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The Mother of All Monologues

It's often said that women turn into their mothers as they grow up, and in the case of writer-performer Nancy Wolter, that's proved particularly true. Wolter's 70-minute performance piece In Her Own Voice: Stories of My Mother is a tribute in which the author assumes the role of her own mom.Told the right way, anyone's story is interesting, but the story of Wolter's mother, Eileen Cronin Allen, would likely be interesting no matter how it was told. She was born into Eastern prosperity (the daughter of an Irish-Catholic politician from New York) and married a promising lawyer and journalist named Jim Allen. The marriage brought her to Tucson. There -- being, in her husband's words, "Catholic and in love" -- she raised 10 children.

In Her Own Voice, which will be performed on Mother's Day at the Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale after debuting in February in Tucson, chronicles this busy, fruitful life, emphasizing her mother's lifelong love affair with her husband and her close friendships, most notably with that great Catholic lefty Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. Wolter's piece ends with an account of her mother's death from cancer in 1989 and of the culmination of "her search for meaning in life."

Wolter works as the Community Arts Coordinator for the Mesa Arts Center. Proceeds from the Kerr performance benefit the Friends of Mesa Arts Center.

Nancy Wolter's In Her Own Voice: Stories of My Mother is scheduled to be performed at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 14, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $10, plus a $1 facility fee for Kerr. For details call 480-965-5377 (Kerr).


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