Penn Yan natives: 'Listen To Your Mother'

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
From left, the producers and directors of the Rochester Listen to Your Mother production are, Corrie Spike Carter, Monica Gebell, Sarah Fitzgibbons and Emily Horowitz. Carter and Fitzgibbons have been friends since their childhood in Penn Yan.

There’s nothing wrong with Mother’s Day traditions like brunch, flowers, jewelry, candies and other gifts, but a couple of Penn Yan natives are working on a unique project in Rochester to celebrate motherhood.

Corrie Spike Carter and Sarah Fitzgibbons, along with two other Rochester area women are bringing a production of Listen To Your Mother to the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester at 7:30 p.m. May 8.

Listen to Your Mother is a national movement that started five years ago when founder Ann Imig wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day in a way that was more meaningful than brunch.

“It has grown over the last five years and Rochester is one of 39 cities hosting shows this spring. The show itself includes 13 people sharing their motherhood stories — from heartbreaking to hopeful and hilarious,” says Carter, daughter of Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike and his wife, Sue.

Carter explains while Listen to Your Mother is a national show, the audience in Rochester will have a local experience, since all 13 of the cast members are from the area, the sponsors are local businesses and organizations, as are the charitable organizations that are benefitting from the production’s proceeds.

Listen To Your Mother features live readings by local writers on motherhood, in celebration of Mother’s Day. While it is a medium for sharing personal stories, it is not an “open mic” event. Each LTYM evolves from auditions, and the participants are directed, produced and rehearsed with professional production values to create a memorable theatrical experience.

Carter says this is the second year their group has applied to produce a show in Rochester, the only show outside NewYork City in the state. Carter says the Rochester group hopes they will be invited to apply again for 2016. “We are very much hoping it becomes an annual event,” she says.

Carter and Fitzgibbons first met as little girls in a playgroup with other “country” kids around Penn Yan. They were close friends through their school years in Penn Yan, and after pursuing careers in Pennsylvania (Carter) and Colorado (Fitzgibbons), they both moved to the Rochester area. Carter is a public relations consultant who is raising two daughters, Natalee, 8 and Mara, 5, with her husband, Chad, also from Penn Yan.

Fitzgibbons is a counselor at SPCC (Society for the Protection & Care of Children), one of the organizations that will benefit from the show’s proceeds.

For more information visit and proceeds will be donated to area charities that support women and children, including SPCC (the group that administers Finger Lakes WIC) and Parenting Village.

To see a TV interview by the two women, visit: