous memoir about how she and her husband reunited after not seeing each other for 30 years. She is a founding member of the Write On Mamas, has been published in two anthologies, Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit and Nothing But The Truth […]

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Cast Spotlight: Bridgette and Shea!

April 17, 2017

Happy Easter, Passover, Full Moon, and International Moment of Laughter Day (that’s real, look it up)! Next weekend is our second rehearsal and I can’t wait to see our cast again. Post cards have been printed and the excitement is building for this last great Listen To Your Mother San Francisco show. You bought your tickets, right? Don’t wait until the week before when the price goes up. And now, the second in our Cast Spotlight series, I would like to introduce you to Bridgette and Shea! Bridgette comes to us all the way from Sacramento and Shea hails from Janine’s own neighborhood in the East Bay. _________ BRIDGETTE WHITE Bridgette White is a mother of two, writer, blogger, leather crafter and walking contradiction. She writes about her struggles with depression, motherhood, travel, creativity and body image. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Mamalode, Scary Mommy and Mighty Girl. She […]

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