BREED OR BUST
“I can’t remember the last time I loved every minute of a production, but I did for this one. I’m telling my friends to go. We all need to laugh. Energetic and confiding, Raven engages us from the get-go. We learn her background growing up in a commune of hippies. We learn of her early carefree artist’s way of life. We meet the boyfriend. Then those two damned little blue lines show up on the pregnancy test, and her carefree life turns intense.” – Kim Waldron, Theatrius
“She tells it openly, without self-pity or sentimentality. And she tells it funny.” – Jean Schiffman, SF Examiner
“It’s a very brave show. It’s a very meaningful and timely show. It’s also a very hilarious show. A knitted representation of the clitoris does indeed, make an appearance…You only have one weekend left to see it. So go. Go you must.” – Ginger Murray, Broke-Ass Stuart
“Raven is a brilliant and gifted storyteller and performer. Using her genius whit and incredible stage presence, she talks us through the experiences of her abortions, the good and the very bad, what led to them, how she feels about them now, and we come away understanding all of it.” – Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros, Noho Arts, Los Angeles
“Raven’s …forthright and direct approach to story-telling, with its heightened sense of honesty and effortless infusion of humor creates a sense of intimacy with an audience…which makes for a very frank and very funny evening.” – Ernest Kearney, The TV Olution, Los Angeles
“… heartbreaking and deeply heartfelt, taking a serious subject and offering an often humorous look at what women go through when it comes to breeding decisions. It’s a difficult subject, and Joyful made it an easy one to watch.” – Shari Barrett, Broadway World, Los Angeles
Actor - Writer
Joyful Raven is an actor, writer and comedian. Born into an iconic political theater family, she has been devising theater for over 25 years. Her last solo comedy Tales of a Sexual Tomboy was dubbed “…one of the funniest shows now on display on Bay Area stages” by the SF Chronicle. Tomboy won “Best of the Fringe '' at the 2016 San Francisco Fringe Festival and was awarded an ‘Encore Performance’ at the 2017 United Solo Festival in NYC. Her additional theatre credits include lead actor and co-author of four plays for “Prize of Hope '' winning company Human Nature and co-founder of the ensemble-driven theatre company Rococo Risqué, winner of SF Weekly Best Theater Ensemble. Joyful has also appeared as an actor in many projects on stage and film, including Odyssey Works, an immersive theatre project; The Pursuit of Happiness, with Will Smith; and Spring Awakening, directed by Broadway and West End director Stafford Arima. She studied theater at Sarah Lawrence College in NY and holds an MFA in theater from UC Davis. She teaches Solo Performance and Storytelling at Berkeley Rep School of Theater.
Jael Weisman is a founding member of the Dell’Arte Players Company. He directed most of their early works, for which he received multiple ‘Drama-logue Awards’ and gained international acclaim. He later directed multiple productions at the San Diego Repertory,including the American premiere of Peter Barnes’ Red Noses, which received numerous awards including the ‘Best Production Award’ from San Diego Critics Circle. He has had the honor to co-direct and collaborate with such notables as Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and Joe Chaikin and directed the original production of The Dragon Lady’s Revenge, which traveled to NY and was awarded an Obie.
Jessica Lynn Johnson
Jessica Lynn Johnson Produces, she is a published playwright, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, Advisory Board Member of the LA Women's Theatre Festival, Director for Whitefire Theatre, and Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo Studios. Jessica has aided in the development of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! As a performer, Jessica has “edu-tained” international audiences touring her own one person shows ZE and OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYONE for over 15 years. Jessica's projects have taken home awards such as TOP OF FRINGE, HFF ENCORE PRODUCER AWARDS, TVOLUTION BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE, LARRY CORNWALL AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE & several other accolades! Jessica was also nominated for the Female Director of Distinction in Theatre by Girl Trip LLC at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Jessica is so honored to collaborate on this wonderful solo show!