Navigating the Hi and Lo of the Big C
What Susan Komen did for breasts and Gilda Radner did for ovaries, our astronaut is hilariously and poignantly ready to do for the uterus; and the under-represented women’s health universe.
Written, Composed and Performed by Stephanie Weisman
Directed by Rebecca Fisher
Developed with Rebecca Fisher and David Ford
Vocal Direction by Candace Johnson
Health Advisor, Natasha Curry
Photo by Craig Lee
Clawing her way out of anesthesia—like in one of those sci-fi sleep pods—our astronaut wakes with five quarter-inch holes in her abdomen. Her female organs abducted by the Da Vinci Robot.
Diagnosed with uterine cancer, robot, Da Vinci, confirms it has spread to her lymph nodes. The journey expands.
In a time when common cancer survival rates are improving, uterine cancer mortality rates are increasing every single year. Why? Because there’s not enough research funding, not enough care access and a scarcity of new treatments. (CDC)
After five weeks of radiation, sick— and thin!—there are some silver linings, Stephanie begins her recovery process. Regardless of the outcome, she is not leaving it up to mere fate and western medicine that views her, and determines her care, as a statistic.
Using the executive and artistic director skills she’s built over the past three decades, she must land on the right healing path in time to be successful at her mission: staying alive. Her journey ranges from medical testimonials to research to allopathic and holistic approaches.
Planet DoReMi, Weisman’s reckoning, is filled with hilarity and her deepening recognition of life’s ethereal and glorious journey.
A 15-minute excerpt of the Planet DoReMi performance is available to be performed as part of medical forums, workshops, keynote performances with or without a poet-performance panel of expert guests and Q&A.
Stephanie Weisman (Writer/Composer/Performer) founded and has been the Artistic/Executive Director of The Marsh, a breeding ground for new performance, since its inception in 1989. Focusing on the development of solo performance, under her leadership, The Marsh has grown from a one-night-a-week performance series to producing over 650 shows annually on its San Francisco and Berkeley stages.
For her work at The Marsh, she has received the Meritorious Achievement Award from Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle and was named A Local Hero by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. The plays she has developed are produced in theaters both nationally and internationally and have received numerous awards.
Weisman has a BA in Psychology and a MA in English in Creative Writing from the SUNY Buffalo. Her journalism, prose and poetry have been published nationally and she was awarded a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for her poetry performance piece, Dancemasters. In 2006, her opera, Aphrodisia premiered to critical acclaim. She has since developed a solo performance musical, Breed & Rescue and is currently working on a second solo musical, Planet DoReMi; along with a memoir, 30 Days/30 Years.
In April of 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 quaratine, Weisman initiated MarshStream, a performance broadcast platform.