By Jessica Laub Special to Published Nov 06, 2006 at 6:04 PM

I finally made it over to see "Memory House" on Friday over at the Broadway Theatre Center. The play was written by Milwaukee native Kathleen Tolan, and staged by Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee's woman-founded theater company. I caught the play with a friend, and it inspired a lot of conversation about politics, motherhood, adoption, identity, memory and the latest in kitchen paraphernalia -- which is a good thing.

So what about the U. S. meddling in other countries political issues, and dropping bombs on innocent blueberry farmers? It tends to resonate, considering my husband is Nicaraguan, and Nicaragua voted to reinstate former Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega yesterday. The last time he led the country, the contra war happened.

So what about motherhood? The play did a fine job of tapping into the complexity of emotions that all mothers must experience. My lovely 2-year old-child consumes almost every free moment I have and drives me daily to the brink of insanity, yet is simultaneously the most beautiful and inspiring creature I have ever laid eyes on.

So what about the ethics of international adoption? Is it ethically correct? Is it a convenient way for adoptive parents to avoid dealing with birth mothers? Yes, no, maybe so. Every parent and every child has their own story. Cristina Panfilio did an awesome job as Katia a young woman who was adopted from Russia and a young age and desperately wants to discover the foundation of her "memory house."

So what about memories? How do the long summer days spent at Atwater Beach and all the things that I cannot remember shape the person I am today? We have a lot of stuff riding around in our noggins and whether we remember it or not, it defines us-even if life still boils down to a series of choices.

Finally, where can you find those nifty kitchen tools that the character of Maggie used to bake a real blueberry pie during the performance? I really liked that the clear mixing bowls that let me see so clearly how she mashed butter and lard together with her bare hands. And that thing she used to even the measuring cups was cool, too.

I think good theater makes me think and share thoughts with people who are important to me. Eight people in the audience had a piece of blue tape stuck to their seats, including me, and we won a piece of blueberry pie. My friend and I shared it after the show at a small wooden table in the lobby. It sure tasted good, and provided just enough time to properly digest the play.

Jessica Laub Special to

Jessica Laub was born in Milwaukee in the spring of 1970, thereafter spending her childhood days enjoying the summers on the shores of Lake Michigan and winters at the toboggan chute in Brown Deer Park.

Alas, she moved away to broaden her horizons, and studied out East for a few years at Syracuse University. After a semester "abroad" at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, she graduated with a B.A. in English and advertising.

After college, she worked at Glacier National Park, a ski hill in Steamboat, Col. and organic farms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California.

In 1995, Laub moved to Nicaragua where she worked on community gardens, reforestation and environmental education as a Peace Corps volunteer. While there, she learned to speak Spanish, pay attention to world politics and how to make tortillas.

Laub then returned to Milwaukee to join the ranks of the non-profit sector. Currently, she works at the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) and keeps busy by painting, throwing pots, reading, trying to understand her two-year old son, seeing performances and howling at the moon.