Theatre Palisades will present an online benefit performance of “Deconstructing Holly” at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 6. A live question-and-answer session will follow.
In this one-woman show, writer and actress Holly Sidell shares her story of surviving breast cancer. Theatre Palisades writes: “While undergoing cancer surgery to remove her lady parts, Holly floats in the space between life and death. Unsure if she wants to return to a life in which she feels she has failed as a woman, Holly is led on an eye-opening journey of relationships past, present, and future.”
Sidell has been one of the most talented performers at Theatre Palisades and has performed in numerous productions.
A Los Angeles native, she minored in theater at Indiana University and then studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
When she returned to L.A., she slowly felt herself being drawn to holistic health, spirituality and the wellness field and became certified as a Reiki Master energy healer/teacher.
Sidell started writing about the different modalities and eventually became a full-time writer for a nonprofit spiritual organization, where she spent nine years.
In 2014, she returned to theater—including Palisades Theatre.
Then, two years later at the age of 38, Sidell was diagnosed with aggressive stage-2 breast cancer. She started a blog, “So, Apparently I Have Breast Cancer,” in which she shared, no holds barred, the emotional and physical realities of going through such a journey, including a double mastectomy, reconstruction and chemotherapy.
Then she learned that as a carrier of the BRCA 1 hereditary gene mutation, she needed to have more body – and life – altering surgeries.
In an July 2020 interview with VoyageLA (“Meet Holly Sidell of ‘Deconstructing Holly’”) she said, “Going through all of that, I was forced to face, and deconstruct, many of my programmed beliefs, especially around what it means to be a woman, and I knew that when I got out the other side of it, I would try to turn it into something positive; I wanted to share my experience and healing journey as a means to possibly bring solace or hope to anyone who might be suffering.
“And then, boom, all the pieces of my life came together: my passion for performing, my love of writing – not just about my cancer journey but about heartaches and relationships, my connection with spirituality and mindfulness, and my desire to use my story as a means to help others who are struggling… and the solo show ‘Deconstructing Holly’ was born!”
A portion of the proceeds from this performance will go to cancer research and patient support groups. Visit: Holly