Performer Interviews, Q & A, and performance excerpts
with Marsh and MarshStream founder Stephanie Weisman
Nov 11th, Dec 9, & Jan 13th
7:30 pm PT
MAMA: The Eulogies
Melissa is parallel-writing her next one-woman show and her first book. Once a month, she will share a 20 – 30 minute excerpt of this emerging work.
In this unique series, audience members will have the opportunity to go deep with acclaimed storyteller Melissa Bangs in the realms of love, death, loss, grief, forgiveness, spirit, the inexplicable, cancer, womanhood, motherhood, identity, self-worth, sexuality, sexual trauma and more.
Think of MAMA as a series of eulogies… or love letters.
Join us in the writers’ room to hear excerpts from Melissa Bangs’ emerging book, MAMA: The Eulogies. Engage in a collaborative and creative conversation with Melissa and a panel of creatives.
Click Box to Watch LIVE Below
About the Series
Melissa says this about MAMA: The Eulogies:
In 2018, I lost my mom to lung cancer. In those final 10 months she was a stone cold warrior, a terrified little girl, a monk with transcendence in her eyes and a raunchy comedienne that could find an audience anywhere.
She was one of the greatest loves of my life. Our love was deep and fierce, raw and messy, steady and unending. In her final act, we let go of many of the old stories, the well-worn pathways defined by unhealed wounds. We put our dukes down, leaned in and found nothing but love.
Since she passed, I’ve written dozens and dozens of Eulogies. For the longest time, I didn’t know if these words were simply for me, a way to process my grief, a way to keep her laughter, her smell, her wild spirit alive. But I kept hearing my mama’s voice echo in my mind as I wrote, “I gave you so much fodder!” So here we are, bringing this book into the world together!
Watch Past Episodes
About the Guests
Melissa Bangs is a storyteller, comedienne, writer, director and producer. She finds her love of walking barefoot in the dirt, back floating down a river, growing her own food and being in wide-open wild spaces from the Montana in her, five generations back on her dad’s side. She finds her love of food from all over the world, joining packed dance floors, walking fast-paced city streets through extraordinary architecture and enhancing every story with f-bombs as if they were punctuation from the Massachusetts/Rhode Island and Scot in her, on her mama’s side.
Her first one-woman show Playing Monopoly with God & Other True Stories rocked thousands of hearts and blew minds. Drawing on her comedic roots from the Upright Citizens’ Brigade in NYC, Melissa toured with her husband, Eric, daughter, Adelaide and their 130 pound dog, Etta James. Over the past seven years, Melissa shared her harrowing journey with postpartum psychosis with sold out and packed houses all over the country. Parallel to her performance journey, Melissa developed a peer-led storytelling workshop designed to allow moms to excavate their truest voice around traumatic and painful experiences in early parenthood. This peer-led model for overcoming trauma was developed into a curriculum, funded by the California Healthcare Foundation and is currently being replicated in LA County in partnership with Maternal Mental Health NOW.
Also in partnership with MMHNOW, she led a series of workshops throughout LA county for moms and, in the spring of 2020, directed two virtual storytelling events in LA. In 2018, Melissa produced and directed MOMedy, a highly collaborative performance, presenting the hilarious yet heart-wrenching early parenthood stories of 7 moms and a dad. In 2019, she partnered with Salish storyteller/advocate April Charlo of the Flathead Nation. With support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, they shared their stories and led storytelling workshops for indigenous moms in tribal communities. Melissa is also a co-founder and emcee for Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies’ Perinatal Mental Health Conference which, in 2020, brought together over 250 providers from all over MT, CA and WA. Over five years she has partnered with HMHB to bring maternal mental health education to hundreds of providers working with moms and their families in this very tender period.
Sharon Eberhardt’s solo performances, Crazy Famous and Savage Arts, were both performed at The Marsh and at Fringe festivals. Her plays for other actors have been performed in NY and across the U.S. She is working on a nonfiction book for kids about Million Dollar Math Problems –seven math mysteries with $1,000,000 prizes. She has an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.
Kendra Mylnechuk Potter (pronounced Mile nuh chuk) Potter is a theatre artist and filmmaker currently based in Missoula, MT, and a proud member of the Lummi Nation. Her film performances screened at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, NY Human Rights Watch, and other festivals around the world. She won best actor in NBC/Universal Pictures Short Cuts Film Festival. The New York Times has called her “a skilled collaborator.” NY theatre includes both off and off-off Broadway venues. Regional work includes a national tour as Shelby in Steel Magnolias for MT Rep, and other productions in LA, Oregon, and Montana. She developed a theatre and storytelling program at N’Kwusm Salish language school with William Yellowrobe, has created and implemented curriculum for Missoula County Public School’s Sparks program on Native American Studies using theatre in education techniques, and has presented work at national and international conferences on personal storytelling, race, creative writing, and literary study. In 2015, she co-founded MT+NYC Collaborative, and directed two of the company’s first productions: “The Woodstove,” and “Dido of Idaho”, and performed in “The Wolf” before co writing and performing the titular role in “The Buffalo Play”, which enjoyed its premiere in NY in the 2019 season at The Tank. Ms. Potter directs for other companies, as well. She helps facilitate annual writing retreats for all genres with MT+NYC Collaborative. Kendra is a producer and the subject of a documentary called DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD about her adoption and reunion with her biological mother and Lummi heritage, currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. You can find information about viewing this documentary at www.daughterofalostbird.com.
About the Host
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.