Written & Performed by Diane Barnes
Directed by Rebecca Fisher
Developed with David Ford

May 2 – June 1 | Berkeley
Thursdays at 8pm
Saturdays at 5pm

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.” –

“‘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.

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.

Special Event

Saturday, May 11, 5 PM –  Post-show guest speaker Richard L. Delmonic, PhD, Director of Neuropsychology and NCAL Regional Lead for Neuropsychology services at the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center in Vallejo.

Saturday May 18th, 5 PM – Post-show guest speaker, Roberta J. Elman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is the President & Founder of the Aphasia Center of California. The Aphasia Center provides high-quality, cutting-edge services that enhance communication skills, quality of life, and overall well-being for those affected by aphasia. Click here for The ACC’s website.

Saturday May 25, 5 PM: Josh Kornbluth has been creating and performing autobiographical monologues — including several at The Marsh — since 1989.  He is currently working on a solo show based on his experiences as an artist-in-residence and volunteer at the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco.  For two years he hosted an interview program on KQED-TV, conveniently titled The Josh Kornbluth Show.  His latest feature film is Love & Taxes, a collaboration with his brother Jacob.  For all of this year, Josh is in residence as a Scholar at the Global Brain Health Institute at UCSF.

Saturday June 1, 5 PM: Post-show guest speaker, Patricia Gill, MS, MFT, is the executive Director of the Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery. Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery offers an array of affordable rehabilitative and supportive services designed to help survivors and their families rebuild their lives after a brain injury.