Solo Performer Spotlight

Saturday, May 8, 2021 / 7:30pm PT
Sunday May 9, 2021 / 5:00pm PT

Josh Kornbluth

Citizen Brain

Citizen Brain succeeds most effectively in its complete and utter honesty…masterful storytelling…transcendent.”
– Caitlin Keller | The Daily Californian

Written by Josh Kornbluth
In collaboration with Aaron Loeb & Casey Stangl
Directed by Casey Stangl

Immediately followed by a Q&A with
Founder/Artistic Director Stephanie Weisman

Citizen Brain is the latest in Josh Kornbluth’s three-decade-long series of autobiographical solo shows. In 2017, at the same time that Donald Trump began his presidency, Josh unexpectedly became a fellow at the Global Brain Health Institute at UCSF due to a desire to learn more about his stepfather’s recent dementia diagnosis and what he came to think of as our nation’s “political dementia.”

In the course of a tumultuous year — for his family and for the nation — Josh was forced to deal with his complicated relationship to his mother, an unrepentant Stalinist.

Join us for this special Mother’s Day Weekend performance to see if Josh can in fact bond with his mother, and if his parents’ teachings on starting a socialist revolution might be adapted toward his new goal: a “revolution of empathy.”

“Don’t miss it! He’s a magical, medical marvel, full of heart and soul.”
– Barry David Horwitz | Theatrius


About the Performer

JOSH KORNBLUTH he/him (Writer/Performer)
For three decades, Josh Kornbluth has been performing his autobiographical monologues for theater audiences all over the world. His show Red Diaper Baby ran Off-Broadway and was selected for the Best American Plays of 1992 collection, nominated for a Drama Desk Award, and made into a performance film for the Sundance Channel. His monologue The Mathematics of Change was also made into a performance film. His shows Haiku Tunnel (accepted into the Sundance Film Festival) and Love & Taxes have both been adapted into nationally distributed feature films.

He collaborated with Michael Gene Sullivan and the San Francisco Mime Troupe Collective in writing their summer show, Mr. Smith Goes to Obscuristan. He collaborated with director David Dower on five shows: Ben Franklin: Unplugged, Love & Taxes, Citizen Josh, Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?, and Sea of Reeds for the Shotgun Players. Josh has toured throughout India with his monologue Citizen Josh, sponsored by the U.S. State Department. He hosted an interview program on public TV station KQED for two years. He was also artist-in-residence at the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco. Josh’s shows have been collected into a book, Red Diaper Baby: Three Comic Monologues, as well as two audiobooks from He has taught a course in autobiographical storytelling at Stanford University. Since January 2017, he has been an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, where he produces the “Citizen Brain” series of online videos (; he also served a stint as Hellman Visiting Artist at UCSF’s Memory and Aging Center.

He lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his wife, Sara, a retired public school-
teacher; their son, Guthrie is a budding filmmaker and an
undergrad at UC Santa Cruz.


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