Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Mama Knows Best: Milstead, White & Walden from Chaffin's Barn's LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER

Mama Knows Best: Milstead, White & Walden from Chaffin's Barn's LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER

Here in the south, we revere our mamas, y'all, often expressing our loyalty and devotion to the woman who raised us in a myriad of ways. Rarely a day passes that we don't give mama credit for teaching us all sorts of things during our lifetime, whether it's how to pick the right china pattern for a holiday dinner, the difference between a ripe cantaloupe and one that's not quite ready, or how to stretch a meal for four people in order to feed eight more.

Our relationship with the woman raised us can sometimes be fraught with tension and discord, she can drive us crazy, reduce us to tears with her too on-the-nose criticisms or wound us deeply because of a lack of understanding. Truly, the relationship between mother and child is complex and oftentimes hard to define.

Which brings us to today's new feature: Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville's iconic professional theatre, opens its latest show today (Thursday, April 25) Listen To Your Mother, which runs through May 12.

From the original live storytelling phenomenon that "gave motherhood a microphone," Ann Imig founded Listen To Your Mother with a show at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin, on Mother's Day 2010. She and 11 other local writers read their original true stories of motherhood before an audience of 300 people, according to a story on the show's website. The show ultimately grew beyond the confines of that one theater, to be performed throughout the world.

"Listen To Your Mother entertains, energizes, brings community together and leaves everyone feeling a little less alone and a little more understood," according to the show's official website (www.listentoyourmother.com).

Members from the Chaffin's Barn's cast of Listen To Your Mother will tell us about their own moms and their lessons learned. Today, in our final installment, our spotlight falls upon three Nashville actors - Mileah Milstead, Vicki White and Shelena Walden - who join their castmates for the show at Chaffin's Barn, located at 8204 Highway 100 in Nashville. For ticket information or reservations, call (615) 646-9977 or go to www.chaffinsbarntheatre.com.

Mama Knows Best: Milstead, White & Walden from Chaffin's Barn's LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHERMileah Milstead (she/her/hers) is so excited to make her debut at Chaffin's Barn! She is a current theatre major at Middle Tennessee State University, where she has a focus in performance and a minor in music. Some of her selected roles in the educational theatre setting include Judy Bernly in 9 to 5: The Musical, Nell in The Taste of Sunrise, Margery in Hand to God, Beth in Merrily We Roll Along, and Anna in Spring Awakening. When she is not acting, she enjoys teaching in the theatre setting, having taught several classes at Nashville Children's Theatre and spending this summer as an educational intern at The Rose in Omaha, Nebraska. She would like to thank her parents for always fostering her passion and believing in her, her friends and JR for their constant support, and you for coming out to see the show!

What's the best advice your mother ever gave? My mom's motto is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." She would tell me this all the time while I was growing up, and it has helped me hold compassion and empathy in my heart for all those around me.

Mama Knows Best: Milstead, White & Walden from Chaffin's Barn's LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER
Mileah and her mom

Besides giving birth to you, what's your mother's biggest achievement? My mother actually was not the one who gave birth to me! I was adopted when I was nine days old (my parents were supposed to wait two weeks after I was born to pick me up, but they were too impatient)! I think her biggest accomplishment is the strength she exhibited during my adoption process. I cannot imagine the turmoil and pain she must have gone through when there was some uncertainty on whether or not she was going to be able to keep me. My mother is the strongest person I know, and if I have gained even an ounce of that in the 21 years she has been my mother, I will count myself very lucky.

What personal trait do you possess that you got from your mother? I'm not sure if I'm quite as much of a worrier as my mom is, but I definitely think I'm a chip off the old block when it comes to that! My mom also has a goofy sense of humor just like me, and I'm nowhere near as creative and intelligent as she is, but I'd like to think I'm on my way!

Mama Knows Best: Milstead, White & Walden from Chaffin's Barn's LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHERVicki White

What's the best advice your mother ever gave? My Mom is a woman of actions and not so many words. Her most sage advice that I currently recall is about gardening and sewing. Gardening: Never put your tomatoes outside before Easter. There will likely be one last freeze before that day. How true is that? Right? Sewing: Always wash your fabric before you cut the pattern out. If you wait till after, you might be dealing with a smaller dress. Life: She displayed loyalty, commitment and unconditional love in actions.

Besides giving birth to you, what's your mother's biggest achievement? My mother has been a registered nurse with an up to date license for 55 years.

Mama Knows Best: Milstead, White & Walden from Chaffin's Barn's LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER
Vicki and her family

What personal trait do you possess that you got from your mother? I think it might be perseverance. She is not afraid to fight for family, dreams, and God. I humbly, hope to emulate her in this way. We also LOVE shoes!?

Shelena Walden has been performing for local audiences for more than 10 years. She is a graduate of Austin Peay State University. Shelena's credits include Eclipsed with Street Theatre Company, A Raisin in the Sun with Circle Players, along with countless other productions. When Shelena is not acting she enjoys dancing, boxing, and being auntie to her niece and nephews. Shelena would like to thank her friends and family for their support and love throughout the years.

Mama Knows Best: Milstead, White & Walden from Chaffin's Barn's LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER
Shelena and her mom

What's the best advice your mother ever gave? The best advice my mother gave is to be myself.

Besides giving birth to you, what's your mother's biggest achievement? My mother's biggest achievement was raising three children successfully while being a military wife.

What personal trait do you possess that you got from your mother? The personal traits I possess that I received from my mother is playfulness and loyalty.


Related Articles View More Nashville Stories   Shows

From This Author Jeffrey Ellis