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Mama Knows Best: Talking With the Cast & Crew of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER at Chaffin's Barn

Mama Knows Best: LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER at Chaffin's Barn

Mama Knows Best: Talking With the Cast & Crew of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER at Chaffin's Barn

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 a lot of things during our lifetime, whether it's the proper technique of frying chicken, how to starch a shirt and then iron it in such a way to rival the best professional launderers in the business or, perhaps most significantly, how to fold a fitted sheet properly.

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 next week (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).

Mama Knows Best: Talking With the Cast & Crew of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER at Chaffin's BarnOver the next few days, members of the Chaffin's Barn's cast of Listen To Your Mother will tell us about their own moms and their lessons learned. Kicking off this enlightening series is the show's director Joy Tilley Perryman, who doubles (well, actually triples -- she's also the company's resident properties designer) as production manager for all shows at the theater, located at 8204 Highway 100 in Nashville. For ticket information or reservations, call (615) 646-9977 or go to www.chaffinsbarntheatre.com.

What's the best advice ever given you by your mama? The best advice I ever received from my mother, Joy Faye Smith Tilley Thompson, is twofold, she always told me to just be myself. That there was no need to "put on airs" or act like someone that I wasn't. And secondly, she told me to never shave above my knee and that a spot of lipstick always brightens up your face.

Mama Knows Best: Talking With the Cast & Crew of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER at Chaffin's Barn
Joy and her mother

Besides giving birth to you, what's your mama's biggest accomplishment? My mother's biggest accomplishment was not letting herself wallow in self-pity after she lost her husband (my Daddy Leon) at a very young age. She was a young widow with 2 small daughters and she certainly could have sat back and felt sorry for herself. She did not do this, she gathered her support system and got back into the workforce after years of caring for my Daddy as he battled cancer. She had to have been devastated but my sister and I never saw that. We just saw a strong woman taking care of business!

What's your best trait or attribute that you can say definitively came from your mama? I look in the mirror all the time these days and see my mother looking back and I am very proud of that, so physically I have many of her traits. Personally, my mother has never met a stranger and I would talk to a post, so we certainly share that!


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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis