[NoHo Arts District, CA] – This March 9, author Esther Pearlman celebrates the first performance of her autobiographical solo play Re-Inventing Me at Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest 2023, the largest one-person play festival in the country.
On the advice of her friend and advisor Lisa Gold, Esther decided to turn to playwriting after writing 11 books.
“The play been a lot of fun to do,” said Esther, who is a visual artist as well as an author. “I’d say it was a natural next step for me after so much other creative work. I’d like people to know what I’ve done over my life, to inspire them with what I have overcome, and to have them enjoy my humor.”
Esther grew up poor in Southwest Los Angeles, wearing homemade clothes classmates made fun of, while her family struggled to live on limited funds. The “No Jews or Blacks” sign posted on the front yard of her neighbor’s boarding house didn’t help this little Jewish girl’s self-esteem. But friendship did… Enter Kelly, whose adventurous spirit and courage helped Esther find her way to a life of Re-invention. As the play progresses, we experience the various identities Esther moves through in an attempt to find herself – from the Unconfident Child with learning difficulties, to the Attractive Young Woman who draws the attention of pre-fame Jack Nicholson and eventually her husband Marty, to the 27-Year College Student, to a Sexy Dancer Instructor, to an Eager Model in Training, to the Chatty Extra, and more.
Actress Laurie Wardell to play Esther, a woman who re-invents herself to find her creative path in life. As actress Laurie Wardell read Act One for her successful audition, she identified with a life of re-invention. “I had an immediate connection to Esther because of her creativity, directness and humor,” says Laurie. “We have similarities in our lives, as in being a writer, a dance instructor, as well as our shared experiences in overcoming obstacles. I have always been a storyteller and this is a story I wish to tell.”
Re-Inventing Me features the playful and colorful artwork of Esther Pearlman as backdrops to indicate her various Re-Inventions and more. “It only made sense,” notes Esther, “since both art and writing are such a big part of my life.”
The performance will be recorded, edited and made available afterwards for three months to out-of-towners and others to view in the On Demand section of the theater’s website for $20.
“Regarding the play’s theme of re-invention, I can see that I learned something from every evolution,” notes Esther. “It’s never too late, or too early, to re-invent yourself.”
Playwright / Co-Director Esther Pearlman
Esther Pearlman enjoys art and finds it to be fun. In addition to oils, watercolor and collage, she has been very involved in doing black ink and Japanese Washi tape artwork. She has produced over 1200 pictures with this process. Venues where her art has been shown include the Lark Gallery, Izen Miller Gallery, Neutra Institute Gallery, Loveland Museum Gallery, Blue 7 Art Gallery, and bG Gallery. She also loves to write. Her latest book is Looking at the Bright Side, Mostly. Three of her earlier works are It’s Not Easy Being a Woman, Volumes I, II and III. Her book, A Face Is a Face Is a Face, features her Japanese Washi tape pictures. Esther has been happily married to a highly successful pharmacist for many years. He is now retired. She and her husband, Marty, have three children – two sons and a daughter – and two grandchildren, a boy and a girl. She loves being a wife, mother and grandmother too. See A Face Is a Face Is a Face for a book of her art.
Actress Laurie Wardell
Laurie Wardell is a native of Fort Worth, Texas, currently residing in Crestline, California. She has always been driven to the fine art of storytelling. Laurie studied acting with actor Grant James (Tombstone) and she has an extensive dance background with an emphasis in ballet in which she studied at Gayle Corkery School of Ballet. She has thrived in the roles of Libby Ruth in Always a Bridesmaid, Mrs. Starr in A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas, Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII, and Pam McHugh in A Gift to Remember. She is an accomplished singer/songwriter of folk, jazz and rock music, who is currently performing at various engagements in Southern California, having recently performed at a Lake Arrowhead Historical Society charity event. In addition to being an actress, Laurie is a fashion stylist and a Pilates instructor. https://www.backstage.com/u/laurie-wardell/
Solo Coach / Producer Jessica Lynn Johnson
Jessica Lynn Johnson, recipient of Best National Solo Artist Award, is the founder and CEO of Soaring Solo LLC, a company dedicated solely to the direction and development of one person plays. Jessica is passionate about the transformational power of solo theater and has aided in the creation of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! As a published playwright and performer, Jessica has “edu-tained” international audiences touring her own one person shows ZE and Oblivious to Everyone for over 13 years. www.soaringsolostudios.com/
Co-Director / Producer Robin Quinn
Robin Quinn is a writing coach and book editor who makes her nest in Los Angeles. During her 30+ years in the book business, she has edited over 300 books – specializing in memoir, spirituality, health and self-help. She has written 10 scripts which were produced for children’s TV, including for such shows as Mighty Max and Bump in the Night. Robin has worked closely with Esther on her books for many years, and she enjoyed the process of working in this new medium of plays as Esther’s writing coach and more. www.writingandediting.biz
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