Mommery And Improvery In The Sticks

Sticks Author: Kendra

I walk into the children’s section of the Public Library and I am immediately greeted by friendly parents and exuberant children.   As we greet each other by first names, I am grateful to live in a small town where you can meet up with the same people week after week.  We have all gathered for “Time for Twos”.  Each Thursday a brave children’s librarian hosts an hour-long program in which parents, caregivers and a massive sea of two year-olds sing, dance, complete an art project, and listen to stories.

As I survey the room I notice that with the exception of the daring librarian, the adults all have the same look in their eyes.  It is the glazed over, weary, I‘ve-had-three-cups-of-coffee-but-it-is-still-not-enough look.   It is the look of colicky newborns and toddlers that have been up all night as they transition to their big-kid beds.  It is the look of heinous diaper changes, ceaseless whining and partners and spouses that are away on seemingly endless business trips.  It is the look of a serious hangover but without the frivolity and antics that landed you with a massive headache and purses under your eyes.  I have that look in my eyes too, but mercifully my children slept well, we are out of the diaper stage, and my school-teacher husband is more likely to be invited to Prince William’s impending wedding than be flown to an exotic location for a business trip.  I have that look in my eyes because I was out way too late rehearsing long-form improv with The Sticks.

Being a long-form improver and a full- time parent is a little like being in the C.I.A.  You have this very public life in which you bring your children to soccer practice, race through the grocery store before your children rebel against your desire to provide homemade nutritious meals and they initiate a double melt-down, and meet up with other parents of young children at the playground so that the little tykes and run around play elaborate games of Scooby Doo.  Then you have this other life.  The name of this life is “trying to learn long-form improv such as the Harold”.  You read books.  You watch DVDs of other groups and sit in awe as they effortlessly school you.  You rehearse, comment, deconstruct and rehearse again.  You have a Smirnoff Ice, get some feedback, and rehearse some more.   I have to admit, it’s a pretty good life.

There will soon come a point in time where my daily grind life will meet face-to-face with my improv life.  As we begin to entertain the idea of our first public show I am excited at the prospect of sharing our work with others.  I am hoping that when I look out into the audience, I see many of my comrades that are also parenting young children.

I can almost hear them now.  “Hey, look over there.  Isn’t that the mom from the library?”

Leave a comment


  1. I can’t wait to see your shows! You guys are doing something very interesting here. Looking forward to the day you go public and join the CT Improv community.

    • Thanks Dan. We’ve all been friends for 20+ years and have done theater and improv together in all of that time, but we’ve never tried longform. It’s perhaps a bit audacious to do it this way, but I think it’s working. We’re having a blast! A few of us at least will be at the Jan 29th Improv Mixer… perhaps we’ll see you there!

    • Kendra Dickinson

       /  January 12, 2011

      Thanks Dan, we can’t wait to go public. The ladies and I will assemble a list of songs!

  2. Well alright! Let’s see.. the resident hip hop expert in The Sticks is… without question not even kind of me (Steve). Hip Hop is like rap, right? But like doper or fresher?

    Maybe we’ll let Kendra, Rachel, or Jen handle the hip hop requests.


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