An Interview With Carrie Wintersteen
Director, Cry It Out
Three new moms from different backgrounds bond over parenting babies. Simple? Friendship, marriage, careers are anything but simple in Cry It Out, a comedy with dark edges. Cry It Out takes an honest look at the absurdities of navigating women’s choices, family life, and job security in modern day America.
First, what is this show about?
Cry It Out is about friendship, parenting, and the unrealistic expectations society places on us. The characters are thrust into one of the most stressful situations adults experience – moving to a new neighborhood and having a newborn baby – and they are faced with moment-to-moment choices like “how can I make new friends?” and huge life choices like “should I give up my career?”
What makes this show a “B Show”?
Cry It Out is a B show because it raises lots of pertinent questions without offering pat answers. It’s also B show because the subject matter is unusual. Child-rearing isn’t often the subject of drama, so it’s a fresh treatment of what might seem a mundane topic. Molly Smith Metzler digs into economic disparities in a deft and thoughtful way. The fact that each of the characters is a new parent is a great mechanism to connect people who might not otherwise meet, much less become close friends, and to challenge assumptions about them simply based on their economic status.
Is there a line from the show that you find compelling, or that sticks with you?
Well, I happen to love some of Lina’s laugh lines. They are not necessarily the moral of the story, but they illustrate her as such a distinct and delightful character. They draw the audience in and make her very sympathetic, even though she might seem a little crass. “We’re held hostage all day in dirty yoga pants by little larval creatures who would literally die if we checked our email or took a leisurely dump.” She just says it like it is.
Is there a character that you relate to? Why?
I guess I relate most to Jessie; she is like me in many ways: “Midwest nice,” educated, middle-class, trying to do her best as a new parent, lonely and isolated in this new town, especially since she had a newborn in the depths on winter. That was my experience when I had my kids twenty years ago, and I love that the playwright highlights how we make arbitrary friendships when we are new parents. I had no idea twenty years ago that a few ladies with kids the same age would become lifelong friends even though we actually have little else in common.
Finally, what is your theatrical background? What is your history with Theatre B?
Well, Theatre B is my baby. I have been doing theatre since I was a kid, and when we moved to Fargo Moorhead, I wasn’t sure how I was going to apply my skills and training to my work in this community. Starting the theatre gave me so much energy and a sense of purpose. No one can really prepare for becoming a parent – so much of it is learning together as you go. Running a theatre is like that too. It’s on-the-job training and something different every day, and it’s really satisfying. It has been amazing to watch Theatre B grow. And, just like my actual kids, I marvel every day that the theatre is alive and well, and standing on its own.