Jessie is a corporate lawyer in a Manhattan firm. Lina is a community-college dropout and born-and-bred Long Islander. They don’t seem to have anything in common, but marooned at home with infants, they strike up a fast friendship. In the yard between their houses—as far as their baby monitors will reach—they bond over sleep deprivation, unreliable childcare, and “having it all.” A candid comedy about who gets to make which hard choices in the tinderbox of parenthood and class in the United States.
Funny and sharp.
Swift-moving and laugh-out-loud entertaining.
A beautiful, believable picture of how imperfect new parents strive to cope in a society that offers little support.
Molly Smith Metzler set Cry it Out in Port Washington, where she moved while pregnant. Here’s her description of the city in the play’s stage directions.
We are in suburban Long Island, in the city of Port Washington. Port Washington is an affluent, sleepy city with excellent public schools. Commuters are at Penn Station in just 35 minutes on the LIRR, so it’s a very popular destination for New Yorkers who have families and want to rent/buy bigger homes.
Molly Smith Metzler grew up in Kingston, New York in what she calls a “tough place”— the town was economically depressed in the 1990s, and Metzler grew up in a community that was deeply divided across income lines. The daughter of two public school teachers, Metzler often went into New York City with her parents to see theatre and art. She attended a large regional high school with frequent violent episodes. Growing up around people living with minimal means was an experience that inspired Metzler’s interest in writing about class.Read More
When Molly Smith Metzler was six months pregnant, she moved with her husband from Brooklyn, where they’d lived for ten years, to Port Washington in suburban Long Island. Molly gave birth to their daughter Cora and spent their first months together during one of Long Island’s worst winters on record. “We’d been living in the city; we didn’t know that when you have a baby you’re basically on house arrest,” Metzler remembers. They couldn’t afford a second car, “so I was trapped at home in wintery, oceany deep freeze with a baby. It was basically Winterfell, and I was dying of loneliness.”Read More
“Having It All” is a phrase that haunts women. In brief, it means: having the career, the family, the kids, the body (always, for women, it comes back to the body)—all these things, but never, not once, the complaints, the cursed weariness, the baby’s vomit on a sweat-stained shirt that you were definitely wearing this same time yesterday. Having it all, in this respect, is its own ideology: three words that encompass the scope of what we expect women to be—that is, everything, and preferably smiling.Read More
Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out features new mothers Jessie and Lina building a friendship over their shared experiences parenting their newborns, bonding despite their very different socioeconomic backgrounds and tackling a variety of parenting dilemmas.Read More
Recently relocated from Manhattan to suburban Port Washington, Long Island, where she’s marooned with her newborn daughter while her husband works in New York City, Jessie is excited for a high-stakes meeting: She’s invited her next-door neighbor Lina over for backyard coffee. The women bond quickly over sleep training, breastfeeding, the best librarians at story time, and their anxieties about balancing work and family when they return to their jobs.Read More