‘Speak’ performances guarantee to entertain, enlighten around theme of power and leadership | SteamboatToday.com

‘Speak’ performances guarantee to entertain, enlighten around theme of power and leadership

The fourth annual Speak performance, hosted by Young Bloods Collective, begins March 19 in Hayden. Two other shows will take place in Steamboat Springs on March 20 and Oak Creek on March 21.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — “Some moms are a**holes.”

If that topic makes you laugh, cringe or just shake your head, then you’re in for a rollercoaster of emotions at this year’s “Speak,” a night of performances by women in the Yampa Valley.

“We bring together creative writers and performers who are willing to share their stories and put themselves on stage and be vulnerable as storytellers,” said director and emcee Sarah Valentino.

Valentino is a member of Young Bloods Collective, a nonprofit creatives group that hosts the event.

“On the other end, we want the audience to be inspired and encouraged to grow in their own lives,” Valentino said.

This will be the fourth year the Young Bloods host Speak, described as “a telling of the female experience in all its humor and tragedy in the modern, mountain world.” Three shows will once again be performed in Oak Creek, Hayden and Steamboat Springs, starting Thursday, March 19, with proceeds going to fund women-related causes.

This year’s theme was “Power and Leadership,” but organizers were surprised by the direction of those who auditioned this year.

“We didn’t get stories you might have expected,” Valentino said. “We’re not getting stories about people being super human, running for office or being a CEO. We got a lot of stories of women breaking free from the expectations of being everything to everybody in society … those expectations of doing it all with a smile on our face, in high heels and with a full face of make-up.”

Producer and Young Blood’s co-founder Sista Luna likes to think this year’s show is more about the “innate power” within women instead of the classic “power player.”

If you go

What: Young Blood’s Collective’s Speak 2020: Power & Leadership
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at The Granary, 198 E. Lincoln Ave., Hayden; 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs; 7 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Circle R, 202 Sharp Ave., Oak Creek
Tickets: $15 at youngbloodcollective.org or $20 at the door

“There’s a piece that goes into mental health and the power of taking on that responsibility within one’s self. … We haven’t delved into that before,” Luna said. “And we have two original songs this year, which is pretty awesome, and a couple of our pieces are connected to motherhood.”

In all, there will be seven performers showcasing poetry, singing and storytelling. The show lasts about an hour.

Over the last few years, Luna has been amazed at the show’s effect on its audience.

“I’ve had people come up to me afterwards and say ‘I didn’t know something like this was here. … I’ve had this same experience,’” Luna said. “There’s something about seeing a truth about yourself reflected in art that’s truly validating.”

Luna said the performers also have found their Speak experience cathartic and life changing.

“For some performers it’s created dialogues in their own family and communities to talk about certain things,” Luna said.

Tickets are $15 at youngbloodscollective.org/tix-1 or $20 at the door.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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