It was just a book ~ at least until someone read it and said "this would make an amazing play".
So, re-writes began, a script was created, a casting call went out and 18 months after the book was released, The Loss World Monologues debuted on stage in a black box production for a two night run in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 80 minute uninterrupted one act play featured 9 women in roles that varied in age from early 20's to mid 60's, they all had one thing in common: their character was struggling with grief and the consequences of loss.
At time heartbreaking, at time humorous, but always riveting.
TLWM returned to the stage in September 2021 with performances by the Rogue Theater in the Midwest.
"I wanted to thank you again for your beautiful storytelling, your courage to share your love and heartache and your unending trust in the cast and belief that others would relate and heal from the show. I keep comparing the show to The Vagina Monologues because it's both funny and serious and has the potential to grow and be performed in many cities because SO many people can relate" ~ Hannah, Charlotte, NC
"It breaks down your barriers...it's hard to keep up your guard. It's very powerful. " ~Linda, Charlotte, NC
"Powerful. Definitely moving" ~ Derek, New York, NY
"that was phenomenal" ~ Rick, Charlotte, NC
Video Review by Audience Members
"I'm a grief councilor and every part of the each character is something I hear over and over and is relatable. But what was so wonderful, was that hope is the resolution. You can survive this. Sisters of Ruth, Sister by Choice, are the strength" - Ann, Green Bay, WI
The newest iteration of The Loss World is The Loss World Monologues 2.0, a collaborative effort between singer/songwriter Kelly Zirbes, also known as Kelly Z, and author/playwright Mary London Szpara.
This version of the monologues differs greatly from the previous version. There is some new material, for starters. And instead of nine women, the monologues are performed by Zirbes. The performance includes not only readings from the book, but the weaving in of Zirbes’s music as well.
“The music interprets and helps to segue between moments or entries written in the journal. Some are more sorrowful, some of them are hopeful, some of them are absolutely gut wrenching,” she said.
London and Zirbes met through their work to educate and combat Hepatitis C. London was a member of the NCTask Force for Viral Hepatitis. while Zirbes heads up Hep C Aware. London brought Zirbes to perform at a symposium with the Task Force and the two have worked together ever since.
“She’s very dynamic, very passionate. When she goes all in, she goes all in,” said London.
A Q&A session with both London and Zirbes follows the performance.
“It's weird that something beautiful came out of (grief)...helping people understand you can move forward in the world. If you share that strength with others, your grief doesn’t kill you. Because It can,” said London. “There is hope.”
TLWM 2.0 with Kelly Z:
"Powerful. This should be a Ted Talk" ~ Tony R. Denver
"The Loss World" is REAL - seriously a real life account of the grieving process of one woman and her journey through it" ~ Penny C, Midland NC
"I've been to a lot of performances. Never one like this. This one is so real. It's really real. It's real." ~ Bill Charlotte, NC
'I was touched to my core ...the material presented from (her) amazing book affected me tremendously as it brought up long buried emotions experienced during the losses of my own loved ones" ~ Vicki W Charlotte, NC
" The performance I attended caused me to reflect deeply on the losses and loves in my own life. Ms. Szpara’s words helped me to revisit long-buried emotions and explore my own memories. It was both cathartic and uplifting. " ~ Barbara B , Charlotte, NC
" You will be not be sorry if you carve out some time to be a part of this very special presentation. If you have ever experienced an unexpected loss of a loved one, or you simply want to know how to be a better friend to someone in the wake of such jarring awfulness, or you just want to be a better, more empathetic human being in general, you will glean such powerful insights from Mary's and Kelly's performance." Xandi Charlotte, NC