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Global Performers Highlighted In MarshStream International Solo Fest

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Live streaming performance festival runs October 7 – 11, 2020.

The Marsh announces the line-up for its first-ever digital global festival, MarshStream International Solo Fest, presenting performers aged 16 to 79 from across the nation and around the world, including Russia, Scotland, Israel, Canada, and Australia, as well as some of The Marsh's fan-favorites in a four day online marathon of 51 global works.

From one of the "five new faces of Russian humor" (GQ) to Off-Broadway actors, from an Austin Arts Hall of Famer to a Toronto PhD, performers will present works that tackle topics from optional clothing to post-COVID-19 fantasies, online dating, prison, suffragettes, hair, horny goats, clowning, adoption, plus personal stories of Paris, Israel, China, Vietnam, and much more. "We hope to provide a virtual arts sanctuary during a time of increased isolation and stress due to COVID-19," said The Marsh Founder/Artistic Director Stephanie Weisman, "We are pricing tickets so that even those financially devastated by the pandemic can take part." The Marsh will showcase the best of international solo performance in two virtual theaters (i.e. Zoom rooms) with each show followed by a live Q&A.

The Marsh, which pre-COVID operated theaters in San Francisco and Berkeley with some 600 performances per year on four stages, pivoted in April to create its digital platform, MarshStream, now offering nightly performances. MarshStream International Solo Fest will take place October 7-11, 2020. An opening night event will be held October 7, with an introduction by Stephanie Weisman and ten-minute works performed by Don Reed, Maureen Langan, and Ananda Bena-Weber. For Fest tickets (Shows: $0 - 20 Pay-What-You-Choose, Festival Pass: $25 includes all shows plus video on demand during the festival and for the following week) or more information, the public may visit themarsh.org. MarshStream International Solo Fest is made possible by a generous donation from the Zitrin Foundation. Zoom has provided additional support by providing two webinar rooms viewable by up to 1,000 individuals each.

The MarshStream International Solo Fest lineup will include full length works, as well as short works grouped as evening presentations. (Note: Performers and times are subject to change)

The full-length works include:


A ONE-MAN SHOW


Written and Performed by Skyler Cooper

Directed by Domenique Lozano
Bay Area, California, USA
A One-Man Show charts writer/performer Skyler Cooper's experience as a Baptist minster's daughter afraid to tell her parents that she likes girls, didn't believe in God, and desperately wished to become a man. Cooper's debut film, Hero Mars, has garnered him national and worldwide recognition, and continues to be used at high schools, universities, and organizations for gender studies, inspirational talks, and Trans-awareness. Throughout his 20 years in theater and film, Cooper is notable for his canon of work portraying both male and female characters. In June 2019, he made headlines in the San Francisco Chronicle by becoming the first transgender man in the history of classical theater cast to play Othello. A One-Man Show is Cooper's first solo performance.
Age recommendation: 11+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 60 minutes


IGOR MEERSON. YOUR FAVORITE RUSSIAN

Written and Performed by Igor Meerson
Saint-Petersburg, Russia

In Igor Meerson, Your Favorite Russian, Meerson discovers stereotypes about the US and the West, sharing his childhood experience in the Soviet Union as well as life in modern Russia and internationally. Based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Igor Meerson is a stand-up comedian who has made appearances around the world - from the United States to Thailand, Israel, Estonia, and beyond.
Age recommendation: 14+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 40 minutes


MAKE-UP


Written and Directed by Andy Mosely

Performed by Moj Taylor
Edinburgh, Scotland
In Make-Up, Lady Christina invites audiences to join her in the green room at the end of another performance above another pub. This might be her last ever show... but she says that after every show. Why should tonight be any different? Because tonight, a look in the mirror leads to the past and present colliding as Christina Sees her father's features reflected in her own, taking her back to the life that Christopher Laneghan lived before she came along. Performer Moj Taylor graduated from Drama Centre London, and is a professional actor, stand-up comedian, workshop facilitator, and presenter.
Age recommendation: 12+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 45 minutes


LISTEN... CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?


Written and Performed by Gloria Rosen

Directed by Suzanne Bachner
New York, New York, USA
Listen...Can You Hear Me Now? is writer/performer Gloria Rosen's autobiographical work, retelling her experience as a hearing child who was not allowed to sign despite having deaf parents. Forbidden to sign yet still serving as the voice of her family, Rosen lived between the worlds of deaf and hearing. Not fully belonging to either, Rosen follows her singular path to uncover and to find her own voice. Rosen has appeared in numerous plays and short films, and participates in the Effective Arts program using improvisational techniques to train personnel in the field of organ donation.
Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault | Run time: 60 minutes


THE ACTUAL DANCE

Written and Performed by Samuel A. Simon
Directed by Kate Holland

McLean, Virginia, USA

A love story with a happy ending, The Actual Dance is an award-winning one-person play that has toured globally. Told through the eyes and heart of a husband struggling with his wife's losing battle to breast cancer, this work amplifies what "love" really means, providing a universal, life-affirming lesson of hope and faith. Samuel A. Simon was one of the original lawyers for Ralph Nader in 1970. Now a DC Public Affairs professional, he has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Face The Nation.
Age recommendation: Parental discretion advised | Trigger Warnings: Parental discretion advised | Run time: 55 minutes


RHONDA BADONDA: THE ADVENTURES OF A GIRL
WITH A PAIN IN HER BRAIN


Written and Performed by Rhonda S. Musak

Directed by Gareth Hendee
New York, New York, USA
Rhonda Badonda wanted to function normally... but her brain didn't want to cooperate. A story about learning disabilities and the determination to overcome them, Rhonda Badonda: The Adventures of a Girl with a Pain in Her Brain dives into the shape-shifting landscape of the mind as Badonda unscrambles a hidden medical mystery and encounters the truth of her baffling and bewildering world. Since 2015, writer/performer Rhonda S. Musak has performed this work both nationally and internationally. She is a graduate of the National Shakespeare Conservatory and coaches actors (ages 9+) at her studio, Art & Soul Acting.

Age recommendation: 12+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 55 minutes


NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER

Written and Performed by Marga Gomez

Developed with Ellen Sebastian Chang
San Francisco, California, USA

Writer/performer Marga Gomez tackles the latest generational divides in Not Getting Any Younger, weaving her commentary through hilarious life vignettes - from little Marga attending a dysfunctional birthday party for her childhood nemesis Crazy Lisa to adult Marga trying to get a senior discount at Forever 21. Known for being one of the first openly lesbian performers in the nation, Gomez is a GLAAD Award-winning writer/performer of 13 solo plays that have been presented Off-Broadway and in San Francisco at The Marsh, Brava, and more. She has appeared on Showtime's Latino Laugh Festival, Comedy Central's Out There, and HBO's Comic Relief. Gomez's acting credits include Off-Broadway and national productions of The Vagina Monologues sharing the stage with Rita Moreno and Vicki Lawrence, and roles in HBO's Tracey Takes On... and Warner Bros. films Batman Forever and Sphere.

(NOTE: this show will only be available LIVE.)

Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 50 minutes


DISPATCHES FROM THE GREAT BURNING: WHAT MY MENNONITE ANCESTORS AND THE GOBI BEAR TAUGHT ME ABOUT SURVIVING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY


Written and Performed by Helen Stoltzfus

Directed by Albert Greenberg
Virginia, USA
Helen Stoltzfus presents her most recent solo work, focusing on her awakening to the climate crisis. Stoltzfus is co-artistic director/co-founder of BLACK SWAN Arts & Media which creates and produces original performance and multimedia works that transcend barriers of race, religion, culture, and politics.
Age recommendation: 10+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 50 minutes


AREN'T YOU...?


Written and Performed by Frederick Pitts

Directed by Shawn J. West

Developed with David Ford
San Francisco, California, USA
Aren't You...?, the newest solo show by Fred Pitts, recounts his hilarious journey to visit all 21 California Mission churches, where he discovers being black makes him an instant celebrity - the question is which one? Set in the Summer of 2012, Pitts finds himself at one Mission after the next, encountering fellow tourists who all have one thing in common: they are all experts on which famous black person he resembles. Full of Pitts' personal experiences and love of history, Aren't You...? perfectly blends delightful insights into the Missions, cogent thoughts on early California settlers' interactions with Native Americans, and the experience of walking in the shoes of an African American male. Pitts is a San Francisco-based actor who has been performing in the Bay Area for 20 years with companies including African-American Shakespeare Company, Custom Made Theatre Company, and others.

Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 57 minutes


MADAME PEARL

Directed, Written, and Performed by Kate Robards
New York, New York, USA
Three lives intertwine around a mystic bayou woman in this tale of love, sex, money and a horny goat in Madame Pearl. Currently based in New York, Kate Robards is an award-winning writer, actor, and comedian from Orange, Texas. Most recently seen at the 2020 SF Sketchfest, Robards has performed in more than 20 festivals throughout her career. She has appeared on VICE and Inside Edition; written for Kathy Griffin, Busy Phillips, Stacey Abrams; and toured her works both nationally and internationally.
Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: Violence and sex | Run time: 40 minutes


SEX & POWER

Written and Performed by Joanna Rush Wilpan
Directed by Seth Wilpan
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA

Drawing on diverse fields of knowledge, writer/performer Joanna Rush probes the complexities of Sex & Power in today's fraught sexual landscape. Presented with theatricality and humor, Rush's observational powers provide revelatory guidance for navigating the #MeToo movement into a healthier sexual territory for everyone, offering hope that we can evolve and heal as a society. Rush was chosen to perform sections of her critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway work KICK for "International Women's Day," sponsored by the United Nations Counsel on the Empowerment of Women and the Hunger Project.
Age recommendation: 12+ | Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault | Run time: 57 minutes


THE PARIS EFFECT

Written and Performed by Laura Jane Bailey
Directed by David Ford
San Carlos, California, USA

A young woman falls in love with Paris, France and begins an obsessive affair with the city in The Paris Effect. Years later, she brings her husband back to show him "The City of Lights." In an unexpected turn of events, Paris becomes jealous and obsessive, leaving the couple wondering if they will make it out of the city alive. Writer/performer Laura Jane Bailey is a Bay Area actress who has appeared at Capital Stage, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Aurora Theatre, and many others.
Age recommendation: Adult | Trigger Warnings: Suicide and death | Run time: 57 minutes


MORE THAN THAT: THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED PEOPLE'S PERFORMANCE PROJECT

Writers and Performers:

Tony Cyprien's The Bus Ride & Then Some!

Freddy Lee Johnson's Success in Minor

Pamela Ann Keane's High and Low

Pearl Louise's The Call
Produced by Mark Kenward

Co-Directed by Mark Kenward, Rebecca Fisher, and Wayne Harris
Bay Area, California, USA

More Than That: The Formerly Incarcerated People's Performance Project fosters compassion and understanding about the circumstances and choices that led individuals to incarceration, what they endured and learned inside, and the hard-won success of their lives after incarceration. Their stories give hope for the human condition and our ability to reform and reinvent ourselves, as well as providing society with the opportunity to reconsider the inhumane conditions that prisoners often endure. Each performer brings previous experience as a performer, writer, and/or public speaker, in addition to their inspiring work of now helping others deal with reentry, substance abuse, housing, and homelessness. This project is made possible in part by CA$H | Theatre, a grants program of Theatre Bay Area, and is presented in association with The Marsh.
Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: Causes and impacts of incarceration, including physical violence, substance abuse, and racial trauma | Run time: 59 minutes


THE HUMMINGBIRD

Written and Performed by Kathryn Keats
Directed and Developed by David Ford

Music, Lyrics, and Book by Kathryn Keats
Music and Music Production by Kevin Gerzevitz
Oakland, California, USA

The Hummingbird is a solo musical experience that follows Kathryn Keats's own journey from her start as promising young singer landing New York City at the age of 17 to fulfill her dream to be on Broadway. Struck by the irresistible and seductive invitation of her Off-Broadway music director to become his muse, The Hummingbird follows the director's descent into madness and Keats' attempt to save him, only to come dangerously close to losing her own life. Keats began working on The Hummingbird at Berkeley Repertory's The Ground Floor. After that residency was completed, she connected with David Ford at The Marsh, where the work became a solo musical.
Age recommendation: 18+ | Trigger Warnings: Life in show business, physical and ritualistic violence, mental illness, and loss | Run time: 57 minutes


CHASING TEMPLES

Written and Performed by Betsy Murphy
Bay Area, California, USA

Chasing Temples takes audiences on a wild trip into the world of self-help and spiritual enlightenment, ending up in the one place that writer/actor Betsy Murphy was avoiding. Like her popular show The O Diary, Murphy doesn't shy away from offering personal details that some might find cringeworthy. Better known as a guide for women to retrieve the hidden parts of their stories, Murphy strives to make speaking about the unspeakable comfortable.
Age recommendation: 14+ | Trigger Warnings: Explicit language | Run time: 55 minutes


MAY THE FEMININE RULE

Written and Performed by Natacha Ruck

Developed with David Ford
San Francisco, California, USA

France, 1981: The first socialist president is about to be elected and a young Natacha Ruck is already beginning to implement her own political platform. But first, she will take down the schoolyard bully, eviscerate the rules of French grammar, and pull off the most fulfilling heist of her young life: making off with grandmother's chocolate. Ruck is a San Francisco-based writer, performer, and podcaster who uses stories to deepen understanding and foster action. Her award-winning documentary work has appeared at the MoMA and Whitney Museum of American Arts, as well as on National Geographic, NBC NY, and on Public Radio affiliates nationally.
Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 48 minutes


DAY OF THE DEAD DADDY

Written and Performed by Nelsie Spencer

Directed by Carty Spencer
Toms River, New Jersey, USA

Day of the Dead Daddy follows the story of Nelsie Spencer and her siblings traveling to a distant "land" to bury their dead father. In this funny, heartbreaking, and (she swears-to-God) true story, Spencer takes audiences on a journey that spans six decades, playing all the characters and revealing family secrets along the way. Last October, Spencer performed Day of the Dead Daddy to sold-out houses in New York City.
Age recommendation: 18+ | Trigger Warnings: Sexual abuse | Run time: 59 minutes


WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT SEX

Written and Performed by Steve Budd
Directed by Mark Kenward

Developed with David Ford
Oakland, California, USA

Writer/actor Steve Budd wondered what other people knew about sex that he didn't... so he asked them. In What They Said About Sex, audiences will meet a gay man, a polyamorous woman, a transsexual, and an octogenarian, and take a wild tour of their stories and secrets - as well as Budd's. An actor, writer, storyteller, stand-up comic, and solo performer Budd has trained at The Marsh and with The Groundlings in L.A. Originally from Boston, Budd has performed with many companies including San Francisco Playhouse, Custom Made Theatre Company, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Central Works, Impact Theatre, Marin Shakespeare Company, Wheelock Family Theater, The Theater at Monmouth, and The English Theatre Company of Israel.
Age recommendation: 15+ | Trigger Warnings: Sexual experiences and exploration | Run time: 59 minutes


WHO KILLED SYLVIA PLATH

Written by Lynne Kaufman

Performed by Lorri Holt
Directed by Warren David Keith
Bay Area, California, USA

Poet Sylvia Plath returns to her burial place in West Yorkshire, England to view the fourth replacement of her tombstone. The previous ones have been defaced by feminists who chiseled off her married name, claiming it was Ted Hughes who caused Sylvia Plath's death. Did Hughes kill Plath? Was her suicide at age 30 a "good career move"? Would she do it again? And what does it say to us today? Performer Lorri Holt has been a leading actress in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than three decades, working with Berkeley Rep, ACT, Aurora Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, and many more. She originated the role of Harper Pitt in Tony Kushner's Angels in America.

Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: Suicide, divorce, and depression | Run time: 58 minutes


HE WANTS TO RUN

Written and Performed by David Kleinberg
Directed by Mark Kenward

Developed with David Ford
San Francisco, California, USA

Despite his distaste for running and dogs, David Kleinberg ended up running with his neighbor's dog, Butler, for 13 years in Cloverdale. Kleinberg's fourth work as a solo theatre artist, He Wants to Run, follows the story of what Butler teaches David about living and dying.

Kleinberg was a writer/editor at the San Francisco Chronicle for 34 years (14 years editor of the Sunday Datebook) before spending 10 years as a standup comedian (appearing with Robin Williams, Richard Lewis and Dana Carvey). He also had two successful runs at the Marsh Theater on his Vietnam war experiences - Hey, Hey, LBJ! about his year as an army combat correspondent in Vietnam, and Return to the Scene of the Crime, going back to Vietnam 50 years later to perform "LBJ" under threat of arrest from the communist government.
Age recommendation: 8+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 55 minutes


50,000 MICE, THE SELINA SOLOMONS STORY

Written and Performed by Jessica Litwak
Directed by Tracy Ward
New York City, NY, USA

Celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, 50,000 Mice, The Selina Solomons Story gives audiences a peek at the local corner of the Suffrage movement. This one-woman show tells the story of Selina Solomons, a Sephardic Jew from San Francisco who opened The Votes for Women Club on Sutter Street in 1910, where she served a five-cent lunch and encouraged the working women of the city to read about the Suffrage movement. Litwak, RDT, PhD is an actor, playwright, drama therapist, educator, puppet builder, and recognized international leader in the field of socially engaged theatre. She is the Artistic Director of The H.E.A.T. Collective, the founder of Artists Rise Up New York, a core member of Theatre Without Borders, and a Fulbright Scholar. Litwak's work has been published by TCG, Applause Books, Smith and Krause, No Passport Press, and The New York Times. Her plays have been produced in Europe, South America, the Middle East, India, the UK, and throughout the US.
Age recommendation: 12+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 60 minutes



SHARDS


Written and Performed by Evan Kent

Directed by Karen Golden

Puppet Design and Costume by Vicki Karlan

Jerusalem, Israel

In 2013 writer/performer Evan Kent moved from Los Angeles to Jerusalem. His one-person musical Shards chronicles his story of immigration. Interwoven with the tale of his grandparents' immigration from Russia to New York in 1908, Shards shares the story of the continual search for home, homeland, and - along the way - discovering what you didn't even know you had lost. Shards has been presented throughout the United States.
Age recommendation: 10+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 55 minutes


THE PINK HULK: ONE WOMAN'S JOURNEY TO FIND THE SUPERHERO WITHIN

Written and Performed by Valerie David

Directed by Padraic Lillis and Maris Heller

Bolinas, California, USA
After fighting off lymphoma, writer/performer Valerie David finds she is faced with battling breast cancer. With a fear that she might "lose the girls," David takes them out for one last hurrah. After all, a cancer diagnosis means only one thing for David: "Time to get laid!" Does she succeed? Is there a "happy" ending? A sexy, adventurous solo show, The Pink Hulk: One Woman's Journey to Find the Superhero Within follows David's journey to summon her own "hulk-like" strength and find her superhero within to become a three-time cancer survivor. The Pink Hulk has been accepted into 33 festivals, touring around the globe.
Age recommendation: 12+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 55 minutes


GUTLESS AND GRATEFUL

Written and Performed by Amy Oestreicher

Fairfield, Connecticut, USA

Through interwoven song and dialogue, writer/performer Amy Oestreicher shares a primal piece of live storytelling in Gutless & Grateful. Growing up, Oestreicher had ambitious plans for Broadway... until she abruptly developed a blood clot and was rushed to the hospital, where her stomach exploded in the operating room and both of her lungs collapsed. Waking up from a coma several months later, Oestreicher was told that she no longer had a stomach and it was uncertain she would ever be able to eat or drink again. After 27 surgeries and six years of being unable to drink a drop of fluid, Oestreicher's digestive system was miraculously reconstructed. Oestreicher is an Audie award-nominated playwright, performer, and multidisciplinary creator. She overcame a decade of trauma to become a sought-after PTSD specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, international keynote speaker, RAINN representative, and health advocate. Oestreicher has given three TEDx Talks on transforming trauma through creativity, and has contributed to NBC's Today, CBS, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, and MSNBC, among others.
Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: Medical trauma and sexual abuse | Run time: 55 minutes


HIDING ANNE FRANK

Written and Performed by Prudence Wright Holmes

Directed by Danielle Wilson

New York City, NY, USA

Miep Gies, the 32-year-old secretary in Otto Frank's office, brought the Frank family food every day. She also found Anne's diary and was knighted for her heroism. Written/performed by Prudence Wright Holmes, Hiding Anne Frank is a powerful work that tells the story of how Gies risked her own life to help the Frank family hide from the Nazis. Holmes has appeared in the films Sister Act I and Sister Act II with Whoopi Goldberg, Kingpin with Woody Harrelson, My Own Love Song with Renee Zellweger, After Life with Liam Neeson, First Reformed with Ethan Hawke, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Coen Brothers) with James Franco, among many others. She has appeared in four Broadway shows and has written and performed solo shows about Agatha Christie, Harper Lee, Virginia Woolf, Typhoid Mary, and Willa Cather.
Age recommendation: 13+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 59 minutes


Shorter works, grouped as evening presentations include:


45 COFFEE DATES

Written and Performed by Antonia Kasper
Directed by Katherine Elliott
New York, New York, USA

With her biological clock ticking, 38-year-old New Yorker Rachel Yardley is propelled into doing something that goes against everything she believes in: online dating. Challenged by her sister's dare to meet 50 men in 90 days, Yardley rises to the occasion in 45 Coffee Dates. While desperately speed dating at Starbucks, Yardley questions her past choices in ex-boyfriends, abandonment/abusive issues with her father, and why the only unconditional love she has ever known is with her dog. Can this woman who feels "past her prime" find true love in a city where the odds are against her? Playwright/actor Antonia Kasper has performed throughout the world in theatre, film, and television. 45 Coffee Dates is based on her book of the same name.
Age recommendation: 18+ | Trigger Warnings: Explicit language | Run time: 15 minutes


ARDHANARISHWARA: THE INTERSEXUAL BEING

Dance and Choreography by Anuradha Naimpally

Music by Lavanya Ananth

Austin, Texas, USA
Ardhanarishwara is an intersexual being that fuses the male Shiva and female Shakti into one human form. Set to a poem by early 8th century poet Adi Shankara, this original choreography brings life to the metaphorical descriptions of Shiva's wild dreadlocks, garland of skills, and bare body in contrast to Shakti's shiny black hair, flower garlands, and silk sari, leading the audience into the higher plane of spirit that is beyond gender. Dancer/choreographer Anuradha Naimpally is a Bharata Natyam performer and teacher. The ability to effortlessly blend ancient Indian dance and Texas folk music makes Anuradha a sought-after speaker, performer, and collaborator. Naimpally is a 2018 Austin Arts Hall of Famer and recipient of numerous global honors and awards. Her passion for arts in education and art as social practice has led to projects on racial inequity, climate change, and women empowerment.

Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 12 minutes


HARD HITTING 2020 NEWS


Written and Performed by Maggie Lou Rader
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Lucy Liffer covers the hard-hitting news at the end of 2020. While the job is bleak, Liffer is thankful for the existence of alcohol. A produced playwright, member of the Dramatist's Guild, and AEA Actor, Maggie Lou Rader tells epic stories of epic women. Her plays have been produced at Know Theatre of Cincinnati and InBocca Performance. As a performer, Lou Rader has worked with Know Theatre of Cincinnati, StageOne, The Human Race Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare, and Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, and has been a resident actor with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for 10 seasons.
Age recommendation: 18+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 9 minutes


CREATIVE RESILIENCE

Performed by Amelia Romano
San Francisco, California, USA

Inspired by the outdoors and the people who have impacted her life, musician Amelia Romano will perform three original compositions in Creative Resilience. Turning to nature to restore and remain resilient, the sounds in this piece will feature dynamic rhythmic flare, drawing from classical, Latin American, and world harp styles. Throughout her career, Romano has not only played music from the repertoire, but has also reprised them to create her own original compositions. She draws inspiration from her first-hand experiences in South Africa and her roots in San Francisco's cultural hotbed.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 18 minutes


THE LAST BAG


Written, Directed and Performed by Tain Leonard-Peck
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, USA
The Last Bag is a comedy set in a post-apocalyptic, post-COVID era. A desperate, bedraggled soldier discusses the fall of his society, the terrible snack food wars that followed, and reminisces about his great lost love: the last bag of Doritos. The Last Bag is written, directed, and performed by high school student Tain Leonard-Peck. In 2020, he received Honorable Mention in the Creators of Literary Justice Award, by IHRAF, the largest human rights art festival in the world and is a finalist for #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence, a nationwide competition.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 15 minutes


FANCIFOOL! WITH ANANDA BENA-WEBER

Written and Performed by Ananda Bena-Weber

Directed by Rosine Bena
San Francisco, California, USA

Featuring dancing, singing, mime, clown, HD films, and edgy social commentary, Fancifool! With Ananda Bena-Weber presents a hilarious, heartwarming, thought-provoking look at love. Fancifool! won "Best Variety Show" and a "Critic's Choice" pick at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City. Writer/performer Ananda Bena-Weber is an interdisciplinary performing artist and teacher, who was professor of dance at Marymount Manhattan College and a teaching artist for the Dance Theater of Harlem and Mark Morris Dance Center in New York for 16 years. She now resides in San Francisco, where she teaches for Alonzo King's Lines Ballet.
Age recommendation: 12+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 30 minutes


REALLY ENOUGH

Written and Performed by Margaret Zhao
Pleasanton, California, USA

A true story of tyranny, courage, and comedy, writer/performer Margaret Zhao's Really Enough is an award-winning memoir about her fight against oppression and poverty while growing up in China, as well as her life as an immigrant in the US surviving culture shock. Zhao is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, TaiChi/Qigong teacher, and stand-up comedian. She has delighted audiences of all ages at the Hollywood Laugh Factor, comedy clubs, schools, churches, fundraising events, and many other venues.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 20 minutes


MA MA BIRD

Written and Performed by LaTeigra Cahill
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Ma Ma Bird offers a true tale about meditation, clearing the mind, boosting creativity, and healing the mother wound. Writer/performer LaTeigra Cahilla is a Las Vegas based performer and meditation teacher who performed her first solo show, Opening Up, at the Stage Werx Theatre and an alumni of San Francisco's Solo Performance Workshop.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: Drug addiction | Run time: 12 minutes


CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'

Written and Performed by Roberta D'Alois
Directed by Amanda Lee
San Francisco, California, USA

California Dreamin' chronicles writer/performer Roberta D'Alois' escape to California from a dreary East Coast winter and her involvement with another "outsider." The two develop a bond over their love of Prince and their shared fashion sense. Things seem to be on track until their Halloween party goes awry and D'Alois finds herself without her favorite pair of shoes. D'Alois is the Artistic Director of Jump! Theatre, which presents theater based on authentic stories of mental illness. Her work has been featured at the Exit, Impact Theatre, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. As an artist-activist, D'Alois was chosen as a Yerba Buena Center Fellow, where she worked with 30 artists and change makers to investigate the concept of citizenship.
Age recommendation: 18+ | Trigger Warnings: Sex | Run time: 12 minutes


THE YOUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF DAMON DUKIRK

Written by Kieran Carroll | Edithvale, Melbourne, Australia

Performed by Zach Wegner | New York, New York, USA

Directed by Stephan Cedars

Both comedy and tragedy, The Youthful Adventures of Damon Dukirk is an episodic monologue about the peripatetic and hedonistic life of a poet who moves from great triumphs to dismal failures. Utilizing a combination of ornate and prosaic language, Damon Dukirk speaks of the successes, the poor decisions, the romantic dreams, and great hopes he has for his literary life. Beginning in the unnamed province of his birth, Damon Dukirk takes an idiosyncratic path through central Germany, Iceland, Portugal, Sydney, and into the Pacific Ocean, moving blindly and quickly from an anachronism, to a cult figure, to the great dreamer of world poetry. Along the way, other characters help and infuriate in this work about idealism and a lack of practicality, of hedonism and romanticism, of long nights out and the joy of creating new writing. Kieran Carroll is an award-winning Australian playwright who writes dramas, biographical works, and comedies while Zach Wegner is an actor and writer, known for In the Cut (2003), Adult (2018) and And It Was Good (2015).
Age recommendation: 16+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 30 minutes


8 YRS 4 MONTHS 11 DAYS: A BLACK LIFE MATTERING

Written, Performed, and Directed by Don Reed

Los Angeles/Oakland, California, USA

Writer/performer/director Don Reed was 8 Yrs 4 Months and 11 Days Old when Martin Luther King was assassinated. This semi-autobiographical work by Reed looks at that day through the eyes of five characters and how it impacted where we are and how we matter. Reed (The Tonight Show/Amazon Prime/NPR's Snap Judgment) is a multi-faceted solo performer/producer who has been deeply entrenched in all things The Marsh for over a decade.
Age recommendation: 18+ | Trigger Warnings: Explicit language, racial themes, and graphic explanation of racial violence | Run time: 30 minutes


A CLOSE SHAVE AND THE ARGOS CYCLE TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA

Written and Performed by Colin MacLeod

Edinburgh, Scotland

During 1999, writer/performer Colin MacLeod was working in Cape Town, South Africa, a time when the political and economic environments were seeing a transition from apartheid to black empowerment. MacLeod thought that he might also live life by buying a violin and entering the Cape Argos Cycle Race. MacLeod invites audiences to listen to his story of the close shave, the cycle race, and the Celtic fiddle music that helped him stay focused in A Close Shave and the Argos Cycle Tour of South Africa. Originally from Scotland, MacLeod now travels the world engaging audiences through playing Celtic fiddle, telling stories, teaching, performing, and speaking about the Celtic culture.
Age recommendation: None | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 10 minutes


GRANDMA'S MILLION DOLLAR SCHEME

Written and Performed by Koorosh Ostowari

Directed by David Ford

Sausalito, California, USA

Grandma's Million Dollar Scheme, mostly based on a true story with a few fictional moments, tells a story about race, class, greed, and a justice system with loopholes for white collar criminals who never end up doing time. Writer/performer Koorosh Ostowari draws from his experience as a spiritual teacher and his interactions with his students at the local jail, as well as his own journey as a "get rich quick" real estate guy in San Francisco. Ostowari has dedicated himself to the practice of cultivating mindfulness and helping his clients and students alleviate anxiety and achieve financial wellbeing through spiritual communication classes and has helped over 5,000 women in the Northern California prison system.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 10 minutes


ENGINEERING LOVE

Written and Performed by Bruce Grosse

Directed by Alicia Dattner and Tom Bentley-Fisher

Bay Area, California, USA

Writer/performer Bruce Grosse is an engineer who has "reverse engineered" the search for love and wants to pass on the secrets he has uncovered. In Engineering Love, Grosse relates his own search for love through stories about dating and relationships. This is one of some 12 public storytelling works created by Grosse.

Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 10 minutes


MY FIRST BOSS

Written and Performed by Mercilee Jenkins

Directed by Heather Arnett

San Francisco, California, USA
In My First Boss, a woman faces her #MeToo moment with honesty, humor, and a hula hoop, revealing the influence gender violence has had on her life. Arriving in New York City in the 1970s, she realizes her ambition to be something other than a secretary, ending up with a good job but lecherous boss - then returns thirty years later for an unexpected reckoning that profoundly changes her understanding of herself. Writer/performer Mercilee Jenkins is an award-winning playwright, performance artist, and poet. She has performed solo pieces and presented plays at the 3GirlsTheatre New Works Festivals, Stage Works, San Francisco Theatre Festivals, Lit Crawl, and The Marsh.

Age recommendation: 15+ | Trigger Warnings: Sexual violence | Run time: 17 minutes


NOT REALLY (LITTLE STAR)


Written and Performed by Toby Malone

Directed by Meg Logue

Toronto, Canada

Written and performed by Toby Malone, Not Really (Little Star) follows a man speaking of his need to grieve an abstract but real life. Malone works as an academic, playwright, and dramaturg. He holds a PhD in Shakespearean textual analysis and dramaturgy from the University of Toronto and a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Western Australia. Malone has worked as a theatre artist in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the US. He has published articles in Shakespeare Survey, Literature/Film Quarterly, Canadian Theatre Review, Borrowers and Lenders; appears in published collections with Routledge, Cambridge, and Oxford; and has published a monograph on War Horse with Palgrave Macmillan.

Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: Miscarriage | Run time: 16 minutes


BIRDS


Written and Performed by Ron Jones

Directed by Charlie Varon
San Francisco, California, USA
Drawing from the idea that freedom is for everybody, not just somebody, Birds follows the struggle for identity and racial superiority between Brown Birds and Blue Birds. Amidst the tension between Brown and Blue, A Red Bird, Woman Bird, and Poet Bird hope to prevent chaos by teaching Children Birds about freedom and social justice. Ron Jones is best known for his Palo Alto classroom experiment called "The Wave." Novelized by Todd Strasser, his short story of "The Wave" is read worldwide. It was also made into a feature film Die Welle (The Wave) and a current Netflix series We Are The Wave. Theatric versions of The Wave have appeared on stages in Madrid, Hong Kong, New Deli, Moscow, New York City, Berlin, Jerusalem, and San Francisco.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 10 minutes


CLOTHING OPTIONAL


Written and Performed by Amy Segal

Directed by Adam Lesser
New York, New York, USA
Clothing Optional follows a buttoned-up Wall Street executive's experience at a writing workshop in Esalen, a retreat center in Northern America with clothing-optional hot tubs. After rediscovering her quirky side, the executive returns to New York with a newfound abandon. Amy Segal is a regular at MothSlams and has studied with Seth Barrish at The Barrow Group in New York.
Age recommendation: 16+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 20 minutes


CLOUDS OF FISH

Written, Performed, and Created by Sha Sha Higby

Bolinas, California, USA

Informed by her experiences in Asia, Sha Sha Higby presents a work of visual delights, made to move with her living body as the driving force. Meticulously crafted over the course of years, her sculptural costumes and puppets use paper, wood, leaves, silk, lacquer, and ceramics, offering a sensory experience that falls somewhere between the natural and the divine.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 22 minutes


DON'T MAKE ME HATE YOU


Written and Performed by Maureen Langan
Novato, California, USA
Written and performed by Maureen Langan, Don't Make Me Hate You lambasts politicians, political correctness, reality stars, rich guys, hipsters, hot chicks, cougars, ageism, sexism, oblivious strangers, and the "Orange Maniac" destroying America. The show was set to make its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2020 before it was postponed a year due to COVID-19. Langan performed on Broadway with Rosie O'Donnell and opened for Steven Wright, Joy Behar, and Gladys Knight. She has performed on Gotham Live, HBO, and at festivals from Canada to South Africa.

Age recommendation: 14+ | Trigger Warnings: None| Run time: 35 minutes


ADVENTURES BEYOND MY LIVING ROOM


Written and Performed by Helene Lara
Oakland, California, USA
Taking place in the rainforest, Adventures Beyond My Living Room is a heartwarming journey of human pain, strength, and refuge. Along the way, writer/performer Helene Lara encounters torrential downpour, a lost traveler, and a peculiar bus driver. Lara's stories come from personal life experience of seemingly everyday events. She has performed for The Marsh and NY Writers Coalition, among others.

Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 26 minutes


I AM NOT MY HAIR


Written and Performed by Kiki
Oakland, California, USA

I Am Not My Hair follows Kiki as she muses about her favorite subjects: her hair and herself. Kiki is a wife and mother from Oakland, California, a retired Blesbian artist, writer, editor, blogger, podcaster, and CEO and founder of BlackHistoryEveryday.com, KikiPosts.com, and Anchor.fm/Kikipodcasts.
Age recommendation: 16+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 16 minutes


LOVE NEEDS ETERNAL VIGILANCE


Written and Performed by Grama K. Jayram

East Windsor, New Jersey, USA
While imprisoned by 'King Corona' in their suburban home, a husband married for 40+ years chooses a hobby: making candles. His wife would like him to make them in the garage or on the Island of Crete, but not inside their home. Love Needs Eternal Vigilance follows as the husband hatches a plan to win himself him a place in the kitchen to make candles... and reveals his superiority to Michelangelo in one shining respect. Born in India, Dr. Grama K. Jayram has lived in America and India for the last 50 years, and is author of seven plays, 25 short stories, a memoir, a volume of poetry, and a book on leadership called How to Help an Elephant Make a U-Turn?
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 10 minutes


SO, WHAT ARE YOU?

Written and Performed by Judi Le
San Francisco, California, USA

Fleeing Vietnam on the eve of the fall of Saigon and ending up in refugee camp in Arkansas were already traumatic enough. But then, Judi Le's family settled in Katy, Texas. Which was the nightmare again? In this captivating, heartbreaking, and ultimately, hilarious performance, Le recounts her struggles as a young Vietnamese girl straddling two cultures: the one she was born into and the one she lives with. Packed with fascinating characters, So, What Are You? captures the absurdity and joy of the human condition.

Age recommendation: 15+ | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 20 minutes


MY NEW MOM

Written and Performed by Anne Bachy
Santa Barbara, California, USA

While getting adopted at 10 years old can be seen as an improvement from living with relatives who don't want you, or being placed in questionable foster care, or getting put in a county orphanage - major challenges will still arise. My New Mom follows a child's experience adjusting to the elaborate rules of a perfectionistic new mother who is given to erratic excess. Writer/performer Anne Bachy is a writing teacher who leads workshops on the creative process for screenwriting conferences, advertising agencies, and writers' groups. She is also a Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in the uses of writing and healing.
Age recommendation: All ages | Trigger Warnings: None | Run time: 15 minutes


SHE'S NO LADY

Written and Performed by Pearl Ong

Directed by David Ford
San Francisco, California, USA

From high tea to dim sum and kung fu, She's No Lady follows writer/performer Pearl Ong's intercontinental journey from a life of privilege to a contretemps in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. A native of Hong Kong with a checkered past, Ong moved to the US at age 15 in 1970. Before becoming a software engineer in 1986, she spent seven years as a nightly taxi driver. Now retired, Ong took a class with David Ford at The Marsh in February 2019 which has led to the creation of She's No Lady.
Age recommendation: 12+ | Trigger Warnings: Drug use | Run time: 15 minutes


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