We are so excited to be bringing LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER back to Baton Rouge for a second year!
Every year in the two weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, in cities across the nation, locals tell their own stories in a 90 minute live-reading show celebrating and validating motherhood. The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show is to take audiences on a well-crafted journey giving voice to motherhood in all of its complexity, diversity and humor. They include hyper-local sponsorship and give back financially to a local non-profit, in our case, the Emerge Center.
Does this sound like something you want to see? How about participate in? Auditions are being scheduled right now!
Whether you had a mom, are a mom, know a mom, were raised by a grandma/auntie/sister/friend, wherever you come from and whoever you are, your story matters and we would love to hear it!
LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: Baton Rouge is looking for a diverse collection of people to read their own words about motherhood at the Manship Theatre on May 1, 2016. All ages and experience levels are invited to audition and non-mothers are welcome (yes- men, too)!! This isn’t just for bloggers or professional writers; this show is for anyone with a story to tell about motherhood, whatever that looks like to you.
Make sure motherhood is the star focus of your piece. It can be glorious and gutsy, hilarious or heart-wrenching, and it must be a true story written by you. Previously published work is accepted if you retain the rights/have express permission to use the piece. Your piece should last no more than 5 minutes spoken aloud. Less is fine! Do not memorize your work.
You must be able to commit to two rehearsals (March 19 & April 16) as well as be available from 11am-7pm on show day, May 1, 2016. Auditions are by APPOINTMENT ONLY on Thursday, February 11 from 4-8pm and Saturday, February 13 from 10am-2pm in Baton Rouge. Bring your own original humorous, poignant, or soulful words about any variation of motherhood as you know it.
**TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT** send an email to Meghan at email@example.com with “Audition” as the subject line. Please include your name and availability during the listed times. Appointments will be first come, first served until all slots are filled. Or feel free to fill out this online form and the director will get back with you to schedule your audition!
So what are you waiting for! Grab your audition spot today!
Baton Rouge Moms Contributors,
Meghan Matt – LTYM Director & Audrey Hayworth LTYM Producer
ANN IMIG is the founder and national director of the live-reading series and video sharing company Listen To Your Mother. A Stay-At-Home Humorist, Ann’s writing has been featured all over the internet, on sites like CollegeHumor, The Huffington Post, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She writes the blog Ann’s Rants, which has been named a Babble Top 100 Mom Blog, A BlogHer Voice of the Year, and a SheKnows Top 5 Funniest Mom Blog. Ann lives with her husband and children in Madison, Wisconsin. Ann eagerly anticipate the release of the LTYM Anthology Listen To Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now from Putnam Books, April 7, 2015.
MEGHAN MATT- Director/Producer- is a native Baton Rougean and home schooling mom of four. Two years ago she and her largish family went on an adventure and moved to Brooklyn, NY. There she finally was able to discover the inner freedom she had been chasing for years and learned to embrace her true self. She is passionate about all things motherhood and serves the women of her area as a certified birth doula. She hopes to help other women embrace the wild ride that is motherhood and be confident in their intuition and instincts. Meghan was a “crunchy” mom before it was trendy and is also obsessed with social justice, orphan care, racial equality, Africa… and fashion. She has been blogging for close to ten years and has plans to write books and children’s tales chronicling the craziness that has been her life. You can find her at The Free Bird Sings and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook under the same name. Meghan is beyond excited to bring this show to Baton Rouge and share this incredible experience with the dynamic people of the community she loves.
ROBIN PALMER BLANCHE– After graduating from Boston University, Robin moved to Hollywood and began working as an assistant in the television department of the William Morris Agency. She spent the next decade as a TV literary agent, producer, and executive at Lifetime Television, where she developed more than 100 scripts and oversaw the production of over 30 of the cable network’s original movies. In 2001, she regained (or lost, depending on who you ask) her sanity and quit her job, started selling her Jimmy Choos on eBay to pay the rent, and began writing. While publishing 11 Young Adult and Middle Grade novels, she moved to New York and began writing screenplays and television pilots. In 2012, while producing a film in New Orleans, she met her husband and moved to Louisiana. Her daughter Colette- who was born this February- is hands down her best production.
AUDREY HAYWORTH- Audrey is a writer and blogger at sassmouth.net (formerly mischiefandshenanigans.com). She has contributed to several websites, including the Huffington Post, and will be a contributing author to an upcoming anthology being released this summer. She is a Baton Rouge transplant via her husband, Eric, and has embraced the town that has everything that is good (family, friends, food and an international airport within an hour drive). Audrey and Eric have two young boys who keep them on their toes. Audrey is excited to participate in the Listen to Your Mother Show, when it will be apparent to everyone that she has no clue what she is doing as a mother. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
RENEE CUTNO KENNEDY- Renée is the second of seven children who were deliberately reared by their innovative and lesson-teaching parents Michael and Laneir. Renée considers herself a “student of life”. She has learned her most valuable lessons from women sharing their stories. With an obedient yet reluctant spirit, Renée is discovering how sharing her own story is a necessary reciprocal response of gratitude to all those who contribute to her development. Mother, Sister, Writer, Student, Daughter, Friend, Coach, Speaker, Storyteller, and Server are some of the roles Renée takes on daily. Her children Beyla, Ramses, Divya, and Pilar are constant reminders and motivation to stay focused on what’s most important to Renée: Love. Truth. Understanding.
WHITNEY ANDRUS- Whitney is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with her Bachelor of Interior Design. After wandering along I-10 she finally made her home in Baton Rouge. Her passions lie in playground sports, keeping a messy home (much to the dismay of her husband), drinking lots of caffeine, dancing in the kitchen and making people smile. She works downtown for Chenevert Architects and devotes all the time she can to her family, her two weenie dogs and the urge to never stop creating. She’s also unnaturally obsessed with pelicans. She believes that in the south people are rich in their stories and southern narratives. You can follow her little family’s southern narrative at Four Pelicans, or on Twitter or Facebook.
KAY RONE WILSON- Kay is a special education consultant with a passion for issues surrounding social justice, equality, and diversity. Although Kay is an educator she also considers herself a cultural anthropologist. As a Detroit native, Kay grew up surrounded by people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds which shaped her obsession with all forms of culture including music, religion, and art. Kay is also a self-proclaimed product junky and craft cocktail aficionado. Kay landed in Louisiana after falling for a guy from New Orleans whom she married and they have one daughter. In her spare time she enjoys festival hopping around Louisiana, traveling and gardening. Kay’s random musings can be found on Instagram.
LISHA FINK– Mom to three sons and wife to one husband, Lisha lives her happily-ever-after in the suburbs of New Orleans, where she writes, works, plays, and worships. There she spends her time searching for joy in the midst of chaos and learning lessons from everyday events. A mild-mannered accountant by day, Lisha channels her creativity through her writing. Her experiences are chronicled on her blog, LishaWrites.com and she is a frequent contributor to MidlifeBoulevard.com. Her essays have also appeared on Mamapedia.com and as guest posts on web sites and blogs world-wide. She is currently working on her first novel. To join the conversation, visit her blog or Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.
KHAYRIYYAH CUTNO– Khayriyyah (pronounced kah-REE-uh) is a native of New Orleans and the sixth in a family of seven children. After earning few degrees from LSU and after spending several years in education as a counselor in Baton Rouge, she is now in pursuit of her doula certification. She the founder of Moms and Martinis and the writer behind The Lemonade Lady blog. But all anybody really needs to know is that she’s Eli’s mama.
MIRANDA BROWN- Miranda is a certified nurse midwife and single mom to two precious little boys- Logan, 3, and Duncan, 4 months. They are a busy little family, often on the go exploring the world around them. Her passions include breastfeeding, intactivism, and attachment parenting and in her free time (after both boys are successfully sleeping), Miranda loves to express her creative side and preserve sweet memories through scrapbooking. She has lived in the greater Baton Rouge area for just over three years and after having lived all over the country, it is the first place that feels like home.
DAPHNE WHITLEY- Daphne spent the first twenty years of her life convinced that there was nothing worse than living in a small town in Florida. She’s spent the rest of her life happily living in Pensacola. Irony is generally not lost on her. She has been married to her political nemesis and best friend for twelve years and together they try and survive the chaos that is life with their two daughters. By day, she is a software developer but since she does her best coding between midnight and 2:00 a.m., it should more appropriately be called her night job. Some of her favorite things are spending time with the Girl Scout troop she’s lucky enough to co-lead, the fifth grade boys she reads with twice a month, and the amazing tribe she calls her friends and family. She comes from a long line of storytellers and hopes that somehow she manages to capture the beauty of her family’s life in words and pictures. You can find her at www.absolutepoppycock.com.
ELLEN MECHOLSKY- Ellen was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. In college she majored in English with an emphasis in non-fiction writing. Afterward, she taught high school English, developing a creative writing class at the school where she taught. After getting married and having two daughters, Ellen stopped writing pretty much altogether (aside from frantically trying to capture every adorable thing each of her children did on the closest scrap of paper). Being a part of this show is exciting because it is not only an opportunity to share an important story, but it marks her return to writing after a six-year mommy-hiatus. Ellen’s other hobbies include margaritas, cat-collecting, coffee dates with friends, nesting, binge-watching TV shows with her husband, reading, listening to Josh Ritter, and brownie sundaes.
HANNAH BIRCHMAN– Hannah left her Ohio roots for Louisiana 7 years ago to marry her husband Taylor and is now a stay-at-home mom to 6 girls (with only 4.5 years between the oldest and the triplets). Before having children, Hannah taught overseas, in NYC, and in EBR and she is currently active in MOPS, La Leche League, The Vineyard church, and is co-leader of ICAN and Improving Birth, Baton Rouge. She is unashamed at how she keeps her house and tells her husband that their messy home is her “ministry” to other moms. She enjoys cooking, sewing, embroidery, blogging at A Mother’s Musings and playing volleyball (in all her free time). She loves her community and is so thankful for where God has placed her family in this enjoyable, but oh so exhausting, season of their lives.
Listen To Your Mother is giving away two tickets to the show coming up May 3rd! Please use the rafflecopter below to enter and earn extra entries!
I saw the call out for auditions somewhere on Facebook. My desire to tell a story took over and I emailed for a spot. I didn’t tell anyone I was auditioning. If I didn’t get chosen, I couldn’t tell anyone of the rejections. After all, I am not a mom. Who was I too tell Baton Rouge what I know of motherhood? I got the email less than a week later, I had been chosen to read in that show. I was excited, but I don’t think the full extent of what I was participating in had hit me yet. It did on March 21st.
It was a rough day March 21st. I woke up feeling clammy, but today was the day I got to meet 12 other women I got to speak next to in the Baton Rouge Listen To Your Mother production and there were pictures to be taken which meant I had to fix my hair. My hair that hadn’t been washed in 4 days. Dry shampoo wasn’t going to cut it. So I washed and I blow-dryed and I laid my 21 week pregnant exhausted body under my full blast ceiling fan. I couldn’t cool off. I kept moving. I put on the only outfit that I felt like made me look pregnant as opposed to eating too many cheeseburgers. I headed out the door. First stop brunch.
As I sat through brunch I could feel my belly rumbling. I hadn’t been sick all pregnancy. Could this late onset morning sickness? I ate my food and my friend and I left. Next stop rehearsals, except….half a block down I just looked at my friend with a face of desperation and asked her to pull over. My cute outfit, my washed hair was now covered in my brunch. I will spare you the other details. I was heartbroken, these moms were going to meet me in my second choice outfit, with remnants of my own brunch in my hair. I looked in the mirror to see mascara running down my face. No more lipstick to be had. My hair…oh my hair, but I drove downtown. I already didn’t feel like I belonged, but now, A SECOND CHOICE OUTFIT (a second choice outfit at a very swollen 21 weeks is not acceptable in my hormonal brain). Then I sat at a table with 12 other women, 12 other moms.
Among the initial thoughts of, “Oh my goodness, do I belong here?” There was also a sense of belonging. I moved to Baton Rouge a year and a half ago and never really felt I found a place. At that table I had my place, it was labeled with my name on it. There was my place at a table of moms. As the introductions went around, I felt the rumble coming again, but I couldn’t leave. These women read their pieces and my heart grew three sizes. Each story I found myself holding on to each and every word, cherishing them. These words were tiny piece of these mothers’ heart and as each story was read, I realized something. This wasn’t just a show about motherhood. This was a show about being a wife. Being a daughter. Being a child. This was a show of gratitude and hope. This was a show of celebration and choosing joy. This was a show that my quasi “not a mother” self found her place in. This was a show for the feminist, the non-feminist. This was a show that summed up the personality of the south I had come to know and love perfectly. This was a show that allowed me to forget that my mascara was gone, my lipstick was lying along Jefferson Highway and my stomach turned with ferociousness that could only mean bad seafood from the night before. I belonged at this table, second choice outfit and all.
As I left that rehearsal, I couldn’t help but be prideful. I get to stand up on a stage on May third and tell Baton Rouge my story of motherhood and I get to do it with the camaraderie of 12 women I had never met before a fateful Saturday of food poisoning and new friendships. To say I am proud is an understatement. Maybe I am not technically a mom, but I do have a story to tell about motherhood, step-motherhood and having a mom. If I belonged at that table, I can assure you, you will find yourself belonging in that theatre as one by one, these ladies share their stories of life.
This is the first year that Listen to Your Mother is coming to Baton Rouge. I hope you will find yourself heading over here and getting a ticket to hear these stories on May 3, 2015 at 2pm. The show will take place at the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge. The show will benefit Hope House. You can read all about the cast and sponsors on the Listen to Your Mother Baton Rouge website. You can purchase your ticket on Manship Theatre’s website or clicking here.
We are so excited to share that LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER is coming to Baton Rouge! This is a 90 minute live-reading show that consists of locals telling their stories about motherhood.
The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER production is to take the audience on a well-crafted journey that celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood–in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor.
LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER aims to support motherhood creatively through artistic expression, and also financially–through contributions to non-profit organizations supporting families in need.
This movement started five years ago in Indiana and has grown to include shows across America. There will be 39 shows this year nationwide spanning from San Francisco, to Austin, to Chicago, to New York and everywhere in between! We hope this will become an annual production here in Baton Rouge as it has become in so many other unique and diverse places across the country.