Diane Barnes


Written & Performed by Diane Barnes
Directed by Rebecca Fisher
Developed with David Ford
Sound/Lightboard Operator: Alexa Almira

March 15 – March 29, 2018 | San Francisco
Thursdays at 8pm | Sundays at 2pm


Theatre Bay Area Recommended Production
2017 United Solo Award Winner for Best Storytelling Script

“compelling…a heartening illustration of Barnes’ sentiment, savvy and survival skills.” –San Francisco Examiner

“poignant…her stage presence glows with her personal warmth and the inner strength of someone who has worked hard to recover from a brain injury.” –Huffington Post

“An immediate 2 pronged impact on your senses. The first is based in a delicate and powerful performance. You will be hit in the chest with emotion. The second is the sheer, very real medical knowledge she brings to the table. She steps out of the work–which allows you to truly understand what she’s going through. That’s rare. To step out–but fully stay within. You are rarely moved and educated in the same space, but Diane’s show fully delivers on both accounts.” –-Don Reed

“provides astonishing insight into neurological recovery” – Robert Weinmann, MD, Legislative Chair of the California Neurology Society

“‘My Stroke of Luck’ makes magic…no other show brings us so close to the heart of what matters.” –Theatrius

“Diane Barnes’ story is one of incredible luck, incredible misfortune, and how tenacious love can be in the face of adversity. It’s the show you should be seeing right now.” –Showbill.ca

“‘My Stroke of Luck’ is a riveting, tense, and touching story of a single mother grappling with no longer being able to take care of yourself, much less her two sons.” –Sam Hurwitt in the Marin Independent Journal

“An amazing life story…a wonderful woman to spend 75 minutes with…” –London Yoedeller

“Very honest…very uplifting.” — London Free Press

“Draw inspiration from her resilience.” –Orlando Weekly

“Entertaining, enlightening piece that educates and touches the heart.” — Arts Beat LA

“Intelligent, emotional, and educational–what I call ‘edutainment.'” — Adilah Barnes, co-founder, LA Women’s Theater Festival

“My Stroke of Luck is more than a story about a doctor who has a stroke and her path to recovery. It’s a story about identity, being a single mom of a special needs child, being a doctor who becomes a patient, having brilliance reduced to a handicap, courage, loss, pain, and ultimate triumph. It’s a masterful performance by a very talented woman who has truly found her voice.” — Playwright, Nanaimo Fringe

“In her one woman show, Diane Barnes portrays a rich cast of characters with amazing clarity, such that the audience is never confused about whether the voice belongs to the doctor, her mother, her therapist, or her teenage son. She sweeps through the full range of human emotions, from pure joy to deep despair. It’s a truly memorable performance that transcends what could be a rather mundane story and turns it into art. Go see it if you have the chance.” — Cont. Playwright, Nanaimo Fringe

Show Description

Who are you when the “you” you know is gone?

Did you know the average person loses 1.9 million brain cells every minute a stroke goes untreated? Barnes knew; she’s a doctor, a radiologist who diagnoses strokes! But she did not deal with having a stroke very well; it was 20 hours before she went to the hospital! In My Stroke of Luck, Barnes recounts her experience of having a stroke, her path to recovery, and more. In a spellbinding and funny look at love, family, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Barnes shares her story: a single adoptive mother of special needs and gifted tween sons, who forges a new identity after a debilitating stroke.

Talkbacks & Benefits

January 18: Talkback with Diane Barnes & Patricia Gill, MS, MFT, the Executive Director of Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery. The Schurig Brain Injury Recovery Center is a non profit, post acute therapeutic center offering an array of affordable support services designed to help survivors and their families rebuild their lives after an acquired brain injury.

January 21: Talkback with Diane Barnes and Nurse Rona Renner, host of About Health of KPFA 94.1 FM. Nurse Renner is also a parenting coach and the author of “Is That Me Yelling?” Diane Barnes was featured on Renner’s show, listen here.

January 25: UCSF Alumni Event & Talkback with Diane Barnes

February 1: Stanford Alumni Event & Talkback with Diane Barnes

February 3rd: Talkback with Diane Barnes and Richard Delmonico, PhD, Chief Neuropsychology and Nor Cal Lead for Neurologic Services, Kaiser Foundation Rehab Center.

Artist Biography

After surviving the catastrophe that inspired this show, Diane discovered improvisation (Patricia Marsden Ryan and BATS)! “Yes, and…” the mantra of improv, opened an alternate universe for this “Humm…show me the evidence,” skeptic scientist. Diane’s first solo performance (W. Allen Taylor) shared her experience negotiating the hurdles to single parent adoption. Audience response galvanized her with the power of storytelling and launched her new career.

Diane left the practice of medicine in 2010. Now a Meisner trained actor, Diane completed The American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress (modern and classic), studied with Anna Deveare Smith, Ann Randolph, Keith Johnstone, and The D’ell Arte School of Physical Drama. Diane has appeared at The Marsh, Ross Valley Players, College of Marin, Studio One, BATS, and Pan Theater.

My Stroke of Luck has a sold out run at the United Theater Festival in NYC, and played at the Atlanta Black Theater Festival, the LA Women’s Theater Festival, and various Canadian and U.S. Fringe Festivals.

Diane, a NYC transplant, 3rd generation physician is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale University School of Medicine, board certified in Diagnostic Radiology.

Show Info

Tickets: $20 – $35 sliding scale | $55 and $100 Reserved Seating
March 15 – March 29, 2018 | San Francisco Studio Theater
Thursdays at 8pm | Sundays at 2pm
80 minutes | No Intermission | Ages 12+ | Please do not bring infants to the show