The Marsh Berkeley Announces Special Talkback Engagement For THE MUSHROOM CURE
The Council of Spiritual Practices founder Robert Jesse will join actor Adam Strauss for an insightful free talkback "Psychedelics and Spirituality in the 21st Century" following the Friday, June 29 8:00pm performance of The Mushroom Cure at The Marsh Berkeley. Through CSP, Jesse was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at the Johns Hopkins University, and he is one of its co-investigators. A psychedelic scholar, Jesse is one of many people interviewed in Michael Pollan's New York Times bestseller How to Change Your Mind, a personal account from Pollan of how psychedelics could help the mentally ill and people dealing with everyday challenges. Jesse has also long participated in the development of a Bay Area spiritual community that draws liberally from the non-creedal, non-hierarchical ways of the Quakers. Earlier, he worked as a technology consultant and at Oracle as a vice president of business development. The Mushroom Cure is currently playing now through July 7, 2018 with performances 8:00pm Fridays and 8:30pm Saturdays at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. For tickets ($20-$35 sliding scale, $55-$100 reserved), the public may visit www.themarsh.org or call The Marsh box office at 415-282-3055 (open 1pm-4pm, Monday through Friday).
Inspired by a scientific study that hallucinogenic mushrooms may cure obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Strauss embarked on a program of vigilante psychopharmacology. The true tale of Strauss' hilarious, harrowing, and heartrending attempts to treat his debilitating OCD with psychedelics was an Off-Broadway hit, where it was named Critics' Pick by Time Out New York, which praised it as "riveting... true-life tour de force" and hailed by The New York Times as "mining a great deal of laughter from disabling pain." Strauss stars in the Bay Area production, while The Mushroom Cure simultaneously continues its extended run in New York at Theatre 80 St. Marks with another actor taking on the lead until June 30.
The Mushroom Cure, written and performed by Adam Strauss and directed by Jonathan Libman, received its West Coast Premiere in April 2017 at The Marsh San Francisco to critical acclaim and resulted in an extended 11-week run. Talkin' Broadway praised The Mushroom Cure as "a miracle of a show and a must-see," and called Strauss "a one-person tour de force." Theatrius raved it is "a hilarious ride through OCD" and "a fabulous, perceptive trip." The SF Theater Blog also noted that Strauss is "one extremely talented comedian."
The show first ran in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe garnering widespread acclaim. Critics called the show "hugely intelligent and incredibly engaging," (The Scotsman) "outstanding," (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine) and "a revelation" (Broadway Baby). Strauss' riotous tale appeared next in the New York International Fringe Festival, winning the Fringe's Overall Excellence Award for Solo Performance. It then was given its Off-Broadway premiere at New York's Cherry Lane Theatre, where it had a sold-out, extended run. The Mushroom Cure was remounted in December 2017 at Off-Broadway's Theatre 80 St. Marks. This run of the acclaimed solo show is sponsored by The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the leading psychedelic research and advocacy organization.
The Marsh is known as "a breeding ground for new performance." It was launched in 1989 by Founder and Artistic Director Stephanie Weisman, and now annually hosts more than 600 performances of 175 shows across the company's two venues in San Francisco and Berkeley. A leading outlet for solo performers, The Marsh's specialty has been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "solo performances that celebrate the power of storytelling at its simplest and purest." The East Bay Times named The Marsh one of Bay Area's best intimate theaters, calling it "one of the most thriving solo theaters in the nation. The live theatrical energy is simply irresistible."
Photo: The Marsh Berkeley announces the return of Adam Strauss' Off-Broadway hit "The Mushroom Cure," the true tale of Strauss' hilarious, harrowing, and heartrending attempts to treat his OCD with psychedelics. "The Mushroom Cure" will be presented now through July 7 at The Marsh Berkeley.
Photo Credit: David Allen