What a treat it was to attend the production of Cry It Out from Open Stage Theatre and Company. Open Stage loves to find creative and unique venues to host its equally creative and unique plays. I’ve seen their productions at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s planetarium, in various parks throughout Fort Collins, and now at OBC Wine Project — the new winery adjacent to Odell Brewing. They’ve got a lovely outdoor patio surrounded by sunflowers where viewers sit at tables sipping wine and enjoying the play on the circular stage. Though it rained a bit in the beginning (be prepared), the show went on.

This play was written by Molly Smith Metzler, of Orange is the New Black and Shameless fame. Cry It Out is, on its surface, a story about motherhood. But throughout the 90 minutes or so of the play, directed by Bryn Frisina, we come to see that it’s a story of friendship, of struggles, of choices, of neighbors, and of love. At the center of the action are Jessie (Briana Sprecher-Kinneer) and Lina (Ariel Greenspoon) — neighbors with very little in common except for the fact that they are both tired, new mothers. They meet in Jessie’s backyard to share coffee and stories, baby monitors clipped to their hips.

What impressed me most about the actors in this poignant play was the easy, conversational tone they achieved. The audience nearly immediately feels like they are the eavesdropping neighbor across the way, trying desperately to help his seemingly postpartum-depressed wife. Peering through his telescope onto these two mothers drinking coffee in between nap times, Mitchell (Steven Fox), believes all his wife needs is a couple of other mothers to bond with.

When Mitchell devises a plan to have his wife, Adrienne (Tabitha Tyree) join these neighborhood moms, we get an intimate glimpse at the many struggles motherhood brings. Lina lives with her mother-in-law and is dealing with having to leave her baby to go back to work soon. Jessie is a corporate lawyer who’s decided she isn’t going back to work in favor of staying with her baby — she just hasn’t told her husband this yet. Adrienne insists it’s not postpartum depression, but rather the fact that when she became a mother it meant her shining career faltered, while her husband’s flourished.

The story is told with a simple set, consisting at first of a child’s play set (much too soon for an infant to be playing on), and then a small cafe table and chairs where the mothers sip their coffee. Costumes change only slightly to signal the length of the friendship and the creep toward Lina returning to work. Yet it is for this reason that the play seems so real. We are allowed to be immersed in the deep conversations the mothers have without distraction.

And while the conversations and the struggles are deep, real and intimate, there is laughter throughout. Lina with her New York-accented potty mouth, along with Jessie’s straight-edged reaction to some of Lina’s bold opinions, left the small audience rolling with laughter. The mother who joined me at the play was often in tears, leaning toward me to whisper just how spot-on this take on motherhood was. While not a mother myself, I was still able to laugh out loud at a friendship that developed out of the commonality of motherhood, yet ultimately became so much more.