Clockwise: Sheramy Tsai, Jennie Lowell, Julie Peoples-Clark, and Carmen Walker

Expressing Motherhood

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Thursday October 25, 2018

Three South Burlington residents will share the stage next month with a handful of other performers in the nationally acclaimed show “Expressing Motherhood.” Conceived in Los Angeles in 2008 by two women who wanted to give a voice to motherhood, shows have sold-out theaters in multiple cities across the United States since its conception. Burlington will join the rank of those cities, with two sold-out shows Nov. 8 and 9 at Main Street Landing.

Local producer and South Burlington resident Sheramy Tsai became acquainted with “Expressing Motherhood” in 2010 while living in Boston. With two children under the age of two at home, Tsai sought a creative outlet for her experiences as a new mother. After submitting a self-written monologue, she was cast in the Boston show and performed, along with a dozen other women, for three consecutive nights to a sold-out theater in Boston.

“There is really no way to prepare someone for motherhood,” Tsai said. “Certainly, having children is incredible, and I am grateful, but with the joys of motherhood also comes loss, loneliness, and sometimes, isolation. To be able to honestly share my experiences on stage was transformational for me. Surrounded by other supportive women, I realized just how important having a tribe truly is.”

Since relocating back to Vermont in 2011, Tsai has envisioned bringing the show to Burlington. Knowing that there would be a receptive audience, she reached out to LA producer Lindsay Kavet and pitched the idea. Kavet agreed and handed the reigns over to Tsai as the local producer.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to the show,” said Tsai. “We accepted submissions the first week in May and received well over 50 pieces from local women. It was challenging to cast the show, as there were so many touching, poignant, heartbreaking, and hilarious stories to choose from. We were able to narrow it down to 10 local performers, and one duo from California.”

Three of the local performers are residents of South Burlington, including obstetrician, Dr. Jennie Lowell.

“When I heard Expressing Motherhood was accepting submissions, I thought, ‘Oh, I have a story!’” Lowell said. “I figured it would be fun to share and let other moms know they aren’t alone in some days feeling like the worst parent ever!”
Julie Peoples-Clark had a different experience she wanted to share. After losing her daughter, Ella, four years ago, Julie was overwhelmed by the support of her South Burlington community.

“Motherhood has brought me heart-breaking lows and many joyful highs, my incredible community of neighbors in South Burlington have been there to witness and support our family throughout,” she said.

Performer Carmen Walker echoes the sentiment of the importance of community when it comes to mothering.

“The support I have felt from my community of moms has added such buoyancy to this adventure called parenting,” she said. “What a savior it can be to know we aren’t alone in the best and hardest moments of mothering. I was most interested in being a part of this event because I loved the idea of expanding the community of moms for us all!”