Heyya.

Fancy seeing you here. Welcome to Sincerely, from the footnotes, a blog for The Impostors Theatre Company. You are now in ~unscripted~ territory (blech.) Read on to learn more about our journey and mission, to read charming short essays inspired by our company, or to analyze more tantalizing studio shots of me and others.

The OG Storytellers

The OG Storytellers

In honor of Mother’s Day, a handful of Impostors wanted to pay tribute to the first storytellers we knew, and to mothers everywhere who weave stories into their children’s lives. Whether a mother gifts her children bedtime stories that last with them into adulthood, shapes them into authors of their own stories, or simply enrich our world story by giving it new life, we owe a lot to mothers for impacting the craft. Here are a few spotlights on our Impostor Mothers, OG Storytellers.

Stacey Linn Roseen, mother of Artistic Director Stefan Roseen

In what ways has your mother played an integral role in your story? How has she shaped you to be an artist and an Impostor?

Stacey has always been very hard working. She throws herself into her projects and expects the same amount of work that she puts into the project from other people (which is a lot). She taught me to follow through with my word and work hard. She, and my dad, taught me that sensitivity isn’t weak and an open mind with decrement is wise. Other than being my mom, she also was my teacher for most of my childhood. Being homeschooled allowed me to work outside the set parameters of school to learn in a way that was easier, and more interesting, to me. Being an artist (writer) and lover of the arts herself, Stacey recognized that my passion lied there too. She encouraged creativity and growth with my drawing, set design, performance, and writing.

Recall the most memorable story your mother shared with you, and share. Why did it leave an impression?

My mom read The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to my whole family. This was my first real exposure to performance and fantastical stories touching the lives of children and adults alike. Stacey, armored with character voices and dramatic pauses, brought us through all the books. I specifically remember a moment during one of the stories where my mom had to stop reading because she was crying. To me, these stories had wildly imaginative worlds, images, and characters that, when put together, created an exhilarating experience. But when my mom cried I realized that these stories had so much additional meaning beneath the surface. Meanings and themes that I, as a child, maybe hadn’t encountered yet.

Our mother’s voices are usually the first ones we hear. In your own words, how would you say motherhood informs storytelling, be it in your own life or in artistic works, in general?

It’s no secret that the theme of mothers or motherhood is a common reoccurrence in theatre and art in general. That could be because we all came from a mother… whether we know them or not. It’s commonality we all share as humans. We had to be carried, birthed, and held at some point. There is a lot to explore in the themes of motherhood. As a kid, everything you experience is for the first time. Oftentimes those “first experiences” will be at the hands of your parents. Every day is an opportunity to tell a story, to explain, to help you (as a kid) understand what you’re feeling, how others feel, why certain things are the way that they are. Oftentimes mothers are tasked with the responsibility of being their child’s first storyteller.

Imagine you’re tasked with writing a fantastical story just for your mother. What would that world look like? What would be her character’s objective?

Ok… so… Think Nancy Meyers meets Guillermo Del Toro. Stacey is left solely in charge of her winery after her husband passes away in some cinematic motorcycle accident. It’s years later, and her wise-crackin, kind of emotionally messed-up, friend brings some mysterious book she found at a yard sale. The book allows you to summon a spirit to come help you with whatever you ask. Kind of like a genie, but definitely not, ‘cause thats dumb.

Stacey goes “Babette! I am NOT.” But after Babette (her emotionally messed-up friend) leaves for the evening, and Stacey has opened another bottle to have “just one more glass,” and she goes to the book and summons this mythical winged creature. The creature can’t be seen by anyone other than Stacey. The creature is bound to Stacey until their task is complete. The creature’s wings are huge and beautiful, like a renaissance painting of an angel, but it’s funny ‘cause they talk in, like, normal talk. The task? To finish what she and her husband started and become the most successful winery in this small, vague, Michigan or California city.

Peppered in the story is learning that her rival winery, which is owned by a mean younger woman that reminds her a lot of herself, actually has some personal parental issues that Stacey takes under her wing. And probably something about her husband either cheating on her, or her finding out her husband screwed over someone else to get the winery, would be in the story, too, for nuance and internal struggle. 

Judy Kerstowske Swisher, mother of Social Media Manager Mallory Swisher

In what ways has your mother played an integral role in your story? How has she shaped you to be an artist and an Impostor?

My mom shaped me to be an artist by always supporting my interests. If it was something she didn’t know about already (Harry Potter and Theatre) she would learn as much as she could about it on her own so she could talk to me about it. And she always read to me and encouraged reading, even when I had a hard time with it. I vividly remember her reading, “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch repeatedly, even though that book tugs on adult heartstrings. And I think she can still recite, “Are You My Mother?” from memory.

Imagine you’re tasked with writing a fantastical story just for your mother. What would that world look like? What would be her character’s objective?

If my mom were a fictional character she would star in a picture book. She would be a jokester cat who wears overalls (to my knowledge my mom has never worn overalls in her adult life) and a jaunty hat. She would skip around and blow magic sprinkles into your face which cause you to have a great imagination and be kind. She would be the funniest cat around. Everything would be painted in vibrant colors and Dr. Seuss-like trees, and her goal would be to make everyone feel safe and loved.

Marjie Grischow, mother of Ensemble Member Allison Grischow

In what ways has your mother played an integral role in your story? How has she shaped you to be an artist and an Impostor?

My mother has shaped me in my story to be brave, bold, speak my mind, trust my intuition, advocate for others, and take care of myself, even when it seems like the unpopular thing to do. She is an inspiration to me every single day.

“Don't put anything into writing that you wouldn't want to come back and find you later.”

-Iconic quote from Marjie Grischow

Marla Belec, mother of Archivist Kayla Belec

In what ways has your mother played an integral role in your story? How has she shaped you to be an artist and an Impostor?

My mom is at the root of a lot of the things I love—books, old movies, Joni Mitchell, salt and vinegar chips, even theatre. I’m sure I can trace all my favorite things back to her. More importantly, she taught me the value of being an emotionally sensitive person. While it’s never convenient to be faced with the constant threat of tears at every little chord that strikes you, she always affirmed for me that it was much better to feel things deeply than not at all, and that I should see this as a strength rather than a weakness. Her stance that strong emotions make you a better artist, friend, partner, and person has helped me grow in all of those areas.

Recall the most memorable story your mother shared with you, and share. Why did it leave an impression?

One of my favorite memories I have is my mom singing this little made up dream song to my brother and me so we’d fall asleep. I’m pretty sure it was only one chorus long and that she had to sing it about 18 times for it to work its charm, but it was a magic song. It brought so many vivid pictures to my head—trains, clouds, dragons?—yet I can’t remember all the lyrics, only the lilting quality paired with these dreamlike images, ending with the promise, “Tomorrow, we’ll play again.” I loved that promise! Bedtime sucked, but that always made me excited to jump into sleep and start a fresh day. I see a lot of that song’s promise in the stories I’m drawn to and write, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

How has your mother, in her life, fit the characteristics of an Impostor?

My mother has so many talents. She can be bitingly funny one moment and achingly empathetic the next. She also creates—she makes beautiful scrapbooks for family members and handmade cards for special occasions. She expresses herself through impeccable, timeless style (should have added that my earlier list of loves) and people are always trying to emulate it but never quite pulling it off. She’s played a lot of different roles in both her life and other people’s. She’s someone who does not get enough credit for all the roles she plays.

Imagine you’re tasked with writing a fantastical story just for your mother. What would that world look like? What would be her character’s objective?

**The year is 1940-something. Marla is on a trip with her boring but nice husband in Scotland. She sees these big ol’ magical stones, kind of like Stonehenge, and she places her hands on them. Suddenly, whoosh, she’s back in time! In the days of highlanders in kilts and brooding brogues! One of them, James “Jamie” Fraser, is particularly brooding. His face is so attractive, you kind of want to punch it or something. Her boring husband is there, too, but he’s not her husband—he’s his crusty, evil ancestor! Marla has to figure out how to get back to the ‘40s and avoid this sicko, while trying to navigate her feelings for punchable Jamie…

**this is the plot of Outlander

In Pursuit of Faerie Tales

In Pursuit of Faerie Tales