I was so excited – I hadn’t seen the Listen To Your Mother producers Angela Smith Youngblood and Angela Amman since my audition several months ago. The Angelas, as they like to call themselves, filled us in on the production while, one by one, a photographer ushered cast members outside to have our portraits taken. Meanwhile, we casually chatted as we passed cookies and veggies around the table in the Whole Foods community room in Detroit.
In no way did this prepare me for what was about to happen.
Then, without introduction, we each read our stories. What I heard blew me away. And I wasn’t the only one – unfortunately most of us forgot to bring tissues and had to wipe tears away with Whole Foods paper napkins. Eleven courageous women shared their experiences about motherhood, not only as mothers, but as sisters, wives, children, and daughters, too. We cried and laughed with each other. I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment of the show for anyone who plans to attend (get your tickets) but let me assure you, their stories pack a punch. They are real, raw, gutsy, humorous and heartbreaking.
At the end of rehearsal, I felt spent, yet also buoyed. After sharing a story about the lost of my son, being surrounded by love and support from my fellow cast members felt pretty amazing. Sure, I’ve written about it, but speaking it aloud is something new for me. I no longer feel so alone in a grief that still has the power after six years to bring me to my knees.
This is the beginning of a journey for me
“Stories forge bonds between people, strengthen connections, and build community. Motherhood isn’t about one voice; it’s about the different voices that harmonize and overlap in ways you’d never expect, ways that show the similarities, differences, and emotional impact of mothers — both positive and negative. In such a divided world, the Listen To Your Mother show is a catalyst for connection and understanding.”
LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER is national, and this will be the fourth year that Detroit is one of 31 cities nationwide to participate. I’m honored to have been selected to participate.
The performance takes place at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit on April 30; it will feature live readings by real moms from all over metro Detroit. The readings will focus on the beauty, the beast and the barely-rested of motherhood — taking the audience on a well-crafted journey that gives voice to motherhood in all of its complexity, diversity and humor. A portion of the proceeds from the Detroit performance will benefit Cass Community Social Services, a non-profit organization that fights poverty and creates opportunities in Detroit.
• What: Listen To Your Mother, a storytelling performance of motherhood
• When: April 30, 2017 (doors open at 2 p.m.; show begins at 3 p.m.)
• Where: Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E Congress St, Detroit
• Tickets: $15; available now LiveNation.com
• For more info: Visit listentoyourmothershow.com/metrodetroit
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell the truth without shame.
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
2015 Great Midwest Book Fest Honorable Mention.
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters