“Motherhood Out Loud” opens at West T. Hill Thursday

Published 7:28 am Saturday, May 7, 2022

By: Brenda Edwards, contributing writer

A play about the many phases of motherhood will kick off the 2022 season next week at West T. Hill Community Theatre, which is at 117 Larrimore Lane.

“Motherhood Out Loud” is a collection of short plays that tells the hilarious, touching and sometimes agonizing story of motherhood, covering many different angles from cradle to grave, according to directors Mary Carol Porter and Jean Crawford.

Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. on May 12-14 and 3 p.m. on May 15.

“We are thrilled to be directing this show during the theatre’s 2022 season,” said Porter. “It is timely after we have celebrated Mother’s Day.”

Stories from 14 playwrights are curated into themed chapters of the play.

“In Fast Births we witness the miracle of life followed by a new mom receiving unwanted sex advice from her own mother,” said Porter. “First Day  introduces us to gay dads, adoption, and a mother coping with her child’s gender identity. Other chapters cover sex talks, step-motherhood, first dates, leaving the nest, marriage, and adulthood.

The directors agreed that production takes all common experiences of motherhood and parenting in general and explores them through insightful monologues and scenes full of comedy, passion, and angst to reach common truths across parenting, generation, and cultures.”

The local community theater produced the show about a decade ago when Karen Logue directed the show. It was performed as readers’ theater with a reading with actors on stools and scripts on music stands.

“I had the privilege of acting in that production,” Porter said. “I’ve always wanted to produce the show again, but as a fully staged production like this one.”

Parenting experiences in today’s society are celebrated, she said.

“We hope the audience will walk away having a greater appreciation of what modern day parents might be dealing with. Parenting is not formally taught, but parents are lifelong learners who continuously grow through unique experiences with their own children. There are no perfect parents, but there are parents who strive everyday to do the very best they can under a myriad of circumstances and challenges.

“No one ever said parenting would be easy, but parents of all kinds desperately want to do their very best each day to make a positive difference in the lives of their children.”

The play contains adult language and themes.

Diverse group of actors

“As directors it was of the greatest importance to us that Jean and I cast a diverse group of talented individuals,” said Porter.

“It was essential that our cast reflect our social world…or community. The more similar our actors are to our community, the more West T. Hill will truly be a ‘community’ theatre for all. We have actors, musicians, and vocalists that are of all ages, genders, and sexual orientation.

“We have a beautiful ‘melting pot’ of different races, ethnicities, religions, as well as actors from unique cultural backgrounds. We feel that we cast this show extraordinarily well.

“The stories and characters have come to life through very unique abilities and stage presence that all of our performers encompass. They are vastly different and beautifully pieced together to create a unique experience for both the audience and the performers. Our hope is to help others understand this ‘brave new world’ that “Motherhood Out Loud” seamlessly brings to life.”

The ensemble cast includes eight females and four males: Skylar Hensley, Christine Trevino, Jennifer Lucas, Beth Marlowe, Londyn Jackson, Madison Porter, Mary Carol Porter, Jean Crawford, Mark Porter, John “Buck” Rogers, Steve Rinehart and Jonah Cline.

Some of the cast are new to the performing arts or new to the stage. Vocalists are Rinehart, Hensley, Jackson, Williams, Lucas and  Elliott and Amanda Porter, will provide special music related to the theme of the show.

Williams also will entertain with music and singing during intermission.

The production team behind the scenes are: Madison Porter, stage manager; Chuck Taylor, technical director; Jean Crawford, Mary Carol Porter, Steve Rinehart and Bradley Logan, set design and construction; and  stage crew, Rinehart and  Mark Porter.

The 3 p.m. Sunday matinee will have an ASL interpreter for the performance.

The $13 tickets are on sale at http://westthill.net.