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AFTER I'M DEAD, YOU'LL HAVE TO FEED EVERYONE Comes to the Historic Restored Barn at Straus Home Ranch on Tomales Bay

Performances run October 21, 2022 - November 13, 2022.

AFTER I'M DEAD, YOU'LL HAVE TO FEED EVERYONE Comes to the Historic Restored Barn at Straus Home Ranch on Tomales Bay

"After I'm Dead, You'll Have to Feed Everyone," is a daughter's comical love letter to her immigrant mother, Ellen Straus, a European city kid who found love on a California dairy farm and emerged as one of West Marin's iconic environmental pioneers.

"On her deathbed, I promised Mom I'd write my next show about her," said Vivien. "It took me 20 years but I finally did it!"

In her portrayal of her mother and best friend, Vivien combines insightful glimpses into Ellen's formative life events - fleeing from the Holocaust, witnessing racial injustice, and death-bed conversations about chicken salad - along with Vivien's own whimsical cow-inspired wisdom and poetry. In a 75-minute mad-cap tribute, Straus portrays 11 characters (10 humans and 1 cow).

Ellen, whose family escaped Nazi Europe just in time, soon fell in love with a German Jewish dairy farmer in West Marin. When their stunningly beautiful, agriculturally-rich region was threatened with sprawl development, Ellen dug in her heels (err, muck boots), and fought to protect it, soon emerging as one of the region's most vocal environmental advocates. Of her many accomplishments, she is perhaps best known as the co-founder of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, the nation's pioneering agricultural conservation organization. Per the New York Times obituary, when honored as Steward of the Land by the American Farmland Trust, Ellen said World War II had taught her a lifelong lesson about standing for one's beliefs: ''That we, as individuals, are responsible for what is happening in our communities, and that we must become activists.''

Vivien, a career actress who spent decades pursuing stardom in NYC and LA, is a writer, performer, manager of Straus Home Ranch (her family's homestead), and currently serves as a board member of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.

"Beyond her public persona, Mom was basically a goof. Boy, she made me laugh." Vivien's performance is sure to produce equal amounts of laughter and tears, in her long-awaited tribute to her best friend.

THE CAST (in order of appearance)

Tessie the Cow - There has to be a cow, of course! (Vivien)

Vivien - Pretending to be herself. (Vivien)
Mom - A Dairy Godmother to all. (Vivien)
Therapist - She's just had her hair done. (Vivien)

Oncologist - He knows about steroids. (Vivien)

Opa - An honest hero. (Vivien)
Oma - Well, we'll let her speak for herself. (Vivien)

Dad - A much smaller role than the last show. (Vivien)

Neighbor - The one that spoke for all. (Vivien)

Marica - pronounced "Maritha" (Vivien)
Hospice Nurse - Came without the drugs. (Vivien)
Rabbi - It had to be a man. Dad insisted. (Vivien)
Cemetery Manager - Need one of these, don't we? (Vivien)

Performances run October 21, 2022 - November 13, 2022.

OVERNIGHT SPECIAL: Enjoy the show and sleep at our historic ranch. For a group of up to 8 (4 couples). Check-in Friday 4pm, Check-out Saturday noon. $1,900. House details at:


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