LIGHTNING IN THE BRAINe3582ccf-4b11-40ea-a8c7-86e602cc8d3b

Written, Composed, & Performed by Corey Fischer
Developed by Corey Fischer and Naomi Newman
Directed by Naomi Newman
Musical Arrangements and Keyboards: Ross Gualco; Guitar & Bass: John Hoy


May 19 – July 9, 2016 
San Francisco


Guest Speakers include: Susan Moon (May 21), Jonathan Omer-Man (May 26), Naomi Newman (June 2), Jonathan Greenberg (June 4), Zoketsu Norman Fischer (June 9), Susan Griffin (June 11), Margaret R. Miles (June 18), Michael Moran (June 23), China Galland (July 2), & Julie Hebert (July 9). For more information about each speaker and their bios, see below.


“…the heart is in his revelations about aging, garnered through the (thankfully) brief bout of amnesia; that curious emptiness after a seizure…the ever changing marital relationship; and ultimately his new understanding of what all that means for his own identity as a creative artist.” –SF Examiner

“Fischer…is a ferocious and powerful actor: tall and imposing of stature, with a resonant voice, a skilled physicality, and a gift for creating complex characters…This time, he himself, at 71, is the character.” –SF Examiner

“Corey Fischer has made immeasurable contributions to Bay Area theater over several decades. Fischer is a captivating performer and an assured raconteur.” — Marin Independent Journal

“Performing a one-man show that reveals the frailties of 71 years of life takes a special kind of bravery. I watched Corey Fischer present that level of valor the other night as he world-premiered “Lightning in the Brain” — a retrospective of his life — at The Marsh San Francisco.” –For All Events Reviews

LIGHTNING IN THE BRAIN is a music-theatre piece inspired by our human need to remember. Performer/writer Corey Fischer shapes his recent experiences as a newly old man of 71 into a narrative about forgetting and remembering, about young and old love, about losing and finding yourself on the streets of 1960s Paris, in Hollywood or in a rusting Chevy van looking for America. Corey developed Lightning in the Brain with Naomi Newman, who also directs. Corey and Naomi have worked together for several decades and were co-founders of Traveling Jewish Theatre.

Artist Biography

Corey Fischer, actor, writer, director, and composer, has been creating and performing theatre for over forty-five years. In 1978 he co-founded Traveling Jewish Theatre, with whom he collaborated on more than two dozen works until the company closed in 2012. His last project with TJT was In the Maze of Our Own Lives, based on the history of the Group Theatre. Corey worked with visionary director Joseph Chaikin and the legendary improv group, The Committee, and appeared in the films M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Funny Lady, Bee Season, 5-Year Engagement and dozens of TV shows.  In addition to making theatre, he teaches, coaches and consults privately.

Naomi Newman (Director and Dramaturg) was a co-founder of Traveling Jewish Theatre. She wrote, directed, and performed dozens of original theatre pieces with the company during its 34 year-long life, winning awards in each area. For her contributions to Bay Area cultural life she has received a Tikkun Award, a Mill Valley Creative Achievement Award, and Theatre Bay Area’s Community Leadership Award. A book containing an oral history of her life and career is now part of the Legacy Collection of The S.F. Performing Arts Museum. Before co-founding TJT, Newman was a concert singer, television actor, improvisational theater director, and psychotherapist. Her interviews and anthologized writings have appeared in many publications.

Conversations With Corey

Please join us for Conversations with Corey immediately
following the performances!

Saturday, May 21 after 5pm Performance:
Susan Moon is a writer and lay Zen teacher living in Berkeley. Her books include the memoir, This is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity.

Thursday, May 26 after 8pm Performance:
Jonathan Omer-Man is a writer, editor, translator, lecturer, and rabbi with an abiding interest in Jewish mysticism.

Thursday, June 2 after 8pm Performance (Opening Night)
Naomi Newman was a concert singer, television actor, improvisational theater director, and psychotherapist before co-founding Traveling Jewish Theatre, in 1978, with Corey Fischer.  She wrote, directed and performed dozens of original theatre pieces during TJT’s  34 year-long existence.

Saturday, June 4 after 5pm Performance:
Jonathan Greenberg is a teacher and scholar based at the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution at Stanford Law School. Jonathan is currently writing a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. (with Clarence B. Jones, Dr. King’s former lawyer and strategic advisor).

Thursday, June 9 after 8pm Performance:                                                           Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet and Zen Buddhist priest. He served as co-abbot of San Francisco Zen Center from 1995-2000. He is presently a Senior Dharma Teacher there, as well as the founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen Foundation.

Saturday, June 11 after 5pm Performance:
Susan Griffin, the author of 21 books including the ecological and feminist classic, Women and Nature and A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Saturday, June 18 after 5pm Performance:
Margaret R. Miles is Emerita Professor of Historical Theology, The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, of which she was from 1996 until her retirement in 2002. Her recent books include The World Made Flesh: A History of Christian Thought (Blackwell 2005). The Long Goodbye: Dementia Diaries is forthcoming (2016).

Thursday, June 23 after 8pm Performance:
Michael Moran is co-founder and co-artistic Director of  Ubuntu where he has directed and produced over fifteen plays.  Ubuntu is a site-specific theater company based in Oakland with a mission to inspire compassion across socio-economic and racial barriers.

Saturday, July 2 after 5pm Performance:
China Galland is the prize-winning author of several non-fiction works including Love Cemetery, Unburying the Secret History of Slaves (HarperOne).  Galland, who is married to Corey Fischer,  has lectured at Harvard University, Columbia, and Cornell among others. She has led pilgrimages in Nepal, India, France, and Spain.

Thursday, July 7 after 8pm Performance:
Julie Hébert is a playwright, director, screenwriter, producer (American Crime on ABC), and Former Bay Area resident.


Full Performance Articles & Reviews