Melissa Bangs…Telling True, Hilarious and Haunting Tales
October 15th- 17th
PLAYING MONOPOLY WITH GOD & OTHER TRUE STORIES
– a one-woman, live, nonfiction, storytelling performance –
The Verge Theater, Bozeman
October 15th- 17th
Cash Bar 6PM / Start 7PM
Tickets on sale now at www.playingmonopolywithgod.com
Presented by The Silver Foundation: Forging Resilience
During her first class at the comedy New York City club Upright Citizens Brigade, Melissa Bangs’ teacher gave her two tasks.
One. Every time you get on stage, have the guts to make a fool of yourself. Take risks. Find out what’s on the other side of the more intimidating (more interesting) action.
Two. See as much comedy at the club as possible. Do your homework. Study the ninjas. Find the magic. Then, figure out how it’s done.
Bangs had landed at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) on a double-dog dare from her mother. Everywhere she lived, her mom visited. Every time she visited, they took in some comedy. Their night at UCB was a phenomenal knee-slapper. One problem. Of over a dozen comics, only three were women and only one was funny. That one was Amy Poehler.
Given that Bangs had never been able to walk away from a double dog dare from her mom, Poehler soon became Melissa’s homework. Her ninja. Her master.
When Melissa left NYC in 2004 to return home to Montana, comedy class (& the live performances in front of a NYC audience) were among the hardest parts to leave behind. Comedy, and specifically improv, had taught her so much.
The ninjas like Amy did several things at a level she’d never imagined. They played it real, demonstrating the brilliance of the improv mantra “The funniest things are true.” They listened more deeply, remembered details far beyond normal pedestrian capacity. And wildly, rather than finding conflict again and again as they invented scenarios and relationships at break-neck speed, they found agreement. Endless agreement. It was hilarious.
Bangs never could have imagined that the next time she’d be performing comedy live on-stage, she’d be telling the true story of her agonizing journey to the psych ward.
In September 2012, at 40 years old, Bangs gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Adelaide. One month later, profoundly sleep deprived, Bangs was admitted to the Providence Psychological Inpatient Unit.
What came next was an extraordinary journey, one she has transformed into a non-fiction storytelling experience that is both wildly funny and terribly tragic.
Bangs sold out four shows in Missoula earlier this year and packed two additional houses. The most common bit of feedback she heard was, “I was laughing or crying the entire time.”
While a reported 15% of women will experience a post partum mood disorder of some kind, Post Partum Support International suggests the true number is larger due to the fact that stigma and fear leave women isolated and enduring, rather than seeking help.
While this show is definitely for parents that have experienced a rough post partum patch, it is also for anyone that has experienced deep or tragic loss. Bangs says, “We’ve all had our post partum psychosis. Yours might have been cancer, divorce or the death of a dear one. For anyone that has ever arrived in a moment in life in which the bottom momentarily drops out, this story is for you.”
Bangs shares, reflecting on the first two runs and the upcoming West Coast tour in 2016, “Comedy taught me to deeply listen, to find agreement rather than blame and to play it real. It allowed me to find the funny, and in turn the healing, in the hardest, truest thing I’ve every experienced. I am profoundly grateful to share this with others.”
She hopes that by telling this story with a large dose of truth, humor and self-love, she will give others permission to tell their stories, shed any shame or regret and follow their guts.
Join Melissa Bangs, ONE-NIGHT ONLY AT THE MYRNA LOY, for an evening of true stories full of bewilderment, chaos and hilarity. Bangs has a knack for telling true stories that cut to the bone of our shared, vulnerable human condition. Her true gift, however, comes in the moments in which she’s able to string away the shame or agony of an experience and transform the room into an uproar of laughter.