Company of Fools Announces CRY IT OUT
Company of Fools' (COF) 24th theatre season continues this fall with Cry It Out - Molly Smith Metzler's powerful, uplifting and moving play about the realities of motherhood in the 21st century. COF's 24th season focuses on family-the family that we choose, the family we are born into, the family that we make and, in the case of Cry It Out, the family that we find. The production is directed by founding company member Denise Simone and will run Sept. 25-Oct. 12 at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey.
Cooped up on maternity leave and eager for adult conversation, Jessie invites the funny and forthright Lina for coffee in their neighboring backyards. They become fast friends, quickly bonding over their shared "new mom" experience and arousing the interest of a wealthy neighbor hoping for a similar connection. This insightful comedy takes an honest look at the absurdities of new motherhood, the dilemma of returning to work versus staying at home, and how wealth and class can impact parenthood and friendship.
Cry It Out explores these issues and more in a raw, authentic and often hilarious take on the realities of modern motherhood. The play was inspired by the playwright's personal experience of being pregnant and being a new mother at a time when her family was struggling financially. "We'd been living in the city; we didn't know that when you have a baby, you're basically on house arrest," said Metzler. "When we moved to the suburbs, we couldn't afford a second car, so I was trapped at home in wintery, oceany deep freeze with a baby. It was basically being in Winterfell, and I was dying of loneliness."
What made all the difference for Metzler was forging a friendship with another mom who lived within walking distance and whose child was the same age as hers. "We had very little in common," said Metzler, who is still friends with the woman. "But she saved my life, introducing me to this community of moms in town. The experience of having a baby cracks you open-your career, your marriage, your identity. And I saw a lot of profound questions in it and I couldn't believe how alone I was with these questions. It was the other mom friends who got me through it all; I thought their stories belonged on stage."
The cast of Cry It Out features Michelle Carter (Adrienne), Ariel Puls (Jessie), Paula Rebelo (Lina) and founding COF member Joel Vilinsky. The creative team includes Maria Gerhardt (costume design); K.O. Ogilvie (stage management); Joe Lavigne (scenic design); Lynn Coleman (lighting design); Patrick Szczotka (technical direction); and Chris Henderson (production assistant).
"One of the reasons I wanted to produce Cry It Out was to ensure that the experiences of women, and particularly the stories of new mothers, were central to our examination of family," said Scott Palmer, Producing Artistic Director at COF. "As a man, and a man without children, I knew I wasn't the person to direct this show, but I was absolutely certain that Denise Simone, one of COF's founders and an amazing mom herself, had the experience, passion and insight to make this play really sing. She brings her own experiences as a mom to the show, her experiences as a director and actor, but also her experience of raising her daughter here in the Valley-a place that can, for some mothers, feel isolated and lonely."
In the spirit of reducing isolation and bringing together people who are sharing a particular life experience, COF is thrilled to announce its first-ever "Parent & Baby Night" at The Liberty Theatre. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, parents and their small children are invited to attend a special performance of Cry It Out together. Unlike typical theatrical productions, where parents are discouraged from bringing their small children to see a show, COF has created a special opportunity where parents can get out to see a play with their babies in tow.
The theatre will be prepped and ready, with the house lights kept illuminated so that parents can keep an eye on their little ones. Baby changing stations will be available in the restrooms, and space will be set aside in the lobby where parents can retreat in the event that a little angel decides to turn into a little monster. Best of all, patrons can attend the show for a donation of their choosing, and babies get in for free!
"Because the play focuses on the isolation that can occur when a woman becomes a new mom, and because Metzler herself talks about the incredible experience of connecting with other moms, we wanted to create an opportunity for parents to meet, connect, and socialize with other parents outside the house," explained Palmer. "Parents are usually discouraged from bringing their little ones to the theatre for fear that the babies will disrupt other patrons, have a meltdown, or otherwise distract from the show. Those are reasonable concerns, of course, but it doesn't mean that new parents shouldn't have the chance to see theatre! Instead, we want to give them a specific opportunity to attend the theatre where they will find a very understanding, patient, and forgiving audience-other parents!"
Cry It Out runs approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes, without an intermission. Patrons should be aware that the play contains adult themes and language and includes the smoking of an electronic cigarette.