Holly Sidell shared her story of surviving breast cancer in an online show, “Deconstructing Holly,” in December.
Then she said, ““While undergoing cancer surgery to remove my lady parts, I floated in the space between life and death.”
Sidell said she was unsure if she wanted to return to a life in which she feels she has failed as a woman.
But instead, she turned her experience as a time to reflect on her relationships and how they shaped who she was, ultimately turning it into a one-woman play.
Just 38, writer and performer Sidell had endured a double mastectomy and then chemotherapy to fight Stage 2 Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Her reproductive organs were removed to help prevent her high risk of ovarian cancer because of the BRCA gene mutation.
With humor and raw honesty Sidell, who regularly appears in Theatre Palisades productions, embodies a cast of characters who have come and gone in her life.
In her show, she tears apart, piece by piece, her beliefs, her sense of physical self, and the crushing gender expectations and pressures society can inflict. “Because, sometimes, we have to be completely deconstructed in order to find who we actually are…and the love we so desperately seek.”
Circling the News found Sidell’s solo show entertaining and uplifting, when it could have been depressing. Some of the praise for the show centers on her presentation as an actual play, rather than the monologue style of many other solo shows.
Directed by award-winning regional theatre director Jonathan Fahn, the show made its official debut as part of SoloFest 2020 and sold out two months before the show premiered. All subsequent performances were shut down due to COVID, except for a special online presentation and Q&A to raise money for cancer research and patient support programs.
Sidell recently learned that her show has been chosen for the Hollywood Fringe Festival, which will be held at the Broadwater Stage Black Box Theater, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd. Performances will be a hybrid — patrons can either come to the theater or stream the show online.
DATES AND TIMES:
Sunday, August 8 – 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, August 14 – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 21 – 5:30 p.m.
Friday, August 27 – 8 p.m.
$15 for in-person or livestream
*$5 tickets for all Fringe Participants
**$10 tickets for all cancer survivors and warriors
For tickets and more information, visit: http://hff21.co/6687 and