Listen to Your Mother is a national organization that supports cities around the US celebrating motherhood with a live performance of readings. The first year Rochester participated was in 2015 and the event was spearheaded by four beautiful women, Monica Gebell, Emily Horowitz, Sarah Fitzgibbons and Corrie Spike-Carter.
Listen to Your Mother Rochester 2015
This image was featured in the Democrat and Chronicle on May 2nd, 2015.
The second photographed event was the cast’s first read through, which was hilarious and tear jerking. The cast had a huge range of life experience with plenty of material to resonate with everyone.
Then the main event was the performance the Friday night before mother’s day. The cast read to a sold out audience of more than 500 people.
To view more images from the performance click here.
LTYM has been loved on in the local media. Check out all these features from its inaugural year:
Listen to Your Mother Rochester 2016
The follow year, the production team was at it again.
The read through was wildly different but also familiar. The format was the same, but the experience of listening evoked completely different emotions. There were still the hilarious stories and the poignant ones, each woman sharing her own journey providing a group therapy of sorts.
To see more images from the LTYM Rochester Read Through 2016, click here.
The event was moved to a larger venue in 2016 and even though it wasn’t sold out, had an even larger crowd than the year before raising well over $10,000 for charity.
And while the money raising is important, I think the heard of the production team is their belief in the power of story telling. Several LTYM cast members have launched writing careers after being on the LTYM stage.
Like the year before it, LTYM 2016 appeared all over the media again.
News 10 WHEC April 14, 2016
Democrat and Chronicle, April 26, 2016
CityWise City of Rochester NY Mayor’s Office, April 26, 2016
Fox News Rochester, April 27, 2016
Democrat and Chronicle, November 26, 2016
Listen to Your Mother Rochester 2017
Earlier this year, headquarters announced that this would be the final year of LTYM. One production team member moved to Colorado, so a 2016 cast member stepped in for this year’s final performance. This year, the team chose Nazareth College for the production team photos.
This is the 2017 cast at their first read through. This year’s stories took on a different shape than the year before them, and the year before that.
In previous years I have to confess that I didn’t fully grasp the power of LTYM. I was on the outside looking in, not quite grasping the power of story. This year, shortly after the cast read through, on the day of the meet and greet happy hour, and just 18 days before the show, my 12 year old son died.
I wrote this. It was a story meant to be shared and it was shared widely.
As a result of our story – both the telling and the witnessing, the cast and production team wrapped me in a giant group hug. One by one they came up and asked me about Christian and the experience of losing him. They sent me cards, gave me flowers, brought me dinner, and gave us one of the most unexpected and generous gifts we’ve ever received. We were floored.
And that’s when I understood Listen to Your Mother.
The power of story is bigger than we know.
LTYM will be back next year either with the same name or a different one. Stay tuned!