The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
Today's Interview is with Susan Rose, Founder of Motherhood Out Loud—a play that shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy and celebrates the deeply personal truths that span and unite generations.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
I produce Broadway shows and Movies for Television, and have been in the Entertainment business for over thirty years. I produced my first Broadway show JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice when I was 25 years old.
I am originally from Baltimore, MD, and I attended the University of Maryland at College Park. I was always involved in the Performing Arts; first as a Performer and then as an Administrative Assistant for two professional theatre companies in Baltimore. I became involved in producing for the theatre when an uncle suggested that I attend a performance of JOSEPH, a Catholic University production presented at the Olney Theatre in Olney, MD. I fell in love with the show and the production, and with a colleague figured out a way to raise the funds and move the show to the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. We successfully produced the show at the Ford’s Theatre, and immediately had inquiries from New York Producers asking to move the show to New York City. Gail Berman, my producing partner at the time, were recent college grads, and had the opportunity to move the show to an Off Broadway Theatre in NYC. It was truly a dream come true for two 25 year old women. Following a successful run Off Broadway, JOSEPH moved to Broadway and ran for over three years. We were nominated for seven Tony Awards, and my career path was set. I went on to produce several Tony nominated shows including David Rabe’s HURLYBURLY directed by Mike Nichols, Athol Fugard’s BLOOD KNOT and Larry Shue’s THE NERD.
What do your kids think about your job?
I have one beautiful daughter, Samantha (25) and she really loves what I do. After she was born, I decided to work part time as I loved being a Mom. I was able to stay home, spend quality time with my daughter, and read books during downtime. I was able to transition into producing movies for television, as a family friend introduced me to a film producer in Los Angeles. I was able to find great stories and books that could be developed into movies, when I visited the town library with my grade school daughter. I was attracted to stories with strong women protagonists, and minorities. Some of my movies include the Emmy nominated COOLER CLIMATE starring Sally Field and Judy Davis, MR. AND MRS. LOVING based on the famous Supreme Court case and the Emmy winning JACK starring Stockard Channing.
Tell us about a total mom + biz fail?
I have developed and opened several shows that have not been well received by the theatre critics. Each experience has taught me something, but most importantly I have learned that you have to get back on the horse and do it again!
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
When my daughter was growing up, I spent a lot of time with her and her friends, and their Moms. When my daughter was a teenager, I saw the Broadway show BRIDGE AND TUNNEL; an exploration of the immigrant experience in this country. I was so taken with the show, and thought what other subject would have that universal appeal? Motherhood immediately came to mind, as the mothering experience is so different for every woman. I approached my favorite playwrights and writers, and asked them to write a short monologue and/or dialogue about being a Mother. I worked on this project for over four years, and commissioned over forty writers. The play MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD was created, and had it’s world premiere at the Hartford Stage in Hartford, CT in 2010. Since then, it has played in New York, Los Angeles, Madrid Spain, 40 other cities, and will be performed for Eve Ensler’s (VAGINA MONOLOGUES) ONE BILLION RISING charity event in Kenya, Africa in August 2015. I loved working on this play as I was able to create a theatrical experience that speaks to everyone that is a Mother and/or has a Mother. MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy and celebrates the deeply personal truths that span and unite generations. The show has been performed at professional theatres, community theatres, high schools and conferences. For performance rights, please contact Dramatists Play Service.
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
I learned about Mamalode because of my show, MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD. I was looking for websites that spoke to my audience.I love Mamalode because it speaks to the storyteller in me! It is a unique site that gives a voice to Mothers; a safe gathering place to share personal experiences and stories..