Spring 2020 Series!
March 9 & 16
“OH MYRA” by Geneva Rust-Orta
Geneva Rust-Orta is a local standup comic from Oakland, CA. She went to school in the UK to make her mom, mom’s wife, her other mom, her other mom’s wife, and her grandma, cry all at the same time. While Geneva did not miss them at all, she did start to talk about them constantly. Geneva’s mama drama eventually earned her the title “Second funniest Jew” in London, 2015. Since moving home, Geneva and her small tribe of mothers have jumped into the Bay Area comedy scene. Her moms love all her stupid jokes except the stupid ones. Well, her dumb mom likes them all. That’s why she’s the favorite. After 4 years of lovingly talking smack about her four Jewish moms, “Oh Myra” will get to the root of the problem: The matriarch who sired them all.
Geneva Rust-Orta is a Bay Area native but she did not run away that one time. She obtained her Bachelor’s in York, North Yorkshire, UNited Kingdom. It was there in the UK that Geneva developed her suave and smooth stand up comedy art. She has performed at SF Punchline, Cobbs, San Jose Improv, the Santa Cruz Comedy Festival, SF Sketchfest, Cinequest Film Festival, and COmedy Central’s Clusterfest Bay Area Showcase.
“OUT OF LINE” by Kathleen Denny
In “Out of Line,” every time Kat looks up, she sees that pinup calendar with a gal who is NOT demonstrating any mechanical technique! And this is just the tart of her eight hour shift. Kat is the first woman machinist the airline hired since the 1970s, one of a sassy new wave of Rosie the Riveters. Most people have not yet heard the term “sexual harassment.” What happens when Kat draws a line? “Out of Line” brings an aviation machine shop alive in this timely true tale from the front lines of women’s work.
Kathleen Denny tells fresh and funny stories from life. “Out of Line” is rooted in the years she worked as a union machinist and aviation mechanic, one of the few women in those trades. An Oakland-based writer, she felt for the immediate connection of live performance. Her previous one woman show, “Nice is Not What We Do,” was directed by Mark Kenward, toured festivals throughout North America, performed at Bay Area venues and one monastery, and earned a Marsh Rising, Developed with help from Randy Rutherford, The Marsh, and Footloose Productions, “Out of Line” appeared at San Francisco Fringe and Rogue Festival under the title “Tolerance.” A lively audience at Speak Out Now! Women’s History event in Berkeley confirmed its power for discussion. Kathleen will share his story with Women in the Arts, an initiative of Alameda County Women’s Empowerment. Next stops: NorCal Fringe and Indy Fringe.
“TANTRUMS” by Alan Harris
This show consists of a series of monologues, or “tantrums.”
Alan Harris is a spoken-word “artist” who has been honing his “art” over the last quarter of a century at poetry readings mostly in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. He doesn’t drink coffee or care about sports and is unlike you in many other ways.
He has been doing spoken word for about twenty-five years, the last ten here in San Francisco. He is a regular at many of the readings around town, including Sacred Grounds, Cafe International (hosted by Clyde Always), The Word Party, and On the Page, Off the Page.
“MUNI DIARIES” by Gwen Carmen
This story takes place in the Mission. It deals with Aretha Franklin’s last concert at the Oakland Coliseum, and, not he way back, getting involved in a crime scene at 24th & Mission, an entourage of immigrants, and Jimmy Choo shoes. It’s Mission District Noir. This story was previously featured on the Muni Diaries podcast, Episode 72.
Gwen Carmen is an activist, actress, educator, and writer whose work appeared in Essence magazine, Plexus feminist newspaper, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and numerous other small presses during the 80s and 90s. She was the editor/publisher of La Morena Women of Color bilingual newspaper.
“YANGA GODDESS” by Yvonne Onakeme Etaghene
YANGA GODDESS is a performance piece that incorporates monologue, poetry, dance, movement, singing, music, and humor to explore what it means to be a Nigerian dyke navigating what feminism, grief, self-love, and healing look like an everyday life.
Yvonne Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw Urhobo Nigerian dyke poet, performer, visual artist, author, and playwright. Etaghene wrote and acted in two one-woman shows: Volcano’s Birthrights and GUAVA. In 2015, she was awarded the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in short story fiction. She is the author of For Sizakele, (RedBone Press, 2015) a novel that address transcontinental identity, intimate partner violence, queer gender, and how we love as illuminators of who we are. Etaghene is the founder of Ankara Queen by Yv. Etaghene, a fashion line grounded in Nigerian aesthetics where she designs everyday fashion and couture pieces that provide space for a plethora of gender expressions while honoring and reimagining traditional Nigerian styles.
“TENT CITY” by Don Reed
Don Reed takes you into the world of homelessness through the sometimes humorous, assured tragic eyes of the souls he has met and his own personal experiences of having no place to go.
Don Reed (Snap Judgement/NBC/MOTH Host) is a TBA Theater Award Winner for his solo show “East 14th.” He is currently Co-Producing Robert Townsend’s solo show hit “Living the Shuffle” and has one of the lead roles in the Amazon Prime Series “Bartlett” –recurring role starring HAMILTON’S Lin Manuel Miranda.
March 23 & 30
“MORE THAN THAT: The Formerly Incarcerated People’s Performance”
This special Monday Night Marsh presents the works-in-progress from a festival that will feature performances by formerly incarcerated people. The official festival will take place in June at The Marsh Berkeley. Produced and Directed by Mark Kenward & Rebecca Fisher.
“THE BUS RIDE AND THEN SOME!” by TONY CYPRIEN
Tony was born and raised in Watts, California, by his loving mother and grandmother – and neighborhood gang members. He soon was in juvenile hall and the California Youth Authority. His mother died suddenly and Tony returned home to find strangers living in his house. Months later, at age 17, he was sentenced to San Quentin. In prison he learned to weld, and 26 years and 8 days later, paroled to Berkeley, he got a job he loves assembling robotic arms used in medicine. He has also discovered improv and storytelling. He won the very first Moth StorySLAM that he entered, and has been featured at two Moth Mainstage events, as well as two broadcasts on NPR. He has performed solo pieces at The Marsh, StageWerx, and Shotgun Players. He joined the Marin Shakespeare Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe, for which he is now program manager. Marin Shakes lets him fulfill one of his dreams – to go back into prison and juvenile hall to talk to thousands of those like himself and tell them “Man, I got a do over. I’m here to tell you what things will look life if you don’t stop!”
“SUCCESS IN MINOR” by FRED JOHNSON
Music has always been important to Fred – ever since he walked by a pawnshop at age 15, saw a beat-up trumpet in the window, and knew he had to have it. Sentenced to prison at age 18, a turning point for Fred was joining the San Quentin Stage Band, where he had the opportunity to play with a diverse ensemble and share the stage with legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sheila E, and Vic Damone. When Fred was paroled in 1995 he became involved with Harm Reduction Coalition, a national organization that promotes the health and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by drug use. Eventually, he became their executive director, in which role he traveled the world—including testifying before the US Congress twice—to advocate for needle exchanges and HIV awareness. Since retiring, he has focused on his music, as well as acting in the two-person play Solitary Man based on letters from solitary confinement. “Hearing the voices of formerly incarcerated individuals is a must. The overall impact will continue to chip away at the inhumane injustices of the incarcerated and broader community. It is time, and society as a whole benefits.”
“SUITABLE PLACEMENT” by AL SASSER
Born in South-Central Los Angeles, Al became involved in a subculture of gangs and criminality at age 13, which led to juvenile hall and eventually prison. At 19 years old he was sentenced to 15 years to life. His turning point came in 1989, when he was encouraged to enroll in school while in prison. He earned his high school diploma and an A.A. degree in Liberal Arts, and started to write poetry and short stories. He also became a certified paralegal and substance abuse counselor. In 2013 Al left Solano State Prison after serving 31 years. He now works as a case manager and advocate for the homeless in West Oakland. “I’m proud to be working to address the treatment needs of those who suffer from substance use disorder and mental health issues.” Al is very active with Roots & Rebound, an organization working to empower those impacted by the criminal justice system. He’s writing his first book, Suitable Placement, and is launching a t-shirt business called TeeVoices to employ formerly incarcerated people. He is currently a student at San Francisco State with a major in psychology and a minor in criminal justice.
“READING THE ALCHEMIST IN PRISON” by JOSH A. HATTAM
Josh dropped out of school in the seventh grade to pursue a life of crime. He learned to write while serving over a decade behind bars, and hasn’t stopped since. He quit his job as an enforcer for a outlaw motorcycle club to change his life and pursue writing full time. His writing has been published in Out of the Gutter and Bareknuckles Pulp and he is the former broadcast host of The Urban Book Club. “Our stories are the framework for human understanding and empathy. Our stories have the ability to change the space around us. To replace fear and confusion with understanding and harmony. We, the formerly-incarcerated, have stories that need to be told.” Josh has previously performed his own work at StageWerx and The Marsh. He works as a substance abuse counselor with parolees and believes “it’s still not to late for us to be who we were meant to be.” He is currently in college majoring in psychology, and is finishing his first book, Reading The Alchemist in Prison. He lives in San Francisco with his fiancé, their two dogs, and cat.
“BLOOM” by PAMELA ANN KEANE
Pamela was born in Hollywood, California, and true to her native city she began performing early – at age 5 she was casting herself and friends in plays performed for their families. As a young adult she worked at a comedy club as emcee and DJ, during which time she studied acting at The Little Playhouse in Walnut Creek, California. Over time she struggled with substance abuse and mental illness, ending up homeless and involved in criminal activity. She served 4 years at the Decatur Correctional Facility in Illinois, where she took part in the Shakespeare Corrected program. This reignited her theatrical spirit. “I absolutely loved everything about it. I was transformed. I found my voice and became comfortable in my own skin.” Paroled back to California, Pamela has connected with Marin Shakespeare, where she performs with the Returned Citizens Theater Troupe and the Returned Citizens Improv Troupe. Pamela works as assistant house manager at Women On The Way, a transitional sober living environment, where she counsels and supports women in recovery and on parole. She is currently a student at Merritt College, pursuing a substance abuse counseling license and associates degree.
“CEO PASTOR” by RONNIE MUNIZ
A recognized leader in faith-based supportive services, Pastor Ronnie Muniz has worked tirelessly to help the homeless, youth and formerly incarcerated people of San Francisco. Since his release from prison in 1989 he has worked with a number of high profile organizations as a gang prevention coordinator and youth advocate, with focus on overcoming criminal and addictive thinking, anger management, life skills and relapse prevention. He is the founder and CEO of Saved by Grace Re-Entry Ministries, which helps formerly incarcerated youth and adults with services for employment, education, housing and recovery. As an ex-felon, former gang member, and former drug dealer, Ronnie knows what it takes to turn a life around. “Throughout my life I have made some good and bad decisions, but through it all I truly believe God had, and still has, His hand on my life.” Although More Than That marks his first time appearing on stage, he brings to this project extensive public speaking experience as a preacher, facilitator, and educator. He is celebrating the recent publication (2020) of his life story, I was lost as a man and found by the Son of man, Jesus.
April 6 & 20
“BULLIES EVERYWHERE” by Alex Adams
This solo piece tries to answer one single and simple question…What happens when your life is at stake and the only weapon you have is your…imagination? This piece took place in 1978 right after the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
Alex Adams: I began my Nay Area career with a radio show here in San Francisco called, “Looking for Laughs on K-ALW. It ran there for five years. I have written plays that have been performed on the West and East Coast and in London. My play, “Medea’s Will” won third place for the Merit Playwriting Award in NYC and was produced at the Shetler Theater. I also won The Marion Davies Award For Playwriting a year after Sam Shepard received the award, back in the late nineties. As a SAG/AFTRA actor I’ve starred in numerous roles in TV and on the screen. Performing solo as an actor has led me into the field of storytelling, Moth events and one man shows in theaters, libraries, and in hotels for special events and conferences.
“THE DEATH OF A DIFFICULT MOTHER” by Melinda Ginne
A poignant yet funny story of an estranged adult daughter who reconnects with her 90 year old mother and takes care of her for the next 7 years, until her death at 97 years of age.
Melinda Ginne, PhD is a psychologist with a 40-year career specializing in geriatrics and in treating the psychological aspects of major medical illnesses. Her influences are, Oliver Sacks, Sid Cesar, and Imogene Coca. She grew up in San Fernando Valley which is where her family migrated after several decades in Boyle Heights, the Jewish-Latino ghetto of East Los Angeles. Boyle Heights is where taco stands were kosher and the Shul was across the street from the Catholic Church. The Lingua Franca of her family is English, Spanish, and Yiddish. They celebrated religious holidays as Jews, but personal holidays such as birthdays, weddings, and funerals all had a Latin flavor.
“TURN IT UP TO eLEVen” by Leverage80
Leverage80 will be performing an assortment of raps about his beliefs and thoughts in life.
Leverage80 is a 12 year old songwriter and rapper. While writing dozens of raps starting at age 8, and recording them as a student of Rahman Jamaal, Leverage80 has always focused on two root goals: informing people and making them happy. Following multiple performances at Enter the Dragon, Tuolumne Trails, Common Roots Farm, and the Riekes Center, he is excited to entertain once again at The Marsh!
“JUVIE” by Manuel Fernandez
Manuel Fernandez has been acting for 6 years. he is a published author and performed part of his piece in 2017, after taking David Ford’s class. His piece is about the time he spent in Juvenile Hall as a kid. Fighting one of the gangster kids to gain respect. This piece is about the time he hooked up with one of the gangs inside for protection and being in solitary confinement.
“DEAR GENDER” by Diana Lauren Jones
“Dear Gender” is a slow-cooked piece about my struggles with gender identity. It is about relationships and a declaration of my journey to, through and in womanhood. Since I was a little girl, I’ve asked myself: what does it mean to be a girl?…a lady?…am I doing this right? I’ve wondered, how did I learn to be a female…?…to be a woman? How might my life and relationships have played out differently if I’d learned to live with less fear about right and wrong ways of being? It is a journey I share with the intent to inspire, liberate or re-inspire you to share, explore, and celebrate your own journey of being–however you identify.
Diana Lauren Jones moved to the Bay Area from New Jersey in 2019. She loves acting, and trained/performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London as an undergraduate student during her junior year at Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is passionate about the arts, challenging the status quo, sustainability, and lifelong learning. She holds a Masters in Public Administration, has lived in Mozambique, and also loves to swim (thanks to her partner and best friend, Alex Adams). She has worked at The Public Theater, The George Street Playhouse, many small regional theaters, an indie film, voice-overs, and commercials. So far, a couple highlights along her career journey have included working in the ensemble of Julius Ceasar during The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production (directed by Oskar Eustis) and providing the voice for the recurring villain, Angelica Graves in the podcast Six Minutes (produced by Peabody Award Winner Benjamin Strouse). Just wrapped: White Guy on the Bus, B8 Theater Company. Next Up: The roles of Cordelia and the fool in King Lear, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival Free Shakespeare in the Park (summer 2020).
April 13 & 27
“BACK IN THE DAY” by Abdul Kenyatta
Five Thousand Urgently Pointless Distractions is about growing up in 1950-60s America.Abdul Kenyatta has been a Bay Area performer for 5 decades. He is a poet, storyteller, vocalist, and actor. He is a regular contributor to Snap Judgement and Director of the Speakeasy Storyteller Series–an inter-generational storytelling group and workshop series.
“THE ROAD UNRAVELED” by Skip Goodman
“WHERE IS SAFETY?” by David Steinore
Where is safety, what is community, how do I balance between survival and joy. It’s a series of conversation between Jason, his girlfriend, family and friends exploring these themes.
David Steinore has been writing poems and short stories for 20 years. He is now focusing on performing the stories as well. I have taken a number of classes with Charlie Varon over the years and performed at the class performances–most recently last winter and spring. He is currently taking Improv classes at Leela Improv Theater in San Francisco.
“BLESS ME DOCTOR FOR I HAVE SINNED” by Jane Gire
Jane grew up Catholic and although she is no longer a believer, she encounters situations where her old Catholic girl leaks out. This piece explores how a visit to the doctor can be a great deal like a visit to the confessional. “What sins do I share? So I tell all of my sin? What will the doctor think of me? What will I have to do for penance?” This is particularly touchy business when you add to the fact Jane is overweight and has been carrying around “extra weight” for many years. Let’s just say, by the time she finishes her story, you’ll either want a giant scoop of ice cream, a beer or six, or feel the need to do 100 crunchies while saying 10 Hail Mary’s.
Jane Gire is originally from Michigan where she studied theater at the U of M, moved to Chicago to “make it big” in comedy where she was sidetracked by her involvement in Greenpeace and falling in love, and ended up in San Francisco in the early 90s. She has recently come back to performance after a (I know this is really cliche) a trip to the Black Rock Desert to the Burning Man event where she re-committed herself to some promises she made to herself. Since then, she’s performed several times for Monday Night Marsh, Solo Sundays at Stage Werx, and the Monkey House in Berkeley. She is working hard on learning more about solo performance and enjoys her opportunities to share her points of view on life with live audiences.
“DON’T TELL ME YOUR NAME”
Performer: Christa Marie Sacco
Production Manager: Nina Sacco
This piece offers windows into the lives of three women of color who work or have worked in the sex industries. The audience catches a glimpse of their lives and stories in their own words. The intention of the piece if to shine light on the collateral damage that comes from the injustices that are forced and enforced on people in the sex industries, highlighting women of color. These “characters” are a tribute to our resilience in the face of these and other injustices, that come from the stigma, discrimination and bullying experienced by women of color in the sex industries.
Portions of the script will be published in a coming anthology from the Feminist Press entitled #WETOO: Sex Work in the Wake of a Movement
Christa Sacco holds a PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute with a multidisciplinary emphasis in Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychologies and wrote her dissertation on pathways to decoloniality with people with experiences in the sex industries. She has worked as a peer counselor and advocate with human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence survivors and served as an advocate on a human trafficking task force. She is currently a professor, project consultant, writer, public speaker, trainer, advocate, organizer, and performing artist living in Southern California.
May 4 & 18
“IT’S THE FIRE’S TURN” by Joseph M. Mallon
“SWANA KING” by Vera Hannush
“RESULTS OF RECONSIDERATION” by Mick Renner
“WE ARE ALL FRIENDS” by Molly Rose-Williams
“I AM TRYING TO THINK OF SOME WAY TO SHORTEN THIS TITLE BECAUSE I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE IT’S TOO LONG” by Lee Archer
May 11 & 25
Special Monday Night Marsh presents the works-in-progress from a festival that will feature performances by formerly incarcerated people. The official festival will take place in June at The Marsh Berkeley. Produced and Directed by Mark Kenward & Rebecca Fisher.
June 1 & 15
“NOTHING TO SAY” by Celina Reynes
“FIREFLIES OF COMEDY” by Sally Love Saunders
“HERE’S WHAT’S NEXT” by Sharon Eberhardt
“DR. IT” by M. Mather George
“KIND OF A DRAG” by Richelle Slota
June 8 & 22
“THE FRIENDSHIP SHOW” by Jill Eikmann
“NEW WORLD DRUMSCAPES” by Andy Graham
“NO EXIT” by Michal Victoria
“WITH WAAN STAAN” by Karen Roekard
“GENDER JOURNEY” by Llano River Blue
Buy Tix by phone:
Monday – Friday 1 – 4pm, 415.282.3055
(Additional service fees apply)