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"Listen To Your Mother" To Be An Outlet For One Local Mother

Newtown resident Barbara Patrick, the mother of three, is among 15 people who will present original written works during Listen To Your Mother on Sunday, May 12, in New York City.

Listen To Your Mother is a national series of readings by writers to celebrate all aspects of motherhood. The show was created by Ann Imig, and has expanded from her hometown of Madison, Wisc., to 24 cities across the United States. Ten percent of the ticket price from the New York City show will go to support the Family-to-Family organization, this year.

The presenters on Mother’s Day, May 12, include published authors, bloggers and actors, said Ms Patrick, and she is pleased to be included in the professional mix.

“I have no previous performance experience — nothing!” declared Ms Patrick, “But I wrote the piece, and auditioned, and was honored to be accepted,” she said.

Ms Patrick was inspired by the 2012 Listen To Your Mother show, in which her friend Kate Mayer, also a Newtown resident, participated.

“I absolutely loved it,” said Ms Patrick. “The pieces were so varied, deep, funny, and poignant. I decided way back last May that I would write something and audition [for 2013],” she said, even though she had only dabbled in creative or memoir writing.

She anticipated writing a humorous piece about family life. Then 12/14 happened.

“I knew I had to write about mothering in Newtown post 12/14,” she said, and how the tragedy had impacted her family. She finished her piece, but then hesitated to audition.

“I wasn’t sure I could handle presenting it, emotionally. The audition was in early February, and it still felt raw,” Ms Patrick said.

Ms Mayer stepped in at that point. “She said, ‘I’m going to drive you to the City, and you’re going to get out of the car, and do it.’ Talk about friendship,” said Ms Patrick.

Her audition of the piece, called “Leaps and Bounds,” was tear-filled; but the tears were not hers alone.

“The jurors cried, too,” she said, and she did not think her audition had been successful. Five days later, though, she received a call saying that she had been selected to participate.

Many weeks and two rehearsals later, Ms Patrick feels prepared to share her story with the audience. She is humbled that many of her Newtown friends plan to attend the Mother’s Day program in Manhattan, as well as her own mother, her husband, and their three children, Colin, 14, Ryan, 13, and Madeline, 10.

“Leaps and Bounds” has been a way to give her own grief a voice.

“I know everyone needs an outlet, and it was helpful for me to write this and have to read it,” she said. Her message, she said, is about taking a leap in faith to continue parenting in Newtown. “Emotionally, we have to move forward, be the best parents we can be, and the leap of faith,” said Ms Patrick, “is to believe that life is good and to be strong for our children.”

The New York City Listen To Your Mother presentation will takes place Sunday (Mother’s Day), May 12, at 5 pm, in the Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of the performance.

Ticket information can be found at www.listentoyourmothershow.com/nyc/show-information. The content of the show is adult-oriented, and may not be suitable for all ages.

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