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30 Days of NYMF on BroadwayWorld Day 8: Why I Refused to Let 6 Women with Brain Death Die by Valerie Fagan

by Valerie Fagan

One endless night, I decided to feed my restless ego with a vanity search of "6 Women With Brain Death," a musical I co-wrote in my senior year in college. I saw something that sleepless night that drove me into an uberfrau frenzy and I've been awake ever since. "Brain Death" has been experiencing a kind of resurrection. It's opened to amazing reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and is slated for a run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival this fall. "Brain Death" has been around for a while and is even described as a "cult hit" by many people on the West Coast. Katherine Shulz, founder of the League of Sacramento Theaters, was interviewed about the show. This was the google that spun me into my latest dance with insomnia .

"You wonder why people come to this show over and over," Schultz said. "A woman with cancer, in hospice care, has seen it a dozen times. She has no idea if she'll be alive a week from now, and she said to me, 'This is a blessing. I come here and laugh so hard that it lasts me a week.' Women drag in other women: women with cancer, widows who've just lost their husbands, women with horrible things going on in their lives. This show allows you to laugh at yourself, to laugh at life."

I've been obsessed with getting "Brain Death" into New York ever since I read that online at 5am. This merciless trip with my conscience has even launched this show into the prestigious NYMF. By the way, I'll also be performing in "Brain Death." Look for me; I'll be the one with the bloodshot eyes.

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