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Fountain Theatre presents inspiring solo play ‘A Piece
of My Mind’ to benefit L.A. theater director Dan Bonnell
LOS ANGELES (Nov. 7, 2017) — The Fountain Theatre will present the funny and powerful solo play A Piece of My Mind, written and performed by Eric Barr, on Saturday, Dec. 16th at 8 p.m. as a fundraiser for L.A. theater director Dan Bonnell and his family. Bonnell suffered a massive brain aneurysm in April while in a meeting at Sacred Fools Theatre in Hollywood. He remains in rehabilitative care.
With A Piece of My Mind, Barr shares his inspiring true story of how he survived a series of devastating strokes, robbing him of speech, movement and all his future plans. But it didn’t rob him of hope, or his sense of humor and optimism. His solo play takes audiences on his journey from near-death to recovery and reinvention. It is a celebration of life, love and the human spirit.
“I have known Dan Bonnell for over 25 years as both a director and a friend,” says Barr. “When I was chairman of the UC Riverside Theatre Department, Dan directed a number of shows for us and he always raised the level of our students’ work and of our productions. Our students loved Dan.”
Fountain Theatre co-artistic director Stephen Sachs is also a longtime friend of Bonnell. “Dan is a warm-hearted human being and a respected member of our L.A. theater community,” Sachs states. “I offer the Fountain as a way to use theater as an instrument for healing and raising awareness. This night will bring L.A. theater artists and friends of Dan together to show Dan and his family that they are supported.”
A stroke impacts more than the patient. It affects the entire family. Proceeds from the one-night performance will benefit Bonnell and his family as they face mounting medical expenses. A silent auction is also planned to raise additional assistance.
As a stroke survivor, Barr knows the struggle Dan is experiencing. Visiting his friend was a sobering reminder. “When we arrived at the nursing facility, Dan was barely conscious,” remembers Barr. “Sitting next to him, I was suddenly flooded with distant memories of my own experience. I knew what it felt like to be trapped in bed, trapped in an unresponsive body. I could feel it all over again.”
After his stroke, Barr feared his life was over. Instead, his one-man show demonstrates he has a new future. Barr now performs his solo play to enthusiastic audiences around the country.
“On stage, I feel completely healthy. I feel more like myself than anywhere else.”
Eric Barr taught acting and directing at University of California, Riverside from 1975 until 2013 and is now a UCR Professor Emeritus of theater. He has directed over 100 productions and was the founding director of the UCR Palm Desert MFA program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts.
Dan Bonnell is an award-winning director whose work has been seen in Los Angeles at the Falcon Theatre, Colony Theatre, Pacific Resident Theatre, Matrix Theatre, Open Fist, Theatre of NOTE, The MET, Boston Court, Cornerstone, [Inside] the Ford, ASK Theater Projects, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, Highways, Moving Arts, Nexus Theatre Company, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and HBO Workspace. Dan is the recipient of directing awards from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and the NAACP as well as the GLAAD Media Award, and has been nominated for Theater Communications Group “Alan Schneider Award”
A Piece of My Mind will be performed on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50. All proceeds will benefit Dan Bonnell and family. The Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie) in Los Angeles. Secure, on-site parking is available for $5. The Fountain Theatre is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call (323) 663-1525 or go to www.FountainTheatre.com.
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‘A Piece of My Mind’
A Piece of My Mind — The Fountain Theatre presents a one-night only “friendraiser” to benefit director Dan Bonnell, an integral member of the Los Angeles theater community who suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm last April, and his family. What is it like to nearly lose your life, along with everything that gives you a sense of your identity? What is it like to suddenly find yourself a stranger in your own mind? And what is it like working your way back, against all odds? Actor, director, writer and theater professor Eric Barr survived a series of devastating strokes, robbing him of speech, movement and all his future plans. But it didn’t rob him of hope, his sense of humor or his optimism. He’s back on his feet to tell you the tale. A celebration of life, love and the human spirit, A Piece of my Mind takes you on Eric’s journey from near-death to recovery and reinvention.
Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m.
The Fountain Theatre
5060 Fountain Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90029
(Fountain at Normandie)
All proceeds go to directly benefit director Dan Bonnell, an integral member of the Los Angeles theater community who suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm last April, and his family
Secure, on-site parking: $5