Listen To Your Mother Returns to San Francisco in 2015!

by Janine Kovac on December 1, 2014

Listen To Your Mother (LTYM) returns to San Francisco in 2015 for a fourth fabulous year!

Announcing the LTYM producing and directorial debut of Laurel HiltonMarianne Lonsdale, Janine Kovac, and Mary Hill. We spend our not-so spare time writing with other moms and sharing stories of motherhood. We’re excited and honored to carry the LTYM torch for the Bay Area!

First order of business is to offer a virtual round of applause to Kim Thompson Steel and Kirsten Patel who brought the LTYM megaphone to San Francisco three years ago and produced three fantastic and inspiring shows. Our announcement wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t thank them for the nurturing way they collected submissions and listened to scores of mothers (and a couple of dads) share their stories. Thank you! 

What is LTYM?

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER features live readings by local writers on the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood in celebration of Mother’s Day.

Born of the creative work of mothers who publish on-line, each production is directed, produced, and performed by local communities, for local communities. A portion of ticket proceeds is given to a local charity that in turns supports local mothers and children.

What’s Next?

Are you a mother? Do you have a mother? Do you know a mother? We want your stories! Submissions will open in January. Stay tuned! We’ll post our official call as well as audition dates, rehearsal dates, and our performance date here.

San Francisco is one of 39 cities participating in this nation-wide celebration of motherhood.

You can view the 2015 national LTYM announcement here.

ONE EPIC BOOK!! (Pre-order now)

The LTYM anthology comes out on April 7th, 2015 and you can pre-order it from one of these vendors today!


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2014 Video Release

by kim on August 5, 2014

photo by damian steel


It is hard to believe that the 2014 Listen To Your Mother season is behind us, and that the video release of 32 cities worth of shows is now live on YouTube.  I was just at Blogher 2014 last week and was so grateful to help out at the Open Mic hosted by Ann Imig – it was this event four years ago that prompted me to apply to co-direct the first San Francisco show in 2012 with Kirsten.  We thank all of you for coming along on this ride with us each year.

We are so grateful to our 2014 cast – each one of them not only talented storytellers but open-hearted, generous people.  We feel lucky to know them and are proud to share the videos of each of their readings here.  If you couldn’t be at our show in May, here is the next best thing!

In the order they presented their words that night:

Christine Canty – “Composite Mothering – who ponders whether motherhood is in her future and decides perhaps it’s the mothers who really need “mothering.”

Thais Derich – “Mom CEO” – who delivers an unfiltered take on mothering boys and how priorities shift when we become parents.

Karen Lynch – “The Road To Kyra” – with a beautiful reminder that there is more than one road to motherhood.

Kim Thompson Steel – “Sliding Down Rainbows” – with a reminder to savor the magic of childhood.

Lisa Orta – “Listen To Your Mother” – about how to mother your child into resilient adulthood.

Steven Friedman – “Lies No More” – who mourns the loss of his relationship with his mother, even when it’s complicated.

Risa Nye- “A Letter To My Grownup Daughter” – who reminds us that we never stop mothering, no matter how old our kids get.

Gina Perkins – “Harder” – who tells her story of unconditionally loving a spirited child.

Tracy Momaical – “Mama’s Backpack of Guilt” – who reminds us that we’re not alone shouldering the hilarious burdens of mothering.

Kirsten Patel – “East Meets West” – who shares that when we marry the loves of our lives, we marry their families too.

Angelisa Russo – “Caledonia” – who sings and speaks her way through the grief of a lost child.

Francie Low – “Cool For A Mom” – who shares that being cool is in the eye of the beholder. Or in the eyes of teenage sons.

Jessica O’Dwyer – “My Mother, The Rockette” – with a touching tribute to her mother who gave her the freedom to choose her own path in life.


And here are links to the videos of the other 32 cities!  So many stories, we urge you to hear each and every one.

Atlanta AustinBaltimoreBostonBoulderCharlestonChicagoDCDenverIndianapolisKansas CityLittle RockMadison Metro DetroitMilwaukeeNashvilleNorth JerseyNorthern Utah Northwest IndianaNYCOklahoma CityPlumas CountyPortlandRaleigh-DurhamSacramentoSan FranciscoSoutheast TexasSpokaneSt. LouisThe OCTwin Cities

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It’s A Wrap!

May 17, 2014

On May 3rd, we took the stage at the Brava Theater Center with our 11 brave cast members who charmed the audience with their stories of the joy, heartbreak, and rollercoaster ride of motherhood. That amazing night would not have been possible without the support of our national LTYM sponsors BlogHer and Chevy, as well as our local sponsors C&H Realty and ITK Culinary. Our sincere appreciation to Inez Whitlow from Chicks in Crisis for her support of Listen To Your Mother.  10% of ticket proceeds from our well-attended show go to support this great cause. Visit their website to learn more about all the good they are doing to support troubled teens and mothers in the Bay Area and beyond. We are grateful to our husbands, Jeetil Patel and Damian Steel as well as our kids: Macy, Avery, Anders, and Sophie who keep us laughing (and crying) and provide us with endless material.  Our thanks also go out […]

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Cast Spotlight – Jessica O’Dwyer

May 1, 2014

We are back with our last (but certainly not least!) spotlight on cast member Jessica O’Dwyer. Jessica is the mother of two children, ages 12 and 9. She moved to the Bay Area from San Diego in 2001 to marry her husband. Apparently her husband express-mailed her a loaf of hand-baked bread while they were dating long distance…. we’d move in those circumstances too! She is bi-coastal as she grew up at the Jersey shore and also lived for a time in Los Angeles. Jessica’s published memoir, Mamalita, is about the six months she spent in Antigua, Guatemala while adopting her daughter. She says the best gift she has ever given someone is that book, to her parents. She is a member of the writing group, the Write On Mamas, which is where she first heard about LTYM.  (The Write On Mamas have a new anthology just published, to which Jessica contributed some […]

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Cast Spotlight – Francie Low

April 30, 2014

Today we are shining our spotlight on Francie Low. Francie is mom to two boys, 15 year old TJ and 13 year old Alex. She tell us of her boys, “they are complete opposites but both sweet when they need to be.  They are dark like their dad Tony.  Nobody believes I’m their mom.” Francie brought her husband and boys to Listen To Your Mother San Francisco last year and they actually admitted to enjoying the show. Francie moved to the Bay Area from Colorado 25 years ago. She wanted big city life and chose San Francisco because of the wine. Excellent reasoning Francie! Three words she would use to describe herself are upbeat, athletic, and sincere. We would like to have lunch with Francie’s mom and pick her brain for advice.  Francie describes her mom as a planner, witty, and stubborn. She explains, “I am one of seven kids which explains why […]

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