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The Loneliness Cure is presented to support the Arts for All program. Created in 2019, Arts for All supports the Quick’s mission to provide high-caliber, hands-on learning experiences for K-12 grade students in under-resourced schools including workshops and access to performances. 

The world has changed.

A man bursts into tears in a public place. He pulls together a few strangers to help him heal and the group takes on a life of its own. All are welcome. The only requirement is a need to belong.

Created through research and interviews, The Loneliness Cure examines our country's public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of social connection.

A 2018-2020 survey revealed 60 percent of Americans struggle with loneliness, and the numbers increase to 75 percent for younger people. There is little solace to be found. Screens are ever present, social media is in play, and the pandemic changed us, some would argue, forever. We are more isolated, more defensive, more mistrusting. Our Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has sounded the alarm on “the loneliness epidemic.” Murthy states that loneliness poses real threats to both mental and physical health, among them: higher risks of depression, anxiety, cardiovascular illness, dementia, and sleep disturbances.

And those are the quieter, more personal effects of a society in a crisis. There are other heartbreaking catastrophic outcomes of isolation and lack of connection to others: rampant gun violence, sky-rocketing drug overdoses, and soaring deaths by suicide. There is no end in sight to this escalation.

So many are angry, in pain, and out of control.

  • We are a nation of people emotionally and physically stressed out.
  • We are isolated, depressed, and alienated.
  • We are politically, socially, and culturally divided.
Where do we go from here? What are the signs of hope? How do we get there?

We’ll share stories from real people – students, parents, and elders in our community who’ve learned how to connect to others and themselves to forge a path toward more meaningful lives. We will hear from spiritual leaders, teachers, law enforcement personnel, guidance counselors, psychological advisors, and social science professors, along with those who’ve found their footing in the new, uncertain, chaotic landscape of our times. Through their stories, we can find a way back home together.

MELANIE HOOPES is a writer/director/performer whose credits include Kindness Committee, Six Feet: A Play About What’s Between Us (RiverArts), Murder Birds! (or Suspending Tati Copeland) (Rivertowns LAB), Lethal Lit (IHeartRadio, EEP), One Giant Leap: The Apollo Moon Landing 50 Years On (New York Times), and Bloodline (Netflix). She is the creator of the long-running New York-based episodic stage show, Laurie Stanton’s Sound Diet, a dark, modern twist on Prairie Home Companion. She is a producer and host of Yesteryear: Stories from Home, a podcast about the history of living in a small village on the Hudson River. Her public radio credits include work for WNYC, KCRW and WBUR, including This American Life and Studio 360. Melanie has written and performed four solo shows on subjects ranging from obesity to aging.

CHERYL WIESENFELD is a Broadway and off-Broadway producer with many plays and musicals to her credit. She has won numerous awards for her productions, including the Drama League, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, N.Y. Drama Critics awards, as well as four Tony Awards. Her prime interest is plays that deal with the social condition.

Throughout Cheryl’s career she has been in the communication field as an editor, writer, photographer and producer. She started her career as a magazine editor at Popular Phtography Magazine and then at Forbes Magazine. In between she co-edited two books of photography Women See Woman and Women See Men both of which were promoted widely around the country.

Following her career in publishing, she became a producer of large scale industrial events for corporations. Flexing her creative muscle, she produced shows that combined art, theatre, dance and ideas working with such luminaries as Andy Warhol, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Robin Williams, Bill Irwin and Pilobolus as well as others.

Cheryl began her theatre producing career in 1998. Broadway: The Great Society, Ain’t Too Proud-The Life and Times of The Temptations,The Heidi Chronicles, All The Way, Rocky, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, A Steady Rain, Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, ‘night Mother, Caroline or Change, Elaine Stritch At Liberty, and Hedda Gabler. Off Broadway: 10th Anniversary Exonerated, Play Dead, In The Continuum, Shockheaded Peter, Talking Heads, The Exonerated, The Waverly Gallery. Film: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. Upcoming Projects: August Osage, The Harder They Come. Cheryl has produced shows that have spawned national and international tours and sit down productions, regional productions, and London engagements which have grossed in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cheryl has won numerous awards for her productions including the Drama League, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics Awards and 4 Tony Awards. She has been honored by Theater Resources Unlimited with “The Spirit of Theater” award in 2007, and The Houses on The Moon Amplify 2015 Award for her support in championing the unheard voice.

Her board commitments: Theater Resource Unlimited where she co-founded the TRU mentor ship program. That program to date has mentored over 200 commercial producers and self producing artists. Cheryl is on the board of Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, and is on the Honorary Council of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven Connecticut.

Cheryl curates/produces a theatre program at The Regina A Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University with the title “Theatre that Changes Our World” focusing on systemic issues which plague our world. That theatre program is now in it’s 8th year.

Cheryl continues her mentoring work and speaks at universities, on panels and for different not for profit organizations. 

WHO IS Cheryl Wiesenfeld → CHECK OUT Producer Cheryl Wisenfeld’s History of Broadway Productions →
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