Alison Smith set a goal for herself: to produce her musical, “Motherhood: The Unfinished Musical” by the time she turns 40 in February 2018.
A mechanical engineer by profession who works as a project manager, the Savoy mom is making that deadline. Her original show about the highs and lows of motherhood will take the stage on Saturday, Jan. 13 at Twin City Bible Church in Urbana for one performance only. Admission is free, with the donation of a book.
“The target audience is moms or anyone who loves moms,” she said.
Smith started on the project many years ago as a creative outlet to help manage the often challenging time that is early parenthood.
“As we journeyed through pregnancy and early toddler years, I did not expect there to be so many highs and lows. I needed to process some very hard moments, so I started writing some songs,” said the mom of two kids, a 9-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. “Sometimes it was just a melody on the piano that matched my emotions. Other times it was lyrics and a melody together.”
Smith wrote the script, the songs, and their lyrics. A broken ankle last winter helped accelerate the project, and she finished it after seven more revisions.
She went ahead and put together the show on her own — from soup to nuts — including securing the space at her church and getting a date.
With no time for try-outs, Smith asked interested participants to self-categorize themselves into three areas: soloist, chorus, or non-singer. A read through was held in November, and plenty of people signed on – for one show and a dress rehearsal.
“I learned that I have very talented friends in directing, lighting, costume design, music, graphics, and choreography,” she said. “I feel like we lived out the themes of women’s friendship and communities supporting one another. We laughed and made time for some fun.”
The cast members are a motley crew of friends and friends of friends, people Smith knows from all walks of life – PTA, the vet, bookclub, neighbors, the gym, and church. There are also eight middle school and elementary-aged kids in the show, and a few smaller children lent their voices for recording. No one is getting paid.
“My heart has been full. Faith is a very important part of some of the characters’ stories, and I feel like God has given me a special gift through my friends to have this experience,” she said.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Moms and anyone who loves moms. While not for kids necessarily, Smith gave it a rating of “PG-12.” There is no foul language.
TICKETS: There are no tickets; admission is free Instead, they are collecting used books to donate to Orphans Treasure Box which supports orphans, foster children, and adoptive families.
WHERE: Twin City Bible Church, 806 W Michigan Ave, Urbana
TIME: 6 -8 PM