Surprise Package – September 15, 2016


Dear Marshian,

Last week, Operations Manager, Meghan, handed me a package. Usually such packages are light bulbs or some kind of tech paraphernalia. My name on it, but not personal.

I tear the brown paper sack wrapping. It’s a book. It’s a book with a beautiful painting on the cover. The title, Bruce Kurland, Illusion and the Little World. 


Bruce Kurland , is the artist I lived with on the marsh on Delaware Bay. It was so beautiful. So isolated. Just the two of us living in this summer vacation spot. Nearly empty during the fall months. We would watch the panorama of the bay, the marsh, the migrating birds. The water would come up under this house on stilts during storms. Immersed in nature and life cycle, I had three months to write. To revel and struggle in this foreign artistic terrain.

I also got to watch a master artist at work. From sunrise to sunset Bruce painted. i saw how his technical prowess was equal to his brilliant aesthetic; and how this place, these environs, drove his work. It was a level of artistry I had never experienced before. It set a bar. It also was devoid of community. It was all about the isolation.

How did this book get to me?

I haven’t been in contact with Bruce since our relationship ended traumatically nearly 30 years ago after we moved back to Oakland. And sadly, Bruce died in 2013.

An envelope accompanied the book with a five-page handwritten letter from Dr. Steve, who lives near Buffalo, New York where Bruce and I met. The letter opened, saying that he had a story to tell.unnamed

Dr. Steve took a trip to San Francisco last summer with his wife and grandson. He wanted to see a play, a play he thought his grandson would appreciate. He searched the web and found The Marsh and Dan Hoyle’s EACH AND EVERY THING.

“It was a joy, especially when I looked over at my grandson, the 15 year-old, and saw him laughing; fully engrossed.”

Dr. Steve is a collector of Bruce Kurland’s paintings. Occasionally he does web searches on Bruce and The Marsh popped up.

In honor of his convergence, he sent me the book. Plate after plate of Bruce’s magnificent paintings, I am so grateful.

I invite you back, Dr. Steve! Right now is such a good time. Dan Hoyle is performing another play, THE REAL AMERICANS, and we just added a Sunday performance. You could also see, Elaine Magree’s new show, HOLDING THE EDGE–. It starts tonight. Elaine is even in the medical profession. Or learn more about the Bay Area with Don Reed’s EAST 14TH. Or engage in politics with Tom Ammiano and Will Durst. And everything else we do.

Thank you for the book Dr. Steve; and thank you for telling me your story.

All my best,
Stephanie Weisman
Artistic Director/Founder