Tag Archives: listen to your mother

Listen To Your Mother Returns To The Colony Theatre

Listen To Your Mother: Burbank returns for one night only on Tuesday, May 2, at The Colony Theatre. The show highlights local voices with a 90-minute long performance of touching and humorous stories of motherhood.

The cast of both seasoned professionals and new writers includes recently retired Burbank Community Development Director Ruth Davidson-Guerra, Burbank Mayor’s Youth Task Force member and Leadership Burbank Alum Roe Leone, John Burrroughs High School junior Marlena Skrabak, Moth GrandSlam champion and Burbank environmental activist Vicki Juditz and JBHS parents Jules Ford, Joanna Peresie and Analucia Prather.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“Giving voice to these funny, touching and powerful stories is an absolute honor and Taia (Perry) and I have been delighted to be part of the Listen To Your Mother National storytelling project for the last two years,” commented Burbanker Suzanne Weerts, who produces and directs the show.

“We’re proud to be partnering with Family Service Agency and to bring awareness to their services and the importance of changing life stories by seeking help when needed.”

Including donations and ticket sales, Listen To Your Mother: Burbank raised approximately $3000 for the Family Service Agency last year.

“Though I acted all through high school and did theater and improv comedy in college, I set aside the notion of performing when I became a mother,” said first-time performer Ford. “As a full-time mom of three boys, there just wasn’t enough time.”

“Now that my kids are older and less needy, I decided to take a tentative step back onto the stage by auditioning for LTYM, a place where it’s possible to combine the foibles of mothering with the fun of performance,” she added. “I’m thrilled to be included with the inspiring, funny and touching women in this show. It’s an amazing night of storytelling benefiting an incredibly important cause.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

While Peresie, who performed in both last year’s show and this year’s, has been writing her entire life, she never shared one of her stories out loud until she auditioned for Listen to Your Mother in 2016.

“It was such an amazing experience, meeting all of these incredible writers, laughing and crying with them and working our way through our collective stage fright, that I couldn’t wait to audition again,” said Peresie. “I’m glad I did”

“We have such a talented group of storytellers in our 2017 show. I’m honored to take the stage with them, and I can’t wait for our community to hear their powerful, hilarious, sometimes painful, always beautiful words.”


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“Witnessing the process our storytellers go through to bring their pieces to the stage and the personal evolution and empowerment they experience is truly rewarding,” added Weerts.

“I’ve been in numerous storytelling shows around Southern California over the past few years, but it is far more meaningful for me to offer the opportunity to others to share their truths and take the rest of us along on their journeys. Storytelling connects us and I think we crave connection, now perhaps more than ever.”

The “new stories range from the funny as one mom attempts to raise responsible young men to the challenging as another mother shares her experiences coming to terms with autism,” Weerts said. “This collection of stories is powerful and poignant, hilarious and heartbreaking with a beautiful diverse cast!”

Tickets are $25 and are available at http://listentoyourmothershow.com/burbank/. The show begins at 7:00 p.m. and runs straight through, without an intermission.

Listen To Your Mother Burbank Honors Moms And Supports Family Service Agency

 Listen To Your Mother Burbank takes The Colony Theatre stage for one show Sunday evening, May 1, at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds from the story-telling event about motherhood by local writers benefits Burbank’s Family Service Agency.

“Our cast includes a BUSD teacher, mothers of teens and moms of young children, women who have lost their mothers or lost children, a woman who never wanted to have children and a man sharing a great memory of his mother,” explained co-producer and co-director Suzanne Weerts.

Front Row: Juanita Mantz, Pat Willson, Ashley Alteman, Joanna Peresie, Courtney Crane. Back Row: Co-Director/Producer Taia Perry, Pam Bassuk, Lori Pacino, Angela Riggs, Hedia Anvar, Richard Donatone, Ellen Ancui, Shari Wendt, Suzanne Skrabak, Co-Director/Producer Suzanne Weerts, Family Service Agency's Laurie Bleick. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Front Row: Juanita Mantz, Pat Willson, Ashley Alteman, Joanna Peresie, Courtney Crane. Back Row: Co-Director/Producer Taia Perry, Pam Bassuk, Lori Pacino, Angela Riggs, Hedia Anvar, Richard Donatone, Ellen Ancui, Shari Wendt, Suzanne Skrabak, Co-Director/Producer Suzanne Weerts, Family Service Agency’s Laurie Bleick. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Listen To Your Mother is a national show featuring stories about motherhood that began in Madison, Wisconsin in 2010, explained Weerts. “This year Listen To Your Mother shows will take place in 41 cities across North America in the two weeks prior to Mother’s Day and Burbank is one of only two cities – San Francisco is the other one – in California where motherhood is being given a microphone.”

“I have been involved in the local story-telling community for the past two years, writing pieces and sharing them at Story Salon and Expressing Motherhood,” added Weerts. When I discovered the opportunity to produce Listen To Your Mother, I decided to add directing to my event-planning wheelhouse and am so thrilled to give our cast of thirteen the space to share their hilarious and often powerfully poignant stories.”

“It is also a wonderful way to draw attention to the story of Family Service Agency. Laurie Bleick and her team at FSA do so much for so many people in our community and I am grateful for this opportunity to raise money for this important cause.”

Weerts also mentions gratitude for the support of the Board of Directors of Family Service Agency, Alisa Cunnigham Properties, Smooth Medical Aesthetics, Akers Brothers and Sister Printing, D’Argenzio Winery and Susy Shearer Photography, “all local businesses that care so much about our community!”

The cast for the 2016 Burbank show features Ashley Alteman, Ellen Ancui, Hedia Anvar, Pam Bassuk, Courtney Crane, Richard Donatone, Juanita Mantz, Lori Pacino, Joanna Peresie, Angela Riggs, Suzanne Skrabak, Shari Wendt and Patricia Lee Willson.

Listen To Your Mother Burbank is co-directed and produced by Weerts and Taia Perry. Perry has degrees in both Acting and Counseling Psychology, and has spent the last five years running theater workshops in Burbank schools. Weerts is a long time arts and education advocate in the Burbank schools, and part of the Southern California writer/storyteller community.

Tickets for the event can be found here.