Whitefire Theatre Solofest Presents: Chemo Barbie: My Lady Bits’ Journey through Breast Cancer
This is multi-award-winning solo show and with good reason, I can tell you. It’s funny, inventive, emotional, perceptive, warm, engaging and riveting…and it’s also about cancer.
We have all been touched by cancer. I can say this without doubt of contradiction because there is not one person in my life that hasn’t lost someone, nearly lost someone or survived their own cancer. So this topic is about as relevant and leveling as any I can think of.
Heather Keller is a recent survivor of breast cancer. Throughout her journey, she took copious amounts of notes, kept a journal, wrote a blog and filmed some of the more significant treatment moments as if anyone thing she went through was any less significant than any other.
She shares everything with us…and I mean everything. The pain, the stress, the indignation, the rows with her husband, the depression and self-doubt, and the strength she found in herself and others. It’s quite a story, as you can imagine. But Heather has managed to find the humor in the hardship, the affirmation of the adversity and the triumph of the tragedy. She’s a warrior woman!
How can we understand her pain, truly, if we have not been there ourselves?
Statistically, far too many of us have of course, and we can only hope that brave and talented people such as Heather can share their own stories in such a way that guides us through the darkness and reminds us that we are all the same…all full of fear as well as love.
Heather shows us video clips from her struggle as she shares her journey. They are both hilarious and painfully true. We watch her friends support her, her husband fight for her and her mother…well, mother her. That she can stand on a stage so soon after her illness and reach out is stunning. She is an artist and she has found comfort in her art and in her ability to use it to heal…astonishing.
She plays many roles on stage, mimicking those around her who love her and she does so with love as well as quite a bit of observational humor and ironic wit. It seems odd to recommend a show about such a serious subject, but I do urge you to see it if you get the chance. Heather is a revelation. Sweet, beautiful, comic and full of the wonder of her world and those who helped her. She turns what was so hard for her and her friends and family into a lesson for us all in resilience and sheer strength of will. She refused to lose herself in cancer. Choosing instead to laugh in the face of doom, to flip off fear and to show us all how to be afraid and win anyway.
In short, it’s Inspiring, it’s hilarious and you would be crazy not to see it…
Find out if it’s on near you: https://twitter.com/chemobarbieshow
Written and performed by Heather Keller
Directed and Developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson