Cosy Sheridan in concert

St. Clair Productions presents songwriter Cosy Sheridan in her one-woman show "The Pomegranate Seed: An Exploration of Appetite, Body Image and Myth in Modern Culture" at 8 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland.

"The Pomegranate Seed" is Sheridan's distinctive take on the media's message about women's bodies, and her modern-day retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone's journey to the underworld. The performance will be followed by a discussion facilitated by Lucie Scheuer, a therapist with Phoenix Counseling Center.

In framing one woman's life mythically as she moves into enlightenment, "The Pomegranate Seed" is a story of finding meaning in life's experiences. The first act weaves together humor and music in an exploration of messages from the media, from cultural icons and family. From Barbie dolls to fad diets, from Eve and her apple to the tragi-comedy of bathing suit shopping, Sheridan as Everywoman comes to grips with her body, her self-image and all that it implies, finding a way to joyfully inhabit her own body.

The second act parallels the Greek myth of Persephone, who was abducted to the underworld and forced to eat the food of the dead, the pomegranate seed. This modern Persephone, who falls in love with a biker named Hades, learns how to turn the food of the dead into the seed of her own rebirth.

Sheridan herself has had a lifelong struggle with body image, eating disorders, and love. She hopes her show speaks to the "women (and men) who have felt shame and fear about their bodies, who have at some time in their lives gotten the message that their bodies are somehow 'wrong.'" Sheridan says The Pomegranate Seed is for all audiences. The show might give women a lens through which to view their own lives amidst a culture that prizes a Cindy Crawford, airbrushed body and a Teflon sense of self. However, it also speaks to mothers, fathers, brothers, artists, and people who love great music and storytelling.

Sheridan first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and released her CD, "Quietly Led" on Waterbug Records. Since then she has been on the road and at home in Moab, Utah, writing songs in her 1955 travel trailer-turned-studio. She has released seven more CDs on the Waterbug and Wind River/Folk Era labels, including her newest release "Live at Cedarhouse" and a recording of music from "The Pomegranate Seed."

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 for youth 12-17 and free for children 12 and under with a paying adult. Tickets are available at the Music Coop, Ashland; on-line at ; or by calling 535-3562.

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