Listen to your mother.” Not only is that oft-uttered phrase very good advice, but it’s also the name of a widely popular, nationally reaching reading series. Created by writer Ann Imig, the shows strive to celebrate motherhood and foster connection while helping the communities in which they’re being performed.
If you go
Listen to Your Mother
2 p.m. Sunday, May 1
Athenaeum Theatre, Chicago
Get off your tickets here!
To date, LTYM has contributed more than $80,000 to charities and non-profits that focus on women and children. (A portion of Chicago’s 2016 ticket sales will benefit Mujeres Latinas en Acción, a non-profit that works to empower and advocate for Latina women.)
So where do the stories come from? Turns out, everyone has a story—and performers share stories that focus on motherhood, whatever that means to the writer. As for the cast, authentic voices aren’t limited to stage training or pageviews in the slightest. (I was lucky enough to be a 2014 cast member and can attest to the magic of the event.)
When asked how the shows differ and evolve from year to year, LTYM Chicago’s co-producer Melisa Wells shares that “everyone’s story is unique…which is always fun.” Co-producer Tracey Becker adds that each year has “a general theme that resonates through most of the pieces. This year’s theme seems to be focusing on Strength.”
In a show designed to make you laugh, cry and immediately want to call your own mom, do they have any favorite moments from past shows? Wells loves the audience’s response and immediate connection. “The ‘Me too!’ moments in the lobby are priceless.”
Becker says: “In 2012, Melisa and I were sitting backstage in the dark as our cast began to go through their pieces. A really good laugh resonated through the auditorium and she and I looked at each other and smiled. We then clicked pretend cameras at each other and took a mental photograph together of that perfect moment. We knew we had brought together something truly special.”