Mama Stitch is a storytelling experience, celebrating Mums in all their glory. A cross section of people from the community are interviewed, ranging in age, experience and background. These interviews are edited and presented as “Headphone Verbatim” (meaning the actor wears headphones and delivers the text as they hear them, live, without embellishment). Each story is live scored by our band Kettlefish with an original and unique musical response.
Mama Stitch is a project that doesn’t fit the common touring model. We create this work with the community as part of a residency. We realise this is not the way presenters are used to working so we are keen to chat about why this way of working creates lasting benefits for a community by bringing community members into the creative project and how we might make it work.
Our relationships with our mums are probably the biggest influence on who we become as people. And while there are shows about the experience of being a mum there aren’t many shows exploring the experience of being mothered, which is surprising given how much material is there that is funny, tragic, frustrating and very relatable. So we created Mama Stitch.
To make Mama Stitch the 4 artists spend time in a community collecting stories from community members about their relationships with their mums. These recounts are distilled and presented as Headphone Verbatim Performance (meaning the actors listen to the recorded interviews through headphones and speaks it as they hear it, without embellishment) underscored with live original music composed in response to the stories. Original songs are also written in response to the content of the stories. The work is intimate, we perform it in galleries, foyers, community spaces. We invite the audience into the space with toast and tea (we bake fresh bread for each show in the space) so the feeling is warm and welcoming. At the end of each show we invite the audience to write an anonymous letter to their own mum that we display in the space. So the space builds the more people engage with it.
Our preference is to do 3 shows a weekend over 3 weekends (9 shows in total) with a different set of stories each weekend – encouraging audiences to return to see each version.
I have seen many great artistic works in my career and I have to place MammaStitch in that category. Community art should always be a quality driven processotherwise it devalues the purpose, integrity and the art of engaging. Coupled withexcellent talent and performances it is as good as any drama on any majorstage.” Kim Jameson – Art On The Move
“The unique format of theatre, writing, poetry, song and installation, with community participation at its core works incredibly well and I highly recommend it to any arts presenter working directly with community. Book Mama Stitch, your community will thank you.” Amber Launay, Director, Vancouver Arts Centre – Albany
“A must see. Georgia King is incredible to watch as she voices different stories about mothers. Funny and poignant.” Annette Carmichael – Albany
“If you haven’t seen this show, or booked, you better because when it leaves people will tell you how good it was, if they haven’t already, then you’ll regret it.” Jon Doust – Albany
“What a fan-ta-stic experience. Absolutely loved it! The idea, the performance, the music… authentic, honest, real, innovative way to celebrate our mums.” Jana Ridillova – Albany
“…to actually hear your wording about your mum with music, I loved it…it soothed my soul” Participant-Bunbury Online
“Such a revelation to hear her (my daughter) say these things she’s never said…ever.” Participant-Bunbury
“I was impressed by the sensitivity, depth and deft handling of personal stories the group had researched, interviewed and represented as a narrative/musical event. The weaving of local stories related to mothers from a range of backgrounds, ages and experiences with relevant musical interludes made the event a pleasure for the audiences…” Jeremy Blank Coordinator/Curator Joondalup Art Gallery
“I was fortunate to attend the ‘Mama Stitch’ performance at Joondalup and was one of the subjects. What a wonderful concept! The performance piece was so well done and so entertaining at the same time. Very cleverly done and most enjoyable!” Aly May, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
“To be involved in such a unique performance was unforgettable for both myself and my Mum. The stories were moving, funny, sad and happy all at the same time. I didn’t want it to end. Well done! Holly May- Participant, Joondalup
“Mamma Stitch was such a beautiful experience, telling my story to Georgia
and being able to reflect on moments about my mum was beautiful; the questions asked were simple but unearthed really powerful memories.
The performance is another experience altogether! It’s like I stepped outside of myself. It was really amazing to be heard by my family and then hearing my story when told to strangers. Georgia’s ability to embody her subject is mind blowing. Powerful tender hilarious sweet funny touching I have not stopped telling people what an awesome experience it was! Thank you guys again and again and again. My daughters now have an insight into me and my life as a consequence. They Understand and appreciate me more so because if this experience.” Annette Peterson – Participant Joondalup
“It went far beyond my expectations – you are all so talented – the music enhanced the narratives – Georgia brought out each individuals qualities and made us laugh, cry and thought provoking!! May you go on for many years – and I hope Mama Stitch evolves bringing out many many Mother’s stories far and wide.” Magda Acklin – Participant Joondalup
ArtformsLive Music, Multidisciplinary, Participatory / Interactive, Theatre
Company ContactsGeorgia King
0450 74 1554
NewsIf presenters are interested in Mama Stitch we'd love to chat through how and when it might work for them.
At the end of every season of Mama Stitch we collate the anonymous letters to mums and scrapbook them in a beautiful collection of memories from our time in the town - the lyrics to some of the songs, poems, homemade jam recipes. This book is gifted to the community at the end of the season as a momentum of the show but also as a kind of time capsule of the people and their mums of this time in this place.
We will be performing a version of Mama Stitch at WA Showcase 9th, 10th and 11th of November at Subiaco Arts Centre.
If presenters are interested in the project we encourage them to attend the performance.