Chippewa Valley Theater Guild presents “Cry It Out”

Molly Smith Metzler tells a tale of shared struggle in a warm comedy

Maggie OBrien

More stories from Maggie O'Brien

Across the Pond
February 28, 2024

Photo by Maggie O'Brien

A promotional poster for “Cry It Out” at Acoustic Cafe.

Chippewa Valley Theater Guild performed “Cry It Out” on March 9 for its premiere in the Chippewa Valley. 

The play began at 7:30 p.m. and was held at The Grand Theatre. Ticket prices were $12 for students and youth, and $25 for adults and seniors. 

According to CVTG, “Cry It Out” is a comedy about parenting and friendship that tells the story of the intertwined struggle between three mothers from three different backgrounds. 

Linda McClelland, an audience member at the premiere of “Cry It Out,” said she and her friends had season tickets and chose this play from the selection. 

“This play just really tells the complexities of relationships,” McClelland said.

Molly Smith Metzler, the creator of “Cry It Out,” has also worked as a story editor and co-producer on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” and Showtime’s “Shameless.”

Susie Draeger, director of “Cry It Out” for the CVTG’s production, said Metzler’s involvement with “Orange is the New Black” is one of the factors that attracted her to the play. 

“I have a personal connection to this show,” Draeger said. “Before a show goes to Broadway it workshops and my college roommate workshopped this show.”

Draeger said the producers of the show found it neat that none of the young people who came out for “Cry It Out” are parents.

“So, to care about the show, the assistant director and I shared a lot of stories about when we were parents and things we went through,” Draeger said. 

According to Draeger, much of the set-up for the show, such as the sets, lights and costumes, happened last fall.

“My set designers are both female and they have never done a set before,” Draeger said. “They did a fantastic job and I wanted to give new people opportunities.”

Draeger said one of her hopes for the show was simply for people to come out and experience the poignant moments that happen throughout motherhood. 

“I would encourage students at UW-Eau Claire to come to see this show,” Draeger said. “I think it’s a good conversation to have with college students because it’s probably something you don’t think about until you’re out there and it’s happening.”

Cathy Pierzina, an usher for the Chippewa Valley Theater Guild, said she had never heard of “Cry It Out” prior to seeing it on March 9. 

“I thought it was really a well-done review of a variety of outlooks of parenting and the challenges of motherhood, friendship and career, and trying to balance all of those things in life,” Pierzina said. 

Pierzina said she thought the actors worked really well with each other and the premier of the play brought a lot of good energy to the CVTG.

“Cry It Out” will run through Sunday, March 19. Three performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. from March 16-18, and the final show is at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 19. 

Tickets to the remaining shows are available online or can be purchased prior to the event at the Grand Theatre.

O’Brien can be reached at [email protected].