Performer Interviews, Q & A, and performance excerpts
with Marsh and MarshStream founder Stephanie Weisman

Thursday June 3, 2021 at 7:30pm PT

Melissa Bangs

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.

Join us each month in the “writers’ room” to hear another excerpt of MAMA and then engage directly with the Melissa, Artist, and Stephanie, Artistic Director, about the piece.

Click Box to Watch Below

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 Storiesrocked 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.

About the Host

Photo by: Craig Lee

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.

Back to Stephanie’s MarshStream Homepage