â€œThere is a lot of humor, even in the serious pieces. â€¦ Some of it is like stand-up comedy, and some is like your neighbor baring their soul to you.” â€” Margaret Kaler, director of Motherhood Out Loud
By RENEE UNSWORTH
When moms get together, they often talk about their children, and about their experiences in raising them. In Motherhood Out Loud, seven women and one man will tell these parenting stories on stage Aug. 12-31 in the intimate setting of the Koger-Gamache Studio at Limelight Theatre, a smaller black box space that seats around 75.
Told in a series of vignettes, this play is about parenthood from birth, rearing, letting go, and eventually becoming the parented.
â€œI chose this play because some of the playwrights have written other well-known works,â€ said Beth Lambert, Limelightâ€™s executive director, who also performs one of the monologues in Motherhood.
Writers include Leslie Ayvazian, Brooke Berman, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman and Cheryl L. West.
â€œMichele Lowe wrote Smell of the Kill, which was on stage at Limelight in 2010. Itâ€™s one of my favorite plays,â€ Lambert said.
The Motherhood cast includes Jessica Ferris, Evelyn Lynam, Vandana Bhide, Gisella Nieto, Daphne Cloutier, Dianne Jacoby, Jan BuksarÂ and Beth Lambert.
The director is Margaret Kaler, who has served as a stage manager for several Limelight shows and has directed the Saint George Players in short comedies of 16th playwright Lope De Rueda.
Kaler also directed the Haunted Theatre: Last Act, Woman Inside, Shadows, and student plays while teaching drama. St. Augustine audiences may remember Kaler in history/mystery shows at Raintree Restaurant, in Emily Dickinson: A Powerful Life for Limelight Theatreâ€™s summer festival of one woman shows, or on stage with Tale Tellers of St. Augustine, a storytelling group.
â€œIâ€™m thrilled to be involved in the process of bringing this dynamic collection of new plays (by 14 of todayâ€™s award-winning, breath taking playwrights) to Limelightâ€™s studio theatre,â€ Kaler said.
â€œThe chapters of this play follow the chapters of life from birth through growing up, then coming home again â€” full circle.Â The fugue beginning each chapter gives us an intricate momentary experience of how our individual selves intertwine with all others, whether we are aware of the others or not.â€
Kaler said that Motherhood Out Loud has its fair share of humor and raw emotion.
â€œThere is a lot of humor, even in the serious pieces. â€¦ Some of it is like stand-up comedy, and some is like your neighbor baring their soul to you,â€ she said.Â â€œItâ€™s been great working with these actors â€¦ all bring such skill and emotion and insight to the short plays/pieces.â€
In Motherhood, there are stories about having babies, dealing with your own mother, about adoption, about autism, Alzheimerâ€™s. There are discussions of birth control and gay parenting.
â€œIt seems like itâ€™s a small show, but there are 20 scenes and 43 characters â€¦ and there are just 8 actors. Itâ€™s a show that has a lot of different stories. And they are all very interesting and important,â€ Kaler said.
â€œI love this format.Â It moves fast, cuts deep, and moves on.Â Together these pieces build a many layered, revealing experience of the intimate, intense connection of mother (or parent- biological, adoptive, etc.) to child.â€
Motherhood is on stage through Aug. 31. Show times are 7:30 p.m.Â Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday through Aug. 31. There is a Terrific Tuesday show on Aug. 26.
Tickets are $20 per person, and $25 for two tickets for theÂ Terrific Tuesday show. Limelight Theatre is at 11 Old Mission Ave., in uptown St. Augustine. Free parking is available in the theatre parking lot and street-side. For reservations, call the box office at 904-825-1164 or go to limelighttheatre.org.
Director Margaret Kaler shares several of her favorite quotes from Motherhood Out Loud:
- Â â€œIâ€™m in the back seat of the station wagon on all fours panting like a dog.â€
- â€œMy baby is a sleep terrorist.â€
- â€œIf anyone had told me Iâ€™d be sentenced to five to ten years in the park â€¦ Iâ€™d have stuck with a cat.â€
- â€œFirst day of school.â€Â â€œSix hours to myself for the first time in a decade.â€
- â€œI never asked to be the poster boy for gay parenting.Â I just wanted a child.â€
- â€œI loved a man who had two daughtersâ€¦I wanted them to like me.Â Thatâ€™s a lie.Â I wanted them to love me.â€
- â€œHeâ€™s male, heâ€™s a teenager, and heâ€™s autistic.â€
- â€œMy neighbor bought her son a skateboard and just let him ride it.Â I bought my son a skateboard and ran alongside it.â€