Writing Memoir for the Stage 

Saturday, March 25th. Shelia James presents: “The Beautiful Mess of Being Human” 
“Writing memoir is activism at its most personal and profound. Bearing witness to our lives, choosing to see and name what is, or was, true for us, and being unapologetic for the life we have lived takes courage. By virtue of our willingness to be honest, we become more trustworthy, first to ourselves and then in relationship to others. When we own our trustworthiness, we have the confidence to show up more for others and for the world at large. Many of us write lots of pages, in journals, at our computers, on scraps of paper. Those private words are a good start. And yet, perhaps there is another edge to explore…”

Shelia James has a passion for the art of writing for the stage stems from her belief in community-building, needed now more than ever. She writes to bust through the illusion that we are separate individuals having experiences unique to ourselves. She believes that by cultivating compassion for one’s own life, we are better equipped to meet others without fear.

Writing memoir and performing it is at once liberating, terrifying, fun, and an exercise in deep conversation between the writer, the performer and the audience. Do you write to create dramatic performances or presentations? Join us as Sheila James discusses how she went from an idea, to memoir, to writing monologues and performing on the stage.

An attorney, divorce mediator and disability rights activist for the past 35 years, Sheila began writing memoir with Natalie Goldberg in Taos in 2007 but it was in 2011, at a time of big life changes, that she began pursuing her creative expression as a writer and performer in earnest. Sheila began writing monologues and winning competitions in 2011 and went on to study solo performance and autobiographical writing with some of the best teachers in the solo show world. In 2014 she premiered her one-woman play, “This Being Human” performing at the Whitefire Theater SoloFest 2015 and around Southern California. Her latest collection of stories, “The Beautiful Mess of Being Human,” a companion piece to her first play, will be making its premier at the United Solo Theater in NYC this fall.