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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What is a Mamalogue anyway?

If you are my friend or follow me on social media, you may have heard this word a lot lately. Mamalogue.  Pronounced Mama- log.  Not to be confused with Mammogram-ologue. It is a creative play on the word Monologue which is a speech given by an actor on stage or screen.
With that said, I cannot take full credit for coming up with the word Mamalogue.  A dear friend of mine suggested it, and surprisingly he is a guy, and I went with it.
A few years ago I had dinner with some girlfriends, and we were all sharing stories about motherhood. Hysterical, raw stories about this job we have taken on and were not prepared for despite thinking we were.  I also thought of the times when I had been in down, feeling overwhelmed and when I felt like I couldn't do it anymore.  I turned to my girlfriends then too.  Even friends who didn't  have kids were a great support.
On my ride home, I thought about how my friend had told a story so hilarious that I wanted to call all my friends and tell them, I wanted to put it on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, bathroom stalls.  But it wasn't my story to tell. It was hers.  But I wanted EVERYONE to hear it because it filled me with tremendous joy. But I knew I couldn't possibly share it with the same flare as she did.
And that is when the concept of the Mamalogues was born.  The very next day I called my friends, and asked (ok told) them that I needed them to participate in a project I was doing. They agreed not knowing what they were getting into.  I found a venue to perform, asked my friends to write out a story. I probably should have considered that most of them weren't writers or actors, and some of them weren't even mothers, but I was on a mission.  I didn't ask for a specific topic; my only stipulation was that it was true and came from the heart.  Then I told them that they would be performing (reading) it in front of an audience.
Did you notice I left that audience part out until they agreed?  My friends were trepidatious, to say the least.  They asked if they could self-medicate or consume large amounts of alcohol prior. I, of course, said,"yes" and "yes".
Within in one week of putting tickets up for sale, we had sold out.  To be honest, I wasn't even going to charge at first, but I needed to cover the cost of the venue.  We not only sold out, but we also sold way out, like out of the venue, we had to add additional seats.

As we sat backstage the night of the first performance, I looked around at these women who were willing to put themselves out there and be vulnerable in front of strangers just because I asked them to.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude and realized that as women, we often put ourselves out there to help, not only our family but our friends as well. The original cast will always hold a special place in my heart.

You never know how your story may impact another person until you share it. Most women don't have a platform to share their stories, so I created one.

I gave mamas a microphone. And amazing things have happened since.

Needless to say, it was an enormous success.  Before I could think, I was asked when the next one was.  So ten months to the day we had our second one.  Remember the girl who told the funny story? Her name is Kate, and she is now the artistic director. We believe so much in the power of the spoken word that we collaborated to make this Mamalogues even more spectacular.  We changed the cast to offer other women a chance to share their stories. We have a few from the previous cast only because they add an element of entertainment that we couldn't go without. (Thieneman sisters)

You may have an idea of what to expect, but  I can assure you it is so much more. And its not just for women. I know several....ok three men who went to the last one and enjoyed it too. And the fact that they were our husband's is inconsequential.

The popularity and venue have increased with each passing year. Tickets for all four years have sold out within weeks of going on sale. And in 2016 we trademarked the show.

Every year we choose a charity to donate a portion of the proceeds, last year we gave to the JWAS Foundation.

The next Mamalogues is on June 15 at The Brick, South Bend, Indiana.

Original cast.

2013 Cast
Alyson Herzig, Julie Flory,  Jessi Loyd,  Kate Knopick Coates,  Maria McKenna,  Becky Cressy, 
Josi Doyle,  Sarah Jollay, Amy Atkinson, Noelle Elliott

2014 Cast  
Sandra Cho, Aimee Carlson, Kate Knopick Coates, Jenn Lechtanski, Steph Patka, Priscilla Jamora, Kelly Blair, Laura Ambrose, Colleen Spano, Carolyn Hunt, Maria McKenna, Sarah Jollay, Megan Michele,  Martha Thieneman, Noelle Elliott

2015 Cast 
Kate Knopick Coates, Alyson Herzig, Beth Ferlic, Becky Cressy,  Robyn Welling, Priscilla Jamora, Elizabeth Carris, Sandy Cho, Martha Theineman, Maria McKenna, Sarah Jollay
Aimee Carlson, Ceci Redmond, Jill Straub , Amy Rasler, Noelle Elliott.

2016 Cast
 Lisa Anderson, Laura Williamson Ambrose,  Leah Badertscher, Aimee Carlson,  Becky Cressy,
Kate Knopick Coates,  Sandy Cho,  Jenny Finley,  Alyson Herzig, Maria McKenna,
Amy Rasler.  Ceci Redmond, Christine Rutherford,
 Sherry Swank,  Martha Theineman, Noelle Elliott.

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