Heidi Wohlwend

Heidi went from a singing part in her 8th grade class play to performing as a dancer and fire swallower for private parties and cabaret shows in San Francisco for such luminaries as Bonnie Raitt and Willie Brown.

Since those performance art college days, she's been involved in dancing, puppetry, acting, writing and music nonstop. Heidi has studied middle-eastern dancing since 1994, and performs with a troupe called Hahbi 'Ru, who were delighted to be a part of the prestigious San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in 2006, performing the traditional dances of Egypt.

She spent a decade studying puppetry and performing as a bottler for the Piccolo Puppet Players, presenting authentic Punch and Judy with Brian Patterson and providing direction, scripting, lazzi generation, costuming, puppet construction, management, and general mayhem and merriment. Her ten years of work helped make the show one of the best loved children's shows in the Bay Area and the only historically accurate show in the U.S; taking it worldwide to Italy, the UK and performing for actor Pierce Brosnan.

Treading the boards at historical events since 1995, she has appeared with Dogs in Doublets, in Knights of the Round Table and Midsummer Night's Dream. She's been the fire eating Dragon Girl for Paddy West, and played numerous walk around historical figures from Lily Coit and Lily Langtry to Venus the Roman Goddess. She's modeled for photographer Jason Mendes, for PirateMod and Sinister Candy. For Stark Ravens she has played Maria in Twelfth Night, the Cheshire Cat and Gryphon in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost, Columbina for the commedia, Dr. Arlecchino, and Puss 'N Boots in the Christmas Pantomime (for which she won best actress at the Dickens Fair in 2003). As a founding member of Stark Ravens, Heidi has contributed her varied talents since the inception of the group in 2000 to every aspect from CD jacket design to award winning performances at the San Francisco Fringe Festival.

Heidi holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University where she generated a novel, many short stories, and the beginnings of a play called The Almost True Adventures of An ExMormon Stripper, which she produced, directed and performed at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in 2003 and then reprised in San Francisco in 2004, directed by Brian Mathis. Her short story "Franny and Mary" was published in the Knight Literary journal, her novel is under consideration at a San Francisco publishing house, and she is hard at work on another musical and theatrical collaboration called TrashMan with hopes to unveil it at San Francisco's Fringe Festival 2007, or at a self produced venue.

Her most current musical project is a neo-skiffle junk yard band called Five Cent Coffee which roared into life in 2006. The trio includes melodian, washboard, ukulele, stand up bass, and most recently a 17 pound chain. Influenced by Tom Waits, the Tiger Lillies, Tin Men, bluesmen like John Lee Hooker, jug bands and popular tunes from the twenties and thirties, they play ukulele driven roots music with a dirty vaudevillian, Brechtian bent. They've collaborated with current Bay Area uke-sters Tippy Canoe, the Ukulele Apocalypse and others when playing the entire Ziggy Stardust album on ukuleles seemed like a great idea; generating shows all over from the Fillmore to the Rite Spot, and Purple Rain: When Ukes Cry, was a huge hit at the Rickshaw. www.fivecentcoffee.com

June 5, 2014

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