Jen Bosworth's WHY NOT ME. LOVE, CANCER AND JACK WHITE Set for FringeNYC, 8/9-25

From the surreal Hollywood life as Academy Award Winner Nicolas Cage's office manager, actress to family illness and love, it's all an uplifting story of one woman's courageous romp through life's heartaches, headaches and hysterics - Why Not Me. Love, Cancer and Jack White - is a new one woman show from Chicago writer and performer Jen Bosworth. The groundbreaking performance takes place at this years New York International Fringe Festival which runs from August 9th - 25th, 2013. Based on Bosworth's real-life experiences, the wry, energetic performance reveals the humorous gaffes and tribulations of her days as an actress living in Los Angeles and her return to Chicago as sickness and cancer engulf her family, while, at the same time, popular singer Jack White invades her nightly dreams as an escape from reality.
"Why Not Me is a statement, not a question," said Bosworth. Life is tough so live it bravely and go for it; that's the essence of Why Not Me." The show chronicles Bosworth's move to L.A. in 2000 to seek stardom but she unexpectedly finds work as Nicolas Cage's office manager, learning about the surreal workings of Hollywood, up close. Mid-way through the decade Bosworth gives up on Hollywood and heads home to help care for her ill father who would pass away shortly after her return. Within two years her husband would survive a cancer battle and by the end of the decade her mother would die from cancer. "Agents in L.A. told me I was too fat; I lived in a dump at night and picked pricey furniture for million-dollar mansions by day; I'm home and my parents die, oh, and my husband gets cancer but, hey, we all have our crap so turn it into gold."
To purchase tickets and for venue and showtimes visit The New York International Fringe Festival website.
Artistic Statement: "Why Not Me. Love, Cancer and Jack White" is my story, the story of how this letter ended up in your hands. From a struggling actress to the surreal Hollywood life as an Academy Award Winner's office manager to dealing with family illness, death and love, I like to think of the show as an uplifting story of one woman's romp through all life has to offer.
The show chronicles my move to L.A. in 2000 to seek stardom after successful stints on ER, Early Edition and a starring role in one of Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theater Productions. However, agent after agent told me I was too fat to be cast in any meaningful roles and I found myself as a Hollywood office manager, where I lived in a dump at night and, ironically, picked pricey furniture for million-dollar mansions by day. Oh, and answered questions from my boss, Nic Cage, like, "Hey Jen, what's a deli?" So kinda glamorous but kinda not.
Mid-way through the decade I knew I had to get out of Hollywood or I'd run full speed through the floor to ceiling windows of my fancy office. Immediately upon my return to Chicago, I find out my dad had a drug overdose, and my mom AND my husband are diagnosed with cancer...oh, and Jack White begins invading my nightly dreams to help me escape from my new reality. Yeah, I know, it's a lot. But life is a lot. A lot of bad but really, so much good as well. It's the struggle to balance both that connects all of us and connects the audience to the show.
When my mother was first diagnosed with cancer we used to ask, "Why us?" But soon, as we wound our way down the road of illness and grief we began to ask another question. "Why not us?" I realized that I am not so special. Life throws hardships at all of us. "Why Not Me" is also a statement. It's a statement about living our dreams. About turning seemingly insurmountable trials into gold. Perhaps banged up and battered gold, but gold nonetheless.
An Evanston, Illinois native, Bosworth is an alumnus of Evanston Township High School and The Theatre School at DePaul University. Her numerous acting credits include the popular 90's television series ER and Early Edition and a starring role in a Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of The House on Mango Street. The debut of her first one-woman show - "I'm Not Trying to Get an Agent, This is My School Project" - was in L.A. in 2004 and was also staged in Chicago. A mainstay of Chicago's "Live-Lit" scene, Bosworth is a founding member of The Chicago Story Collective and can be seen regularly all over town telling her honest and hilarious tales. Bosworth holds two Master's degrees in psychology - Spiritual Psychology and Counseling Psychology from The University of Santa Monica. She has worked as a drug counselor at Lutheran Social Services in Chicago, Illinois.
Having demonstrated his songwriting and singing talents around the Midwest, Briar Rabbit spent the better part of his two years in Chicago collecting accolades such as Taste of Chicago, ABC 7's Windy City Live, being featured on a full-length film, WBEZ, The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Red Eye, and several regional blogs; while steadily haunting the city's staple venues. In 2011, Rabbit's debut release (The Company You Keep) dealt with the usual suspects of songwriting (love, loss, and self), and for 2012's Black History Month, he wrote an EP called "The Great Routine," about a fictional black actor performing as a minstrel in the 1900's. Briar Rabbit is ecstatic tO collaborate on Why Not Me "A strong message AND I get to play the blues? I'm in!" You can keep up with him at
Alyson Lyon, a graduate of DePaul University's Theatre School (Theatre Studies) and Second City's Conservatory, has always had her hands in many artistic pots. Alyson comes from a comedic acting background and her highlights there include: a guest-star role on "Curb Your Enthusiasm", a cameo in Jeff Garlin's "I Want Someone to Eat CheeseWith","12 Ophelias" at Trap Door Theatre and two Chicago solo shows: "Shoes of Champions" and "Pajama Girl". As a director, Alyson studied with Michael Maggio at DePaul and directed "Overwintering" at iO Theatre, She currently works as a freelance makeup artist for print, tv and film (check out for more on that end). Additionally, Alyson is a writer and has co-produced Essay Fiesta (, a monthly live lit event that benefits 826 Chicago, since 2009; she has performed her personal essays there and at Second Story, Paper Machete, Write Club, Story Club, Stories at the Store and This Much Is True. Alyson met Jen Bosworth through the world of live lit, has always been inspired by her beautifully brave work and is honored to direct "Why Not Me".
The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues. In addition to 1200 incredible performances, FringeNYC celebrates its 17th Anniversary this year from August 9th - 25th, 2013. Visit

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