Susan Sontag: The Smartest Woman in America – Rising

Susan Sontag: The Smartest Woman in America – Rising

A Marsh Rising Presentation

Performed by Courtney Walsh
Written by Lynne Kaufman
Wednesday, March 11th, 2020, at 7:30 pm
70 minutes | No Intermission | Ages 14+
Tickets: $15

Marsh Risings are One-Night-Only performances of rising talent at The Marsh. Marsh Rising presents works in progress that may be ready for an extended run. For information about putting on a Marsh Rising show, email David Hirata at

Show Description

Susan Sontag, the fiercest American intellectual of the 20th century, wants us to think. Whether exploring the origin of ‘camp’, illness as a metaphor, or the addiction of photography she makes the case for a life devoted to art, ideas and an unsparing critique of ourselves and our culture.  As her own time runs out, Sontag’s unique voice is clear and relevant. “Be serious, be passionate, and wake up”.


Courtney Walsh – Actress

In 2018 Courtney Walsh received the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Principal Actor in We Players’ ‘Mother Lear’, which she also co-wrote and co-directed. Other local credits include San Francisco Playhouse (Jerusalem, Seared), where she will return in Spring 2020 in ‘The Clean House’, Marin Theatre Company (Native Son), Cutting Ball Theater (Phèdre, Timon of Athens), New Conservatory Theatre (Dear Harvey), 3Girls Theatre, where she is an Associate Artist (The Couch), We Players (Romeo and Juliet), and Stanford Repertory Theater (twelve seasons including Moby Dick – Rehearsed, for which she won Theatre Bay Area awards for Acting, Directing, and Production).

International credits include Paris, Montpellier (Happy Days, in both English and French); Athens (The Wanderings of Odysseus); Berlin, Amsterdam, Cardiff, Sydney, Auckland (Clytemnestra: Tangled Justice), and others. Courtney earned a B.A. in Theater Studies at Yale University and during a hiatus from acting, became an attorney for abused children before returning to the stage in 2006. She has taught periodically at Stanford University and is also a mother of four and a competitive equestrian. For more information, see

Lynne Kaufman – Playwright

Lynne is the author of twenty full-length plays, three novels, and a dozen short stories. She has had three plays produced at The Marsh: “Acid Test,” “Two Minds,” and “Who Killed Sylvia Plath.” Unscripted Theatre produced her play ”Sex Scandal.” “William Blake in Hollywood,” was selected by the Neil Simon Festival Theatre as the winner of its Best New Comedy Competition.

Her play “Daisy in the Dreamtime” was a recipient of a Hot Properties Grant from the L.A. Arts Council and The A.S.K. Foundation. Presented by The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, it had its New York City premiere at The Abingdon Theatre and its university premiere at S.F. State University, where it received the Rella Lossy Playwright’s Award. “Daisy in the Dreamtime” was published in Women Playwrights: Best New Plays and by Dramatic Publishing. She was the recipient of The Otis Guernsey Outstanding New Voice in American Theatre Award from The William Inge Theatre Festival.

Her play “Fakes” premiered at Florida Studio Theatre and was optioned for film by 20th Century Fox. “Shooting Simone” premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival and received six subsequent regional productions. It was published by Dramatic Publishing.

Four of her plays premiered at The Magic Theatre, including “The Couch,” which won the Glickman Award for Best New Play in San Francisco and “Speaking in Tongues”, which won a Kennedy Center/NEA/ Fund for New American Plays Award. Her play “Our Lady of the Desert” won Theatreworks ‘Best New Play in California Award”

Jon Tracy – Director

Jon works internationally as a director, playwright, designer, educator, and facilitator. He is the recipient of awards from the Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award, North Bay Artys, Marquee Journalists, Ellys, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, and Theatre Bay Area, and has also been honored with the Solano College Theatre Alumni Award. He is a grant recipient from Theatre Bay Area, Shotgun Players’ Bridging the Gap, SUI Generis, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the Artistic Facilitator for TheatreFirst, Co-Artistic Director of Groundswell: The International Theatre Intensive, Company Member of both Shotgun Players at PlayGround, and a proud member of SDC, the union for stage directors and choreographers.

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