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In ‘That’s What She Said,’ 10 St. Louis women take the mic

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Emily Woodbury
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Jenny Pratt, left, and Rhoda Banks are part of "That's What She Said," which has its St. Louis debut at the Sheldon next month.

Ten St. Louis women are getting ready to throw down — about the good, the bad and the deeply personal.

The women comprise the cast of “That’s What She Said,” a one-night-only show coming to the Sheldon on March 4. Each woman will tell a true story about her life, making the St. Louis debut of a project that began in Champaign, Illinois, nine years ago — and has since become a biannual event in that city. Now the show is expanding to other cities (Bloomington hosted its first “That’s What She Said” in 2019) and has launched a podcast.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, director and producer Jenny Pratt said she’d gotten to participate in a Champaign-based Zoom version of the show. One of the show’s founders is a friend from college, and when it moved online, she was recruited to participate — and found she loved it.

“I was like, ‘We need to bring this to St. Louis,’” she said. In Champaign, she added, “they are filling the theater every year, and we're hoping to do the same.”

The St. Louis show benefits Rung for Women, a new local nonprofit organization that helps empower middle- and working-class women seeking a career boost. Fittingly, one of the women Pratt recruited to tell her story in the show’s St. Louis debut is Rhoda Banks, who quips that her story goes from the “parking garage to the boardroom.” After growing up in public housing in St. Louis and working as a parking attendant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Banks is now senior vice president and head of talent management for AmericanAg Credit.

Listen to Jenny Pratt and Rhoda Banks on St. Louis on the Air

Banks said she is always eager to tell her story and had no hesitation about doing it in an auditorium that seats more than 700.

“I really get a lot of energy from speaking and sharing my story because one of my objectives in life is to inspire, motivate and uplift others,” she explained.

Surprisingly, Pratt said, just about every woman she asked has responded with similar enthusiasm.

“Every single person that I talked to and asked to be a part of this said, ‘I'm in, let's do it,’” she said. “I think we all are just craving connection right now. And we're all craving authenticity.”

She added: “The ladies who are a part of this are just exceptional humans. I'm excited for everyone to have, like, 10 new best friends.”

Related Event
What: That’s What She Said
When: 7:30 p.m. March 4
Where: The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Kayla Drake. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

Stay Connected
Sarah Fenske joined St. Louis Public Radio as host of St. Louis on the Air in July 2019. Before that, she spent twenty years in newspapers, working as a reporter, columnist and editor in Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. Louis.

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