Marsh Theater Streams Performances, Talks

The black box theater group hosts virtual shows and discussions throughout June.

San Francisco has begun its phased reopening, but while hair salons, restaurants and even bars have been given a timeline for when they can resume business, live entertainment remains a question mark.

But that’s not stopping The Marsh, a performing arts theater in the Mission, from streaming events every night this month.

June will feature stories and songs about the night Trump was elected, as well as a Town Hall discussion with award-winning director and performer Don Reed. Past events have included book discussions, restorative yoga, and performances.

Here is The Marsh’s schedule for this week. All events will start at 7:30 p.m. and are free.

The Trip Home & Bardo
June 8, 7:30 p.m.
In The Trip Home, Helene Lara, a patented inventor and user experience specialist living in the Bay Area, takes a road trip back home. Along the way, she revisits old memories, sees just how far her car will go with the fuel gauge on E, and “encounters a detour into normal existence.” Bardo, a solo show by Michal Victoria, explores child abuse, inherited traumas, stigma around illness, beliefs of healing, and “the shadow side of new age-ism.” Victoria meets all these topics with a blend of solemnity and humor. Victoria battled undiagnosed illness and trauma since age six, and is an initiated priestess. She studied performing arts at the Neighborhood Playhouse and Carnegie Hall.

Barbara Lane’s Book Friends
June 9, 7:30 p.m.
Barbara Lane is a book columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the director of events for Copperfield’s Books, a regional bookstore chain in the North Bay. Lane is joined by Peter Stein and Susan Harloe for a discussion of stories that didn’t seem like they could be dramatized until they were. Stein is a Peabody and Emmy-award winning producer and presenter. He’s written and directed numerous documentaries for KQED, and was the executive director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Harloe is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Word for Word, a San Francisco theater company, which stages works of classic and contemporary fiction

June 10, 7:30 p.m.
Smoker chronicles Bob Brader’s 28 years of smoking — and trying to quit — cigarettes. In this one-man show, Brader plays 24 characters, exploring their complex and ever evolving relationships. While Brader acknowledges the negative health effects of his addiction, he also maintains that smoking helped him survive childhood abuse and find community. Smoker won “Best Autobiographical Show” from the United Solo Theatre Festival and was the Bestseller at Indie Theater Now in 2016. After the show, award-winning director Suzanne Bachner and hypnotherapist Frank Oden will talk with Brader about how he finally kicked the habit.

Stephanie Weisman & Irma Herrera
June 11, 7:30 p.m.
Stephanie Weisman, Artistic and Executive Director of The Marsh, will interview Irma Herrera — an award-winning performer, social justice activist, lawyer, and journalist. Herrera’s solo show, Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?, explores the assumptions and prejudices that arise when Herrera speaks her name with its correct Spanish pronunciation. It received the Best of 2017 San Francisco Fringe Award and had an extended run at The Marsh last March.

June 12, 7:30 p.m.
The comedic monologist Josh Kornbluth hosts a night of Bingo. A Drama Desk Award nominee, Kornbluth’s work has been selected for the annual Best American Plays collection. He’s currently an Atlantic Fellow at UCSF’s Global Brain Health Institute, developing monologues about dementia and helping those with dementia tell their life stories. Prizes will be awarded at the end of each round.

A Box Without a Bottom
June 13 , 7:30 p.m.
In 1866, Namigoro Sumidagawa was the first Japanese citizen to leave the country with a passport in over 200 years. He was a magician, and performed across America with the “Imperial Japanese Troupe.” When he returned to Japan, however, his prize trick Soko-nashi Bako was re-named the “Jap Box” in the US and appropriated by Americans in yellowface. This solo show written by and starring David Hirata bridges magic and autobiography, highlighting Soko-nashi Bako, Sumidagawa’s life, and Japanese American history. Hirata is a magician and performer, and his work has won “Outstanding World Premiere Production” at the 2018 San Diego International Fringe Festival. The performance will be rebroadcast and available throughout the day on June 14.

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