Transcendence Theatre - December 2017/January 2018



RISE UP ... WE’RE PROUD TO CALL SONOMA HOME N ow more than ever, we at Transcendence see the importance of what we do in our community and the responsibility we have to bring people together in love, hope, and unity.

For weeks, wildfires raged through northern California, leaving a wake of ash and loss. I am relieved to report that the Transcendence Artists and team, as well as our venues, are all safe and intact. We have been incredibly lucky, but we know many members of the community, including some of our patrons and supporters, lost almost everything. The fires inflicted a great deal of suffering and an overwhelming sense of helplessness. It became our mission to help bring this incredible community back together. On October 28, Transcendence performed with fire department color guard and bagpipes, the honor guard from local law enforcement, the Sonoma County sheriff, and city officials at the Sonoma County Day of Remembrance. We were honored to be a part of this huge event, singing to remember those brilliant lives lost in the fires and the heroes who helped protect the community. This event left us feeling humbled and proud to have found a home among such brave and loving people. Just over a week later, on Nov. 5, Transcendence Artists and friends in New York City put on the Sonoma Strong Benefit Concert. Twenty-four of our Broadway Performers were featured in the concert, which was streamed over Facebook Live. One hundred percent of proceeds went to benefit Sonoma County fire victims, evacuees, and first responders. Back in California, we were able to join the Glen Ellen community for another fundraiser on Nov. 10 at the Benziger Family Winery. More recently, we wrapped up our Broadway Holiday Spectacular in early December. For many, our holiday show has become a musical tradition, and this year, we incorporated the show into our efforts to rebuild the community. We gave


away 1,000 tickets to first responders and their families, as well as to individuals who were affected by the fire. Additionally, we donated 5 percent of proceeds to fire relief efforts in our community. There has been a lot of heartache in recent months, and we want to do our part in healing the wounds. In conjunction with our fundraising concerts, we developed Transcendence’s Rise Up & Recover Fund to raise money for victims, evacuees, and first responders in Sonoma County. I want to thank everyone who has donated to the fund or helped us in any way during this difficult time. Every dollar of proceeds from these donations goes directly back into our community and will help the people of Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma, California. Through all the hardships, we want to make one thing clear: We aren’t going anywhere. Sonoma is our home, and we are committed to whatever hard work must be done to rebuild. As we move forward, our hope is to continue sharing the love and renew the spirit of our community.

–Stephan Stubbins


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HELPING Lexy Fridell and the Though many Transcendence Artists their hearts in Sonoma. This incredibl they continue the hospitality each tim Napa counties, many of our Artists fel side of the country.


For thousands of years, sunny yellow turmeric has been a staple in curries as well as a spice renowned for its ability to treat a vast number of ailments. In recent years, this South Asian native has become a sort of “spice-of-all- trades.” Turmeric’s popularity has surged throughout North America. People are adding it to food and using it to treat everything from arthritis to heartburn. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the spice can treat just about every kind of inflammation, whether it’s joint pain or a headache. Have a stomachache or nausea? Try turmeric. Have a mild rash or burn on your skin? Try turmeric. Current studies are even looking into turmeric’s effectiveness as a treatment for diabetes and dementia. When one substance is purported to have near-magical healing powers, you have to remember to take it with an additional dose of skepticism. Can one spice really cure everything that ails you? Let’s ask science. Researchers have identified over 20 distinct compounds that work similar to NSAIDs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen). Of those compounds, six are COX-2 inhibitors.

COX-2 is an enzyme that causes inflammation and pain in the body. In short, these six compounds help block the enzymatic reaction that triggers inflammation. One of these compounds is called curcumin, which is often considered the active ingredient in turmeric. An article published in the medical journal Nutrition and Cancer found that, by weight, pure turmeric powder contains 3.14 percent curcumin. However, clinical trials of curcumin have produced less-than-stellar results. A comprehensive review of 120 studies of curcumin, published in 2017 in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, found no evidence that the compound produced positive results as an anti-inflammatory or antioxidant. In fact, researchers found curcumin to be an, “unstable, reactive, non-bioavailable compound.”

So, what does this mean for people who use turmeric for its medicinal properties?

If it works for you, continue to use it. If you’ve thought about adding it to your diet, give it a try. It’s safe to use, and studies have shown virtually no toxicity, even in high doses.

Lexy (right) and her friend, Priscilla L

Rising Up Together Transcendence developed the Rise Up & Recover Fund to help support the communities of Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma, California. This fund was able to help this incredible community through these very challenging times and meet the most immediate needs. All of the proceeds from this campaign has been given to support fire victims, evacuees, and first responders through these three organizations: • Glen Ellen & Kenwood Rotary - providing relief for those in Glen Ellen and Kenwood. • Sonoma Valley Rotary - Sonoma Strong Fund, providing relief for those in Sonoma and Sonoma Valley. • Redwood Credit Union - North Bay Fire Relief Fund, providing relief for those in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. The fund is now closed, and our focus is shifting to provide tickets to our shows for kids, including those affected by the fires. Thank you to everyone across the nation who has been a part of this amazing effort to Rise Up! HELP SONOMA COUNTY RISE UP AND RECOVER

Alicia Albright • Amanda Lehman • Ben and Barbara Rooks • Betsy Werbel Brandon Maslan • Brian Miller • Brooks Corbin • Bryan Abel • Cara Salerno • Cass Morgan • Catherine Collins • Cathy and Lowell Moulton • Cheryl Albright • Chris and Paul Stubbins • David Heminger • Diana Ferris • Ellen Toscano • Erin Maya • Gilbert McLemore • Gregory Ullman • Haley Crocker • Heather and Brian Mccornack • Helen O’Donnell • Hope Wright • Jean Karam • Jennifer Gissell-Epps • Jessica Dorcey • Judith and Jim Muller • Judith Walsh • Judy Mahoney • Justin Bennett • Karla Klaudia Kobelt • Kristan T. Zwerling • Kristin Piro • Larry Houghton • Lauralee Barbarial • Lauren and Michael Linger • Laurie Wells • Leah Horowitz • Libby Servais • Linda Arons • Lori Haley Fox • Lorraine Reuther • LynnMcShane • Maggie Kaplan • Marcy Reed • Marty Giblas • Mary Jo Kulp • Michael Ball • Michael Norton • Michele Salgado • Mike Kirsch • Nancy Fulton • Nancy Gougarty • Patti Lavery • Patti Lightstone • Peggy Scott • Peter Fishman • Phyllis Weathers • Rachel Porter • Rex Allingham • Robert Halstead • Ron and Brenda Karlin • Sandra L. Gonzalez • Hector Gonzalez • Shelley Kierman • Sheri Kessel • Sidne Long • Stephan Stubbins • Sue and Tom Kirkpatrick • Susie and Jack Louiso • Sydelle Maslan • R. Sutton and L. Sutton • Thomas F. Miller • Ann S. Miller • Tim Roller • Tracy Elliott • Trevor Strader • Trista Moldovan • Victor Mazzone and many anonymous donors! THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATION

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IN THE MOMENT ranscendence Artists Come Together come and go as the seasons change, they always leave a piece of community makes people feel welcome the first time they arrive, and they return. In the days following the wildfires in the Sonoma and compelled to help this community, even if they were on the other

CHRISTMAS STAR COOKIES Looking for something a little lighter to leave for Santa this Christmas Eve? Try these star cookies! And, as an added bonus, they’re paleo- friendly!

One such Artist is Lexy Fridell, who has performed on the Transcendence stage on and off since 2013. Lexy grew up in Glen Ellen, and her family still owns the Glen Lyon Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma Valley, where her parents live. On the second day of the fires, Lexy, who currently lives in Marin County, woke up at 5 a.m. to news of her parents being evacuated from their home. She promptly drove up to make sure her parents were okay. Then Lexy found herself unable to just sit around watching the news continuously play the same report. Driven to do something, Lexy and her husband started taking trips to evacuation centers in Santa Rosa and the surrounding community. She soon learned she wasn’t the only person who couldn’t wait around and do nothing.


• 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal) • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt • ¼ teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• ¼ cup coconut oil, melted • 5 tablespoons agave nectar or honey • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. 2. In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, agave, and vanilla. 3. Mix wet ingredients into dry. 4. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until ¼ inch thick. 5. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 6. Remove top piece of parchment paper and dust dough with almond flour. 7. Cut out cookies with a small star cutter. 8. Using a metal spatula, place stars on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 9. Bake at 350 F until edges are lightly browned, 5–8 minutes.

cke, during the recent wildfires.

“While we were making these trips, people and Artists from New York, L.A., and across the country started to Venmo me cash so I could buy more supplies,” Lexy said, describing the surreal experience. “It was an incredibly moving gesture and allowed me to keep up with the needs of the evacuation centers, which kept changing every 10 minutes. I started making trips as fast as I could to get hearing aid batteries, shower flip-flops, toys for kids, and N95 masks.” “In the moment, it felt really good to be out there helping. When you’re faced with an overwhelming disaster, you can easily feel helpless. But people from all over came together and asked how they could help. My fellow Artists allowed me to really help my home when it needed it most, and those are the values Transcendence is built on.” Transcendence Theatre Company was humbled by the outreach of love and support for our neighborhood from Artists across the globe. This is what Transcendence is all about: helping our community and doing what we can in each moment. We are honored to have so many Artists and supporters eager to support our home in its time of need. We’ll be ready to do whatever we can to aid in the continued recovery.

Recipe inspired by



19201 SONOMA HWY #214, SONOMA, CA 95476 877-424-1414 • WWW.BESTNIGHTEVER.ORG

Inside This Issue


We Are #SonomaStrong


The Secrets of Turmeric


How We Face Hopelessness


Christmas Star Cookies


Stop Wasting Gift Wrap!



There’s something magical about seeing a stack of presents wrapped in bright, multicolored paper. However, that enchanting scene quickly evaporates a few hours later when all those wads of wrapping paper and plastic bows are chucked unceremoniously into the garbage. What if we told you there are countless ways you can still enjoy wrapping and unwrapping presents, without all the waste? Here are a few creative gift wrap alternatives to consider this holiday season. Brown Paper Bags With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, and if you opt out of plastic grocery bags, you’re sure to have a surplus of brown paper bags in the pantry. Drop a present into the bag, tape it shut, and you’re good to go. Add some simple lace or a ribbon for an old-timey feel or get creative with stamps and hand-drawn artwork. This wrap job lets your imagination run wild. Old Maps and Calendars These days, pretty much every phone has a built-in GPS, so you probably won’t need the map from your 1999 road trip anytime soon. If you still have an old map, why not use that for wrapping? The unusual

designs guarantee your gifts will be one of a kind. And don’t worry if there are notes scrawled across the paper. Old events or directions will add some unique flair to the presents. Furoshiki Fabric is an excellent substitute for wrapping paper. You can use a scarf to create two gifts in one or pull out scraps of fabric from old projects. The traditional Japanese practice of furoshiki is all about wrapping goods in fabric. Described as “functional fabric origami,” you’d be amazed at how a few well-placed folds can turn your gift into a work of art. Learn how to wrap anything, from boxes to bottles, at furoshiki-instructional-videos. You don’t have to follow the same gift wrap habits year after year. After the effort you put into finding just the right present, you should be able to make your gift wrap just as special. Find a method that’s uniquely you and get started!


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