This preview written by Melody Cuenca was originally published by Greenville Journal on April 25, 2019.
Dirty diapers, crying babies, and messy houses plague new moms but also connect them with others who face similar struggles in parenthood.
In The Warehouse Theatre’s “Cry It Out,” universal themes of compassion, patience, and acceptance permeate the comedy of raw truth.
Set in a historically working-class neighborhood in Long Island, “Cry It Out” shows the interactions of three new moms and one new dad in their unique experiences. The comedy brings to stage the ways that class and status affect those experiences.
Audiences will meet two suburban moms and a pair of mansion-living parents.
“We get to … watch them try to relate to each other, which is fascinating and full of missed connections and then also moments of real, shared ‘getting it,’” director Rebekah Suellau says.
Although focused on motherhood, “Cry It Out” is meant to appeal to all adults. “The theme really digs into the fact that the grass is never greener,” Suellau says. “The grass is just never greener.”
The all-too-common “mommy-shaming” comes from every angle in the comedy regardless of the characters’ choices. No one is safe from criticism.
“So much of that mommy-shaming is not from somebody else,” Suellau says. Having high expectations and placing pressure on themselves, the parents struggle to portray perfection.
Suellau wants audiences to leave feeling a new compassion for themselves and others, recognizing that everyone is doing their best — which looks different for each individual.
“It is deeply humanizing and so dry, and you will just cackle,” she says. “It’s really a delight to watch.”
Playing the role of wealthy mom Adrian, Miranda Barnett says her character shows the working mom who wants to be successful in her career.
“Adrian’s very clear about what she wants — she wants her career, she wants her life, and she wants her identity that she’s always had,” Barnett says.
“Cry It Out” also addresses the differing expectations for moms and dads. Barnett says many women feel the need to handle everything, and Adrian questions the partnership of parenting.
“There is no one right way. And no matter what you do, it will not be perfect,” Barnett says of parenting. “We would do well to respect that in each other rather than to criticize or try to impress our point of view on what it means to be a parent.”