Northampton Press

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOGretchen Klinedinst Furst, left, and Sharon Lee Glassman, right, read from and sign copies of their book,“Made from Scratch: Tales of Women Who Take the Cake,” 4 - 6 p.m. Nov. 12, Theatre514, Civic Theatre of Allentown, 514 N. 19th St., Allentown. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOGretchen Klinedinst Furst, left, and Sharon Lee Glassman, right, read from and sign copies of their book,“Made from Scratch: Tales of Women Who Take the Cake,” 4 - 6 p.m. Nov. 12, Theatre514, Civic Theatre of Allentown, 514 N. 19th St., Allentown.

Duo cooks up book from play

Friday, November 11, 2016 by ERIN FERGUSON Special to The Press in Focus

“Made from Scratch: Tales of Women Who Take the Cake” is the new name playwrights and now authors, Gretchen Klinedinst Furst and Sharon Lee Glassman, have given to the book version of their play, “Mommalogues.”

“Mommalogues,” which had its world premiere at Civic Theatre of Allentown, was presented off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre, New York City, in 2013.

When they decided to adapt their script into a book, Klinedinst Furst and Glassman decided to change the name.

“We changed the name because after we’d produced it twice as a play, we realized the stories were about so much more than motherhood. The name no longer fit and there were already a lot of ‘Mommalogues,’” says Glassman.

A book-signing and reading for “Made from Scratch” by Klinedinst Furst and Glassman, will be held 4 - 6 p.m. Nov. 12, Theatre514, Civic Theatre of Allentown, 514 N. 19th St., Allentown. The authors will read excerpts from their book, which includes new stories. Cake will be served. There will be refreshments.

“When Sharon asked me to embark on this journey of writing, I was deep in the whirlwind of motherhood, with a two-year-old and a six-year-old. I also desperately desired a creative writing project,” Klinedinst Furst says.

“Originally, the plan was to write a play all about mothers and daughters, and that fit my life perfectly. So, I guess I was inspired by the idea of celebrating my daughters, my mother, and my motherhood.

“But it took on a life of itself and evolved into stories about all sorts of female relationships and women from our lives, moments of our lives influenced by strong female relationships, women we knew whose endurance inspired us,” says Klinedinst Furst.

It was a day at the beach, Glassman explains when she started to think of her mother and wanted to celebrate her life and all the wonderful things she taught her. That inspired her to co-write with Klinedinst Furst, the play, ”Mommalogues.”

“Like many daughters, I thought my mom was perfect,” Glassman says. “She was remarkably intelligent and had a way of making everyday life special. During special occasions or quiet moments, I often wish she were here to see how I turned out and to meet her granddaughter or son-in-law.

“That day on the beach when I was particularly feeling my mom’s presence and lack thereof, I just started to think of how wonderful my family of many aunts and extended family of teachers were and I decided to write about a few of them.

“As I wrote I became unable to think of much else except the stories that made up my life and the lives of those women in our lives who make a difference,” Glassman says.

“Our monologues turned out to surprise us in that our personal stories touched our audiences of both men and women in a way that evoked universal experiences and emotions,” Klinedinst Furst says.

“I think people are in search of warm, authentic feelings that occur between people. As a society we seem to be losing our sense of connection and even if we feel deeply, we rarely express our deep feelings, opting instead to condense emotion into Twitter talking,” observes Glassman.

“The stories in ‘Made from Scratch’ vary from sad to inspiring, funny, enjoyable and sentimental and really touch base on all of our emotions,” Glassman says.

The two women became close friends when Klinedinst Furst was cast in “Angels in America” in 1997 at Civic Theatre. Glassman retired this summer as president of the Civic board of directors. Klinedinst Furst became a teacher at the Civic Theatre School.

“The book-signing is really a celebration of all that positive energy, all the energy and influence of timeless women who left indelible impressions on us, of daughters who inspire and rejuvenate us daily,” says Klinedinst Furst.

“What we would like people to get out of our book is the same thing they got out of our play, connection,” says Glassman. “Connection to our stories in a way that reminds them of women from their own life stories. Connection to laughter and tears and all the craziness of family. Connection to those tiny moments given to us by the people in our lives, moments that keep those people in our memories long after they pass. Connection to themselves.”

Ticket information: civictheatre.com, 610-432-8943