PTA Artist: Ed Gutfreund


Title:  Working My Way Back…and Forward

Writing and music/lyrics by:  Ed Gutfreund

Directed by:  Michele Mascari

Working My Way Back…and Forward is a one-person musical play that brings a therapeutic “case study” to life. Uly, comes to therapy because of losing his job. His narrative expresses his confusion and pain  from struggles with traumas—that have brought his life to a near standstill.  His music reveals the soul of his experience. Therapy with Jerome provides psychological and physical resources to regulate his highly-activated nervous system and to find direction for his life. Each of them changes as a result of increased awareness and actions taken to support healing and growth.

Working My Way Back…and Forward, began as an effort to inform therapists, and to encourage them to think broadly and creatively as they work with some of the most challenging conditions of people’s emotional, mental and social health. This work-in-progress performance is intended to prompt your ideas for health in whatever profession or life you live.

Please note that this piece uses strong language and may be considered PG-13, and may not be appropriate for younger audience members.

Bio:  Ed Gutfreund works as a licensed psychotherapist and teacher of therapists. He has a long history as a performer which precedes this work, and has accompanied the way he supports learning when he teaches. He grew up in the 60s folk era and performed for years in coffee houses and with The Queen City Balladeers, as well as contributing to church music compositions and teaching song leaders locally and internationally. He also worked with The Fountain Square Fools for 6 years as collaborator, musician and actor.

This play Working My Way Back…and Forward has arisen from his desire to combine his interest in creative writing and song writing, teaching and performing. It is his first musical play, and is offered in a solo story theater style where the primary characters are a musician and his therapist. The section presented this evening is the first act of the three-act play which has been performed as a work-in-progress as part of professional education workshops accredited by the Ohio Counselor, Social Work, and Marriage and Family Therapy Board, and in Xavier University’s Graduate Counseling program in a course that Ed teaches called Supporting Recovery from Trauma.

This revised version is a preview of a final version for therapists which will also be made available for general audiences. If you have questions for Ed be sure to talk with him after the performance.

Bio:  Michele Mascari recently joined Ed Gutfreund in the staging and adaptation of “Working My Way Back…and Forward,” preparing the play for production.  She is a retired high school theatre director and teacher of English, Journalism, Speech/Debate, Acting, Advanced Acting and Improvisation.  Her 33 years of educational theatre with St. Xavier High School and the award-winning Theatre Xavier certainly affected her attraction to and connection with Ed’s continuing work.  Michele is hoping to become involved even more in Cincinnati area theatre, as a writer and director.  This is her first step into that wonderful arena.          

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