Although our (sold out!) show hasn’t happened yet (it’s actually on Mother’s Day), Listen To Your Mother has shown me how quickly and strongly the simple sharing of stories binds a community.
A few months ago, we had our first rehearsal. For the most part, the ten women and the lone man who comprise our cast were strangers to one another. Over the next few hours, we ate pizza and listened to each other’s stories. There was laughter. There were tears. A lot of tears. Thankfully there were tissues. There were nods of agreement. There was the sense that each of us, even the most self-doubting of us, belonged in this room full of writers. And while we’re on the topic, let’s admit it. We’re writers. Not people who write sometimes, not people who just happened to write this essay and by golly we just got picked for this show, but writers.
And us writers, we feel afraid that our stories aren’t good enough. That no one will listen to them. And that if anyone does, they won’t like them. And then we get this chance to read our work to a live audience and see just how much they do like our stories. We hear them saying, Me too. And we know it was worth it to share this piece of ourselves.
When we arrived at our next rehearsal, there was easy chatting where there had been nervous glances. We had shared our stories. We opened ourselves up to each other. We had become a community.