Cry It Out: Modern day motherhood explored

I recently saw the play Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metzler, at the Hartford Stage, directed by Rachel Alderman. The production runs through November 17. 
The play introduces the audience to Lina and Jessie, neighbors and a bit of an odd couple. Two new moms who become each other’s support systems as they struggle with how their lives have changed since they've become mothers. Jessie is upper-middle class, married, and on maternity leave from her law firm. Lina also out on maternity leave and is living with her alcoholic mother-in-law so she and her husband can save up to buy their own home. They are worlds apart on a socioeconomic level, but their experiences as new mothers create a strong bond. The audience also meets Mitchell and Adrienne, a very well-off couple. Money isn't a problem, but the couple has a whole different set of challenges as parents.  
The play gives you a window into the lives of characters who are struggling with their lives as new parents. Watching these women experience the roller coaster of emotions new moms face brought me back to my own sleepless nights and to the times where I felt I was in over my head. Now that Akilah and Zak are three, I can look back at this time and acknowledge I earned my stripes, but when I was in the thick of it like Jessie and Lina, the stress of caring for twins, wishing I had more maternity time, and trying to carve out time for myself, wore me down.
The play also examines the socioeconomic impacts motherhood has on the characters’ lives. The audience quickly learns Jessie loves raising her daughter. She's ready to give up her career to be a stay at home. Her problem is she has yet to tell her husband. Lina has to go back to work; she can't afford not to. Adrienne the wealthiest of the three, is back at work and her husband wishes she weren't.
A day at the park with Akilah and Zak.
Becoming a mother has been a rewarding experience for me, but it's been a challenge. I say that knowing Karim and I prepared for this life change. Even with being ready, it could have been a lot harder and more costly if not for the support I received from my mom and other family members. The United States is the only industrialized country not to offer paid leave on a national level. To date, only eight states offer it. My home state of Connecticut passed paid family leave in the past legislative session, but it doesn't go into effect until 2021.

Three reasons why you should see Cry it Out
  • It's a production written and directed by women, which you don't see often on Broadway, in regional, or community theater - these types of productions need and deserve our support
  • It's entertaining - the cast and crew don't disappoint
  • It tackles the subject of motherhood and the struggles that come along with it
A very BIG congratulations to Rachel Alderman. About 10 years ago we were in a community production of Anton in Show Business together. Over the years it's been great to see her evolution as an artist and watch her "working her dream."
Thank you to the cast and crew of Cry it Out for an entertaining evening where I connected to characters who helped me to reflect on my journey as mother and thought about the public policy changes we need to enact to help all moms and their families. 
If you're in the Hartford area and feeling the need to "cry it out" see the show before it closes on November 17.


Terry said…
Great post Aaliyah, sounds like a wonderful story. All mom's can relate to how hard it is to work and try to be with your children. There is no such thing as balance. Like you, my mom made it possible so that could go back to work, forever grateful. We are so behind the times when it comes to matery leave, hopefully this will change.
Aaliyah said…
Thanks for the comment Terry! There are not enough thank yous in the world for my mom.
Unknown said…
We can all relate to this play on some level being mothers. We all go through our struggles somehow or another. With good friends and family to guide you through it all makes the journey of motherhood easier...