Excerpts, talkbacks and Q&A with special guests
providing health and healing education and advocacy.
March 31, 2021 at 7:30pm
Touch Me Real
What is it really like when someone gets schizophrenia?
What’s it like for those who love the victim of the disease?
ABOUT THE SHOW
Carrie and Mike, college students and best friends, tell their most confidential secrets to each other, and share the same unique sense of humor. They begin to fall in love with each other, but Carrie is too afraid to let herself go with these feelings. Since the pair is so emotionally close, being physically intimate as well terrifies her. Their friendship deepens through the years, as does their gradually building sense of romantic potential.
Carrie discovers that Mike has been diagnosed with sudden onset paranoid schizophrenia, and that they will never be able to have the relationship they had secretly wanted all those years, but were too afraid to acknowledge. Touch Me Real is about telling those we love that we love them – because we never know how much time we really have. It’s also about friendship, love, fear, mental illness, and truly touching someone in the deepest ways.
ABOUT THE PERFORMER
Gabrielle Lennon has worked for more than twenty-five years as a professional actress on stage and in film, and as a published writer in multiple genres. She attended summer drama programs at Carnegie-Mellon and Yale Universities. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Performance Studies (Analysis, Interpretation and Performance of Prose, Poetry and Drama) and an honors program in Creative Writing for the Media, where she studied with Edgar-Award-winner, Stuart Kaminsky and Tony-and-Drama-Desk Award-winning director, Frank Galati. Since college, Gabrielle has continued to study acting and writing with some of the best teachers in the country, and attend a number of writing groups regularly. Her books are Touch Me Real and Other Stories and After Midnight: A Book of Poetry. She also writes professionally for magazines, newspapers, newsletters, journals, and the theater. As an actress, Gabrielle has performed poetry, prose and drama, much of which she has written, throughout the United States, and internationally.Gabrielle has also been honored with a number of grants and awards.
The common denominator in her work, whether it’s serious, funny, or both, is communicating her characters’ deepest emotional truths; and through discovering that in her characters, activating that in her audiences and readers.
ABOUT SOLO ARTS HEAL
SOLO ARTS HEAL, a weekly MarshStream Public Broadcast Platform program, presents empowering performances about healing and resilience. Through hosted interviews, talkbacks and audience Q&A, the Solo Arts Heal program provides transformative experiences, education, community outreach and advocacy through stories that celebrate the healing power of the arts.
About the Hosts
Stephanie Weisman founded and has been the Artistic/Executive Director of The Marsh since its inception in 1989. Under her leadership, The Marsh has grown from a one-night-a-week performance series to producing 600-700 shows annually on its four stages. In addition to its developing work performance series, The Marsh’s programs include: artist-in-residencies, after-school and summer workshops for youth both onsite and in 5 SFUSD, and performance development classes, workshops and Performance Initiatives. In 1996 Stephanie spearheaded the drive to successfully buy their 12,000 sq ft facility on Valencia Street in San Francisco. This increased The Marsh’s programs four-fold as well as provided for a stable Bay Area arts organization. In 2010, The Marsh added a second venue in Berkeley. In 2020, Stephanie initiated MarshStream. She is currently at work developing her opera, Aphrodisia, with dancer, Wei Wang
Gail Schickele champions arts & sciences as a writer, speaker, consultant, and producer. In January 2020 she convened an artist collective to assist solo artists whose unique stories of physical and mental challenges manifest the healing power of The Arts. COVID inspired Stephanie Weisman to create SOLO ARTS HEAL on The MarshStream to share these outstanding stories of resilience, dramatic and comedic, for the entertainment and benefit of communities everywhere. Gail’s work in marketing, management, and production has served various theaters, festivals and events nationwide. Trained as a journalist in New York and Colorado, she has covered Colorado state politics and the environmental landscape of the Rockies. Environmental educational and advocacy work in California includes the League of Women Voters and The Climate Reality Project. Gail is honored to curate and host SOLO ARTS HEAL where artists powerful stories offer audiences great performance and ‘informance’ on issues related to health and the environment, inexorably linked.
Kristin Scheel, has worked in production and development at The Marsh since 2018. She is a freelance writer and member of Open Windows art cooperative in the Bayview. She has a background in social work with the State of Oregon and program management experience as a small business owner and preschool director in San Francisco. She has an MFA from Mills College, and serves on the boards of Guerrilla Cartography and PATHSTAR.