Solo Performer Spotlight
Brian Copeland’s “The Waiting Period”
WINNER 2015 Theater Bay Area Award
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A SOLO PLAY!
Written by Brian Copeland
Directed by David Ford
Final Show of 2020
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*Stream is available until Sunday at 8:00pm PT
This show is an unrelenting look at a ten-day period in Copeland’s life—the mandatory ten-day waiting period before he could lay his hands on the newly purchased gun with which he planned to take his own life. Even in the midst of this tragedy, however, his wonderful sense of the comedy of life does not desert him (how much should he spend on the gun?), indeed serves him insidiously well as a buffer against the grim reality of his intention. Copeland hopes this very personal, and ultimately redemptive, story will reach people who struggle with depression—often called the last stigmatized disease—as well as their families and loved ones. Interspersed with interviews with other sufferers, the play, like so many Marsh stories, also offers outsiders an insider’s view, thereby expanding our understanding and, hopefully, our humanity. As critic Sam Hurwitt put it in The Idiolect: “It’s a play I’d strongly recommend to anyone who is now or has ever been depressed or who knows someone in that situation. But honestly, it’s such a strong piece that I’d recommend it just as heartily to anyone who’s ever been human.”
“I think this show is a powerful testimony that even though you may be in a really dark place, you can still find hope in those times.”
–– L.H. from Los Positas College
“I learned a lot from tonight’s show. We have to support our family and friends. We have to take notice of anything different about that person…The show teaches us the ways that we can get help…”
–– P.K. from Las Positas College
“After Robin Williams’s Suicide, Brian Copeland Revives His Show About Depression.” — Newsweek
About the Artists
Brian Copeland has been in show business since he first stepped on the comedy stage at the tender age of 18. Soon he was headlining clubs and concerts across the country and opening for such artists as Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Ringo Starr, and the Queen of soul Aretha Franklin, in venues from The Universal Amphitheater to Constitution Hall in Washington DC. Soon, Copeland branched off into television, appearing on comedy programs on NBC, A&E and MTV. He spent five years as co-host of San Francisco FOX affiliate KTVU breakfast program Mornings on 2 and two years hosting San Francisco ABC affiliate KGO’s Emmy Award winning afternoon talker 7Live. In 1995, ABC affiliate KGO Radio premiered “The Brian Copeland Show”. It’s unique mix of talk and entertainment soon made it the most listened to program in its time slot. Copeland branched out into theater in 2004 with his first solo play, NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN. This critically acclaimed exploration of race and identity created an audience pleasing blend of laughter, tears and sociology that led to the show becoming the longest running solo play in San Francisco theatrical history. Successful runs in Los Angeles and Off Broadway and a bestselling book adaptation followed. GENUINE has been performed in over 30 cities across America. Copeland’s other theatrical work includes THE WAITING PERIOD, a solo play about his lifelong struggle with depression and the Christmas play THE JEWELRY BOX, opening in November 2013.
David Ford has been collaborating on new and unusual theatre for three decades and has been an artist-in-residence at The Marsh for most of that time. The San Francisco press has variously called him “the solo performer maven“, “the monologue maestro”, “the dean of solo performance”, and “the solo performer’s best friend” and a week rarely goes by when residents of the Bay Area can not enjoy one of his productions.
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