Get your tickets for an evening of healing, humor, empowerment, and connection!
Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn
1601 Willow Lawn Dr.
$10 suggested donation
Contact email@example.com with questions
It’s funny. You never know the moment when your life changes forever. We all have ideas. We have flashes that we imagine could become something but how, when, what would be required? And ultimately, “Do I have what it takes?”
Everyday of my life is spent for some amount of time wondering if I have what it takes. Wondering if I’m doing it right. Worrying that I could let someone down. That weight would be crippling if it weren’t for the people whose faith in this project, in me, and most of all in the knowledge that THEIR stories need to be told, showing-up in my life every day giving me just enough to push through any of the lies that fear and doubt try to sell me.
What is true? I am not special. I had an idea and I simply put one foot in front of the other to act on that idea. I did not do this alone. It did not happen overnight. The sacred table around which we create these events is stained with the tears, and echoes with the laughter, healing, and joy of MANY warriors who simply said yes.
What we have created here is a function of all of us for whom this message resonates, coming together in courage and resilience and claiming collectively that: there is NO individual whose pain is so big, or whose damage is so significant, that it doesn’t deserve to be heard and seen. If we are willing to see - and we are willing to be seen - we WILL change the world with our stories.
Only in silence and darkness can stigma continue to grow. As always, your story belongs to you. When, how, and for whom you tell it is yours to decide. Until you’re ready, we are holding space for you. If you are never ready that’s Ok too. Just know you are not alone. We love you. Even if we’ve never met.
“When you believe in something, even if it doesn’t look like anything that has ever existed, don’t wait until everybody gets it. Just birth it into the world and whoever needs it, I promise, you will find each other.“
Lucretia Marie is a mother, partner, theatre artist, educator, writer, and aspiring life coach. She spent most of her life in the DC area and moved to Richmond six years ago during a major life shift. She believes fervently in the healing power of storytelling and connection and actively works towards helping others to find their voices and their joy. Her struggles with anxiety and depression are undiagnosed but well documented in the pages of her life. She wishes to thank Erin and the incredible women and men of this project for giving of themselves to share these important messages.
Shawna is mother, entrepreneur, and poet who helps women reclaim their power and take control over their lives to achieve their dreams. She coaches women on the journey to finding their purpose, recognizing their value, and setting goals with intention. She is a force whose gentle persona belies an intense warrior who has overcome enormous challenges to achieve success. Shawna embodies her message everyday.
Donna Johnson Edwards, is a force of nature. In retirement from the fast paced world of business and technology, she finds joy in raising three Bichon Frises, spoiling her 18 month old grandson and seeking Nirvana in her backyard garden, growing and using herbs to create natural remedies.
In 2019, Donna founded - "NeuroTransformers", a support group for Neuro-affected adults in RVA and on Facebook. Having experienced a TBI (traumatic brain injury) in 2016, this initiative has deeply personal roots. Today, Donna works full-time on recovery - physical, concussion, vestibular, speech, occupational, vision, and mental therapies! The soul healing therapy of writing and storytelling has allowed her to bravely move forward.
Erin is an art director, a cat mom, an ice cream lover, and a devoted Harry Potter fan. A Minnesota native, she came to Richmond 9 months ago to pursue new career opportunities.
Social anxiety and depression have taken up a lot of her life, but she is determined not to let it define her. To face her anxiety head on, she signed up for improv classes in the fall. It has helped her get out of her comfort zone but more importantly it has connected her with wonderful new friendships.
Erin is grateful to Erin Mahone for giving her a platform to tell her mental health story. She wants to share her journey to help others understand how social anxiety affects her daily life, and to let others know they are not alone. It's a struggle that she wouldn't wish upon anyone, but it has made her a stronger, better person.
Returning to the stage...
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Erin Mahone is the author of the book If You Could See Me: Life, Motherhood, and the Pursuit of Sanity (Motivational Press, 2018). She is the creator of #IfYouCouldSeeMe a multi-media storytelling project, which includes live events, a podcast on the Mental Health News Radio Network, an open submission blog, and more - designed to change the way we talk about, think about, and address mental health and related issues. Erin leads ReStory, a personal narrative coaching initiative, and she is creator of two one-woman shows, It Runs in the Family a collection of songs and stories about laughter, family, mental illness, and unconditional love; and her new show Shark Woman Meditates, an honest look into her own mental health journey. Erin is pursuing her master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Longwood University focusing on Narrative Therapy and it effectiveness in the treatment of complex trauma. She is a recent TEDx presenter and speaks frequently on the intersection of creativity, compassion, and change. She lives in Virginia with her husband, three children, and a furbaby named Kismet.
Over the last 15 years, Dean Whitbeck has captured intimate stories about the dignity and courage found in marginalized communities. A San Francisco native, Dean received his graduate degree in Education from St. Mary’s College in California where he spent over 20 years working with inner-city students. He’s worked with schools throughout the country developing curriculum that uses student photography to develop literacy and critical thinking skills. He’s also a recipient of Yale University’s National Fellowship in Urban Education where his published writing and photos focused on the collaborative effect of visual media and storytelling for students in under-resourced communities.
Thank you to our community partners:
Mental Health America of Virginia
James River Writers
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
Rise Phoenix Rise Inc.
If you are interested in supporting this initiative as a community partner or a financial sponsor please contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community partners help to spread the word in their circles and via their email, in person contacts, and through social media. Sponsors provide needed funding to help cover expenses related to live events, podcast production, and participant workshops.
This program is free to all storyteller participants and the #IfYouCouldSeeMe team intends to always ensure that anyone with a story to tell can access this catharsis and connection. Tickets are sold by suggested donation so that anyone who wants to attend events can do so without cost being a barrier. Support from sponsors, community partners, volunteers, and advocates makes it possible for us to continue growing this important initiative.