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Check out Gutless & Grateful

“Recently, Amy Oestreicher performed Gutless and Grateful, to a packed house at Hampshire College, framed around her remarkable life journey from teenage ingenue to survivor of trauma and countless complicated medical procedures and finally to a place of gratitude. The production, which received rave reviews in its off-Broadway debut, contains beautifully sung musical theatre numbers as well as honest personal narrative. Gutless and Grateful was co-sponsored at Hampshire by the Theatre Program and the campus wellness center, a useful tool to talk to students about mental health issues and a powerful testament to the healing potential of the arts. Amy’s seemingly unlimited energy and enthusiasm is infectious.” – Talya Kingston, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre, School for Interdisciplinary Arts Hampshire College
“You are what every campus needs right now.  If we had more people with your desire to get the student body talking, a lot of issues could be brought to light.” – Aaron Ferguson, Disability Counselor, Hampshire College
“Amy Oestreicher not only shows us the power of the purest kind of perseverance, but she does so in song and dance, telling her astonishing story of surviving a daunting and lengthy medical nightmares without allowing her challenge to strip her of her dreams. She brings to life the transformative power of music, theater, dance, and storytelling along with many other arts to educate and inspire our souls as to what is possible. It was a privilege to have her perform her breathtaking one-woman show at the Power of Words conference.”

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas Poet Laureate 2009-13, and founder of Transformative Language Art at Goddard College

See reference letter from TLAN Coordinator, Terri Grunthaner: TLAN Letter 

One part moving testament to human indomitability, the other a thoroughly satisfying evening of song. While each element is strong enough to stand on its own, combined they illuminate and enhance each other. Rarely have I seen narration and song so artfully meshed, and Oestreicher’s likeability, good humor, interpretive skill, and manifest commitment to what she is saying and singing make us not only understand her story, but also feel it on a very deep level. -Roy Sander, critic for BistroAwards.com
“Thank you for sharing your story from a patient’s perspective. I’m a medical student, and I’ve noticed in med school that many of the students don’t understand the empathetic side of medicine. They don’t realize that they are not treating a disease, they are treating a person, who is likely scared, desperate, and feeling helpless. They don’t realize that treating patients means treating the whole family, because everyone is suffering together, and everyone is worried and feeling scared and helpless. Your presentation alone shows that behind every “interesting” condition or disease, there’s a real person, with a real story.” – Elizabeth Tomey Annual Regional Ostomy Meeting
I have worked with Amy for several months and truly have seen her aim to make a difference in the college community come to fruition and take form.   Amy has a uniquely innovative idea of combining mental health, sexual assault prevention and Broadway Theatre as a way to address the gap between mental health resources and students.  Amy is a force of so much that is good in a person and an artist

Josh RivedalFounder, Executive Director of The i’Mpossible Project, International Speaker on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

She delivered a moving talk and performance at the JOFA conference, was an amazing contributor in publicizing the event, and I am confident that that her efforts paid off. We are so grateful for the experience, passion, and enthusiasm she brought to us. We were grateful to have had the opportunity for Amy to present with the strength, story and resilience that have moved and empowered the members of our community.

It was wonderful to have you on campus.  Thank you for sharing your story with our students!  Your story was so powerful, and the students and other attendees took so much away from it.

– Adrienne Thoman, Activities Director, Central Penn College
“Through her theatrical performance of Gutless & Grateful, Amy Oestreicher invites us along for her personal journey through challenging medical, social and emotional experiences in her life, all the while dancing–not walking–on the eggshells that typically come with discussing tough topics like eating disorders. Amy’s narrative brings her life challenges into perspective, allowing the audience to contemplate life’s possibilities amidst their own pitfalls.”

– Leslie McKay, Executive Director of the Eating Recovery Center Foundation

 

“Amy is an exceptional artist whose talent far surpassed our expectations! We are so happy to of had the opportunity to have her on campus! Our clubs were thrilled with her performance!”

-Gwen Ossenkop, Coordinator of Student Activities; Fulton Montgomery Community College

“We loved your show…it was a wonderful  example of how drama is therapeutic.  Congratulations, Amy. What you’re doing is not only making a difference in your life and healing, but making a difference in so many other lives as well.”  – Rebecca Greene Van Horn Lesley University Adjunct faculty
“I’m writing to express my appreciation of your wonderfully ingenious operetta.  Indeed, I was moonstruck!   The Broadway sense of your performance was very, very clever a thing to compose and perform-on the drama of your illness- and authentic at that.” – Lee Goldstein, TLAN Network Conference Attendee
“I find you an inspiration.  You’re proof that we all need to tell our stories. Then your story becomes intertwined with another’s and whether we ever know it or not our personal story may just be enough to give another HOPE.” – Robin Nasitir, Friends of Ostomates Worldwide Foundation
“She is, at once, one of the most independent and one of the most collaborative people I know.  She is an inspirational figure to be sure, but her creativity expands well beyond her story.” – David Friedman, film and theatre composer
“Amy has continued to inspire and surprise me, our patrons and other artists through her consummate, ever-flowing creativity, incredible message of strength and resilience, her overwhelming joy and love of life against great odds and her dedication and passion to her creative work. If I were reading this letter, I would think this was hyperbole, but I would be mistaken. She is a force of so much that is good in a person and an artist. She knows what she wants to say, yet is open to input to shape her output and to collaboration with many art forms. In her case, it is a benefit that she is so prolific in her writing, her art and her music. They all inform the work she is doing and it makes her an empathetic collaborator.” – Jeanine Esposito, Founder, Beechwood Arts
“Amy Oestreicher did an amazing presentation to a large group of Jewish high school students at a one night a week Hebrew High School meeting at Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT. The course title is ‘Hope and Survival’ and was extremely fitting to her inspiring story. Students felt comfortable enough to reach out to her after her talk, and she was a tremendous support and much-needed lift. “ -Carole Rubin, Professor at Mercaz Hebrew High School, Bridgeport, CT
It was an honor to have Amy Oestreicher’s presentation of Gutless and Grateful on our campus. Her performance was riveting in its candor. Her technique, delivery and artistry were all impressive and equally effective. She took a unique and deeply personal story and turned it into something that every person in the audience could identify with. Amy is a great talent and she carries an important message.

Larry Berger, Technical Director/Music and Dance Hampshire College

“She uses her triumphant tale to inspire others to reevaluate their approaches to life.” – Boston College (Contact UGBC for a personal reference)
Despite the show’s serious content, Amy effectively used comedy and acute vocalizations to tell a sometimes funny but consistently captivating story. Don’t sit back and relax, because Amy Oestreicher’s Gutless and Grateful is a musical thrill-ride!
Raechel Segal, Diversability Committee, Clark University
 
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