The Marsh Presents Nina Wise’s “What Just Happened” February 19 – March 13, 2010

An evening of improvisation based on personal and political events which have transpired over the previous twenty-four hours." Loving kindness abounds in her work. She makes art as fresh as the days headlines."— Village Voice.

San Francisco, CA, January 20, 2010 --( “Nina Wise is something else again. She shapes theater pieces that are thoroughly grounded in intellectual commitment and emotional depth.” —SF Chronicle

“A metaphysical vaudevillian for the new millennium”—Bob Morris, N.Y. Times columnist

“Nina Wise is part of a vanishing breed . . . artists who feel that emotional content and intellectual stimulation are not foreign ingredients to performance art.” –Artweek

The Marsh is pleased to announce Nina Wise’s “What Just Happened?”- an evening of improvisation based on personal and political events which have transpired over the previous twenty-four hours. Wise’s autobiographical performances, known for their warmth and compassion, weave irony, physicality and insight into complex, spontaneous narratives. Her work, which has been compared to a cross between Lily Tomlin, the Dalai Lama and Jules Feiffer, is at once full of humor and poignancy. Audiences repeatedly report that they have never seen anything quite like Wise before and that they are at one instant laughing so hard they are falling off their seats and the next moment moved to tears.

The show plays on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm at The Marsh Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For tickets, the public may call Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or visit

Originally a performer with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Wise soon set out on her own to create art that incorporated language as well as movement. In 1990, she developed Motion Theatre®, a unique improvisational form that replaces the bells and whistles of staging and technology with the raw elements available to an actor: body, voice, and insight. The technique draws on the performer’s skills as a writer, storyteller, dancer and intellectual. As described by Chloe Veltman in the SF Weekly: “Wise moves and speaks like a veteran jazz musician; there's structure and poise to her every riff. . . . Simply being in the same room as this consummate improviser for a couple of hours is to watch the unknown unfold before your eyes. Yet to reduce Wise's work to a mere curiosity, like a sideshow at a traveling fair, is to do it a great disservice. For I was . . . deeply moved and entertained by Wise's eccentric take [on her life as she] distilled something of the complexity of living in today's world . . . into something bizarre, beautiful, and brave.”

Wise finds no venue or subject out of bounds. Her audiences have included think tanks, medical institutions, international conferences and spiritual centers while her subjects range from the environment, death and dying, healing, Jewish identity and Buddhism to…even…golf. Her performances have garnered seven Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards and she has received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and four from the Marin Arts Council. Her stories and articles have appeared widely and her book, A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life: Self Expression and Spiritual Practice for Those Who Have Time for Neither, was published in 2002 by Broadway Books. In addition to performing, Wise teaches and lectures. She is currently on the faculty at JFK University, has taught at UC Santa Cruz and SF State University and been a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California, Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin. Wise has a devoted following of private students across the country, and regularly offers courses at Esalen Institute. A longtime Buddhist practitioner, she is a teaching affiliate of Spirit Rock Mediation Center.

Wise gave a sold out Marsh Rising performance of this show in 2009 and received a standing ovation. For more information, visit her website at

For Calendar Editors

When: February 19 – March 13, 2010

Showtimes: Friday And Saturday At 8:00 Pm

Where: The Marsh Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia Street (At 22nd Street) In San Francisco

Tickets: $20–35 Sliding Scale. $50 Reserved Seats.
For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit

For more information, call 415-826-5750 or visit The Marsh website at

The Marsh
Diana Rathbone