Solofest: “This Isn’t Helping”

Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest presents: “This Isn’t Helping” Written and Performed by Jude Treder-Wolff

You know when people say “this is better than therapy,” and you smile indulgently but don’t really believe them? Well, this warm, funny, perceptively brilliant show might just actually be ”better than therapy.” 

Although the writer and performer, Jude Treder-Wolff, who is a licensed arts therapist for real, might not agree.

Jude takes us on a journey through her life, well at least through the moments that seem to have really changed her.  On that journey we discover some of the people who have influenced her, helped her, loved her and given her a lot of truly hilarious material.

I’ve always thought that being a therapist must be a really, really hard job, especially being my therapist. But Jude made me look at that role from a totally new perspective.  It’s so clear from this extraordinary show that her commitment to her life of helping and supporting those in the most dire moments of their life has been for her a precious gift and in many ways the making of her.

As she shares her stories and what she has learned along the way, we are treated to moments of such deep bliss and also such profound sadness that we cannot help but see our selves in them.  As an emergency therapist for the responders on 9/11 Jude has  had to the face horror and the heartbreak along with those she cared for.  Through their trauma, she experienced her own and learned to find her way through it with grace, humor and love.

The show is also peppered with some wonderful original songs, sung beautifully by Jude, and written by her and Wells Hanley.  They are a sublime mixture of clever, poignant and hilarious and really encapsulate Jude’s personality perfectly.

Jude is a New Yorker and has performed this show and versions of it for many years in the Big Apple, too much success and many awards. And after this performance I can see why! 

She has the kind of ironic humor that I love, and an ability to share herself with an audience that is rare and important.  She must be an amazing therapist.

“This isn’t Helping” is a voyage of mutual discovery, by Jude and the audience.  What she shares and how she shares it is what makes this show so special.  One woman on stage for over an hour talking about “feelings” this isn’t!  This is one woman on stage for over an hour being real and speaking, or sometimes singing, her truth and discovering the things we all search for – Why are we here? What do we need and how can we be better?

It’s uplifting, profound and ultimately very, very funny. I highly recommend that you spend a little time with Jude Treder-Wolff – The doctor is in!!


Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a Theatre and Food Writer and Filmmaker living in Los Angeles.