Performer Interviews, Q & A, and performance excerpts
with Marsh and MarshStream founder Stephanie Weisman
Thursday, January 21 at 7:30pm
In the fall of 2013, Wayne Harris was commissioned by the U.S. State Department to travel to Jerusalem and The West Bank to perform his play “The Letter: MLK at the Crossroads”. Wayne enthusiastically accepted the commission. However, there was no play. There was the idea of a play…there were 3×5 cards with notes…lots of ideas…but, no actual play.
This is the story of how, in a few short weeks Wayne and long time collaborator David Ford crafted a story about an Icon of peace to share with Palestinian Students , who every day have to make a conscience decision to follow Dr. King’s philosophy of non-violence…or throw rocks at Israeli security forces.
Click Box to Watch below
About the Guest
Wayne Harris is an award-winning solo performer, writer, educator, curriculum innovator, and musician. A gifted artist with wide-ranging interests, he has accumulated an impressive body of work over the years that includes 5 full-length plays, presentations for schools, directing and designing for pageantry groups as well as various musical projects. In 2013, Wayne was asked by the US. State Department to perform and do storytelling workshops in Jerusalem and the West Bank, where he premiered his piece about Martin Luther King in Birmingham “The Letter”. Since then, Wayne Harris’ latest play “Mother’s Milk; A Blues Riff in Three Acts” has played to enthusiastic audiences winning “Best of the Fringe” at the 2014 San Francisco International Fringe Festival and ran for 14 weeks in Berkeley, CA. Wayne is currently the Director of the Marsh Youth Theater in San Francisco, CA and a resident Teaching Artist for Stagebridge (An intergenerational theater) in Oakland, CA. 2016/17 marked the beginning of an ambitious venture into performances for schools as Harris takes the story and legend of “John Henry…the steel driving man!” to educational institutions all over the country. Performing traditional and new tales of America’s most famous African-American mythological character, Wayne, with the help and assistance of Bay Area educators has developed a standards based curriculum and performance that explores the power of myth and storytelling.
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.