Last week, along with other media personnel, Momtrends was invited to attend a special performance of the theatrical play Motherhood Out Loud for its New York Premiere.
I swear, I left the theater feeling as though someone had entered my thoughts, jotted down many of my feelings surrounding motherhood, and dished them back out in the form of a play. And I know exactly why, “Motherhood is suffering, sometimes in silence,” is what the poster read at the entrance of the theater. Well, the writers 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 surely knew how to unpack the suffering and speak on… well, everything.
The play touches upon the raw emotions that is motherhood. With topics such as playground worries and play date woes, a son who likes to dress up as a queen and gay parenting, infertility treatments and adoptive families, the sometimes unstable relationship between mother-in-laws and wives, and thoughts surrounding unplanned pregnancies, nothing seems to be off limits.
One of the first scenes, “Squeeze, Hold, Release,” hilariously touches upon the reasons behind mothers engaging in Kegel exercises. Mothers – especially those who have recently given birth – squeeze, hold, and release their pelvic floor muscles in order for them to stay tight and firm and, ahem “pleasing” to their spouses.
The “squeeze, hold, and release” metaphor reemerges throughout the play as each actor eloquently recounts a time where they squeezed, held, and released their babies turned school-aged children turned teenagers turned adults. To say these monologues were emotional would be an understatement.
As one of the actors recounted, no matter how many times mothers have to squeeze, hold, and release their children – be it the first day of Pre-Kindergarten or the first date, high school graduation or college orientation, the beginning a serious relationship or getting married – it will never get old and mothers will never get over it. Because one sentiment will always ring true, however old our children are, they are still our babies. And their birth will always be ineffable – one moment they weren’t here, and the next, they were. In a word, amazing.
Birth and the process of becoming one’s mother – it’s not an explanation; it’s an experience. And a beautiful one at that, because no matter how many mixed feelings we may have as parents, no matter how many hectic days and frustrating situations, the upside of it all is… our children. You may laugh and you may even tear up a little, but I promise, you will enjoy it. See it, and be moved.
Motherhood Out Loud is directed by Lisa Peterson, and the full cast features Mary Bacon, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Randy Graff and James Lecesne. The performance’s opening night is on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at the 59E59 Theater and the play will run until Saturday, October 29, 2011. Visit the Motherhood Out Loud website for more information and to purchase tickets. Momtrends readers will receive a special discount if you use the code “BWWMOM.”
Alicia Harper, M.A., Ed.M. is a single mother, blogger, and recent graduate of Columbia University. Her life is filled with all things pink, except for the one bit of blue – her rambunctious 3-year-old son. Together they make a great pair, and Alicia blogs about the trials and triumphs of being a young, single mother living in NYC at Mommy Delicious.
Momtrends was not compensated for this post. We did receive tickets for review purposes.