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MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD vignettes on a lifetime of mothering adventures

The cast of Motherhood Out Loud, which runs Aug. 2-10 at Columbia Children’s Theater.
The cast of Motherhood Out Loud, which runs Aug. 2-10 at Columbia Children’s Theater.

Motherhood can be daunting, funny, stressful, exhilarating, terrifying and dozens of other things both describable and indescribable.

The rollercoaster ride of being a mom is portrayed in “Motherhood Out Loud,” a play being performed off-site by Trustus Theatre beginning Aug. 2.

Trustus Theatre is partnering with Columbia Children’s Theatre and performing “Motherhood Out Loud” at Columbia Children’s Theatre inside Richland Mall.

The play has 15 vignettes that take audiences on a lifetime of mothering adventures seen through the eyes mothers who are all experiencing different parenting moments from birth through first days of school and to watching their children become adults.

“This play is a great reflection of motherhood because everyone’s experience is unique,” says Martha Hearn Kelly, the play’s director. “Our struggles, snuggles, triumphs, and heartaches all come together to tell this massive, universal story. The stories are told from the beginning of the motherhood journey and develop as the child grows over time.

“We mark the milestones and grow along with our children. I hope that mothers of all kinds will feel seen by this play.”

Here are some of the mom scenes depicted in “Motherhood Out Loud,” as described by Becky Hunter who plays Actor A and takes on the role of eight different mothers throughout the play:

▪ A laid back mother (odd mom) in the park with her child encountering two “perfect” mothers

▪ The mother of a teenage boy with autism on his first date

▪ The mother of an 11-year-old girl who is buying her first bra

▪ The mother of a daughter bringing home a vegan boyfriend for Thanksgiving

▪ A mom excited about her child’s first day of school

▪ A mother who adopted a Chinese child

▪ A mother-in-law in a bridal shop

▪ A mother talking to her infant daughter about her birth

“I hope that audiences will see how many types of ‘mothers’ there are and realize that, despite the differences, motherhood, in whatever form it takes, is all about loving, guiding, and protecting another person whether you gave birth to them or not,” Hunter says. “Perhaps it will help people understand and change their perceptions and judgements of people experiencing motherhood in ways to which they are not accustomed.”

The book was written by 16 different writers. Kelly, a new mom, felt an “immediate connection” to the play when she saw it on Trustus’ docket.

“Too often the work of mothers goes unnoticed and unappreciated,” Kelly says. “I hope audiences will see that motherhood is the source of all life and it encompasses the entire spectrum of emotions. To be a mom is to be elated, terrified, furious, confused, enlightened, and joyful all in one breath. It is hilarious. It is tender. It is tough.

“And every mother, whether by giving birth, adopting, fostering, being a mentor, by choice, by chance, if you’re a woman, man, fluid — you deserve a big hug and a big drink.”

Hunter says you don’t have to be a mother to enjoy the show.

“I think anyone can relate to the content of this show,” she says. “They may see their parent(s), siblings, other relatives, friends, or themselves in many of the characters. There are some very funny scenes that portray situations we have all experienced whether we gave birth to kids; adopted kids; mother our nieces, nephews, friends, or significant others; or even like kids. It’s funny, moving, insightful, thought-provoking, and eye-opening.”

From the website: “When entrusting the subject of motherhood to such a dazzling collection of celebrated American writers, what results is a joyous, moving, hilarious, and altogether thrilling theatrical event.

“Utterly unpredictable, ‘Motherhood Out Loud’ shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy and celebrates the deeply personal truths that span and unite generations.”

Lezlie Patterson, special to GoColumbia

If you go

When: Aug. 2-10

Times: 7 p.m. Aug. 2-3, Aug. 7-8, Aug. 9-10; 3 p.m. Aug. 4; 2 p.m. Aug. 10

Where: Columbia Children’s Theatre (3400 Forest Drive, inside Richland Mall next to Barnes and Noble)

Tickets: www.trustus.org, or call the Trustus Box Office at (803) 254-9732.