Straus on love and agriculture

04/03/2014

Vivien Straus is unabashedly reflective—especially when it comes to her love life, says Michael Straus, her brother and publicist for her new one-woman play, “E-i-E-i-OY! In Bed with the Farmer’s Daughter,” opening this Friday, April 4 in San Francisco. Ms. Straus, whose father started the dairy that became Straus Family Creamery and whose mother co-founded the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, peppers her play with the wisdom she’s picked up from cows (people have to see the play to know just what that wisdom is). It is the mostly true tale of her ill-fated relationship with a Czech political refugee, whom she claims came home with her one night and refused to leave. “He was a piece of work,” Mr. Straus said. She calls it a coming-of-age story and “a tale of woes against the hilarity of the mistakes we make.” Ms. Straus’s acting career has included roles in “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Thirteen Days” and for many years she traveled back and forth between the North Bay and Los Angeles. Although she permanently relocated to Petaluma in 2008 and holds positions at Cowgirl Creamery and Straus Home Ranch, the play allows her to pursue her creative passion. (She is now working a comedy about her mother’s death.) “She’s able to paint this picture in her play and in general about her past experiences, and I keep thinking to myself, ‘This is hilarious. You can’t make this shit up.’ And what makes it work is honesty. There’s no ego attached to it. She brings us all along for the ride,” Mr. Straus said. For show times and location, visit vivienstraus.com. The show will visit the Dance Palace Community and Cultural Center on June 7, with proceeds benefitting the Farm Field Studies Program, a project of Marin Organic and the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.