I’m deeply honored (and MEGA-EXCITED, amiright castmates?!) to be performing in Listen to your Mother Chicago this Sunday May 5th! This show, founded by Ann Imig with the goal of “giving mothers day a microphone,” is like no other show I’ve been a part of.
Which,… guys, I’ve done some durational performance art that took place in a women’s public bathroom. Barefoot. So ponder just what the ramifications of that statement must be. Huge.
In fact, the experience of performing specifically as a mother, rather than just a woman who happens to have a kid (“but it will be no big deal, I’ll still be on time and prepared and stuff, so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t see this as a liability”) is a little wild. Being in a room with people whose faces bear the constant, steady looks and laughs of “me too” has been joyous and affirming. Hearing from these women that I respect so much that my voice means something to them is so overwhelmingly good. They are funny, and vibrant, and honest in a way that will cut you deep and leave a mark. These mothers’ stories are transformational.
I’ve learned a ton from the process of writing and rehearsing for this show and I’m excited to share it with whoever shows up. What I can promise is that we are bringing out best – our bravest, best selves — and we’ll offer them up for you to see and hear.
Moreover, we’ll talk about the thing that culture repeatedly asks us not to discuss. The part of our lives we’re asked repeatedly, in subtle and overt ways, to dress up, dress down, dress different to suit someone else’s preference. We’ll be getting real in all of the ways that are uniquely our own about motherhood. We will not be politely sidelined, used as a punch line, or pimped to sell you shit this weekend. We will be heard, speaking the words of our own mind, in a space that’s ours. We will be as powerful as we are and it will almost definitely change you in the good way that art can. Please believe me when I tell you that it will feel like fresh air.
It might even make you a little mad. “Why is this so rare?” It might make you a little jealous in the way that wanting justice can. It might just make you decide that your voice deserves to be heard too.
Just like it’s supposed to.
Just like every good thing does.
I hope you’ll come. Because through listening to these ferociously present, relentlessly truthful women, you might find your mind tuned more clearly to your own voice. And you might find the seed of courage you need to get a little bit louder.