When Teresa Gunn performs her one woman show Teresa Gets a Boyfriend at City College’s Saville Theatre on Saturday, February 24, she will take on the universal and oftentimes worn themes of looking for love, finding love and trying to keep love.
Creative storytelling makes old stories new and Teresa Gunn is a consummate storyteller. Twenty years ago the San Diego recording artist and educator undertook a series of one woman performances as fundraisers for the nonprofit Musicians for Education/Street of Dreams. She refers to this series as the Trailer Park Queen Project.
Teresa Gets a Boyfriend, like the other performances in the project, is both autobiographical and a distillation of what she has learned from her over two decades of work with young mothers age 12 to 18 who have been swept up into the criminal justice system or are wards of the courts. These young women are at risk of being one more statistic of the generational poverty, addiction and incarceration that threatens their lives.
When she performed Trailer Park Queen in 2013, Teresa opened with the song “I don’t want to grow up.” It was by turns plaintive and filled with rage. She then introduced herself as a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Teresa’s storytelling can be laugh-out-loud funny and she can fill a whole auditorium with raw emotion. But above all, she does not allow us to look away from the aspirations and humanity of young people who have been abandoned, abused, nearly destroyed and too often cast off by the rest of us.
Teresa Gets a Boyfriend will be performed against that backdrop of lives that appear to have hit a dead end. Teresa understands the darkness and fear that lurks there. All of the proceeds from her performance will be used to support the Street of Dreams college bridge program. This program provides educational and creative assistance to young mothers at risk of homelessness, drug addiction, alcoholism and poverty. An astounding 100 percent of these young women have graduated from the program and gone on to college.
Teresa believes that a dead end can become a street of dreams. In this performance, love will sweeten the journey. Don’t miss it!