About Menopause Mama

 

Overview | A History


Written and performed by Rose Weaver

 

"This woman's not done." - Rose Weaver


OVERVIEW

Rose Weaver's Menopause Mama is a compelling, cutting edge and often hilarious solo performance play about menopause and aging. Through a variety of characters and interspersed with signature renditions of new and standard songs, Rose Weaver depicts the struggles, triumphs, tears, and the lighter side of menopause. Weaver also gives a voice to young women and a few men as they grapple with their own midlife changes.

Menopause Mama

No-one has taken on menopause like this! Weaver's performance sparkles with energy, insight and a courageous take-no-prisoners honesty.


"For too long many women have bitten their tongues about menopause and swept their questions and concerns under the rug," said Weaver, now 67. "Menopause Mama is here to tell them we're not buying into society's negative images about growing older. We're wiser, sexier and more fulfilled. And we're not nearly done!"


A Growing Population

As our population ages, the number of postmenopausal women grows. It is estimated that in 1998, there were over 477 million postmenopausal women in the world. That number is projected to rise to 1.1 billion by the year 2025.

 

The beloved star of stage, screen, TV and cabaret has moved audiences to tears and to laughter for close to 40 years. Now she gives a voice to the 41 million women in America who are in various stages of the change of life. Menopause Mama is created using Weaver's own journey into menopause as well as the humorous, poignant, outrageous, heart-warming and very human stories of other women who have successfully -- or not too successfully -- traveled the waters we call "the change."


Rose Weaver has performed in regional theatres, films and on television, has sung solo with her own jazz and blues ensemble and with pops orchestras. She has a BA from Wheaton College, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Brown University and is a Doctor of Fine Arts (honorary) from Marymount Manhattan College and Providence College. Weaver is a recipient of numerous awards, including a Lucille Lortel Playwriting Award and the Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts.Rose Weaver's Menopause Mama


Menopause Mama is:

o A solo performance by Rose Weaver.
o A lecture with several monologues tailored for your time frame.
o Available as a 30, 50 or 80 minute performance for theatres, conventions, conferences, retreats, Women’s Studies at colleges, Nursing and Medical Schools, Health Departments, Pharmaceutical Companies and more using simple production elements.

For more information about Rose Weaver and her work, including a fuller biography and her CV, visit www.roseweaver.com. You can find more information about Menopause Mama at www.menopausemama.com.

 

A HISTORY


The idea for Menopause Mama was conceived when Rose Weaver was at Brown University in 1999 working on her MFA in creative writing (the degree was her 50th birthday present to herself). At the time she had just begun to experience memory loss and confusion.

In talking with friends, she realized she was not alone in her frustration. After some research, she found that her "senior moments" were actually consistent with the beginnings of menopause. Rose’s response, as an actress and promising writer, was to keep a journal of her "symptoms" and feelings. Encouraged by Kathy Jellison and Patricia Birkes, Rose began to focus solely on her menopause stories and those of other women.

She interviewed dozens of friends and women of other cultures on this topic. Ann Dill, a personal friend and Professor of Psychology at Brown University, gave Rose two students to help with research and as a result, Rose and the students drafted a paper called "The Cultural Significance of Menopause (Word document)."

Rose Weaver's Menopause MamaBy the end of 2000 she had gathered and dramatized enough menopause stories to perform her work in public. The audience greeted Weaver's frank and often humorous forays into the underbelly of menopause with enthusiasm and affection. They were clearly hungry for an artistic representation that honestly depicted what they were feeling and welcomed the opportunity to talk about their experiences in the Q&A's Weaver hosted after her performances.

o They appreciated the information Weaver imparted in her monologues
o They grew teary when she poignantly reflected their struggle
o They roared when she found the humor in menopause


In 2001 and through the spring of 2002 Weaver continued to develop the Menopause Mama script and performed it at a number of locations in Providence, RI. During this time, it became apparent that Menopause Mama had several discreet audiences. In addition to those seeking entertainment and catharsis through the theatrical production, some women wanted medical facts and answers to their healthcare concerns about menopause. For this constituency, Weaver teamed up with a panel of healthcare experts to put a human face on menopause prior to an informational discussion about the subject.

In 2001 and through the spring 2002 Weaver continued to develop Menopause Mama and began to work toward a full theatrical piece in collaboration with Bob Jaffe as director and dramaturge, Jill Rose Weaver's Menopause MamaJaffe, Liz and Malcolm Chase as executive producers. By the fall of 2002, as a 45-minute work in progress, Menopause Mama had three standing room only matinee performances at Perishable Theatre in Providence, RI. Rose then wrote more material to expand the show to a full-length 70-minute piece.

She performed the full-length show for 12 weeks to sold out houses and standing ovations nightly at Perishable, then traveled the show to several venues in New England and Bermuda. Rose relocated to Los Angeles in December 2005.  She performed several sold out performances for the Solo Sundays Series at Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Los Angeles, May 2007, and as one of the winners of the 2008 Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. Rose had to take a hiatus for several years to care for family members but is now ready to embark on a tour of solo performances for health organizations, conferences, theatres and community organizations. This will continue her mission of self-discovery through artistic endeavors and to educating the people using the arts.