Help us help people with Depression

$54,545 of $150k goal

Raised by 588 people in 16 months
Brian Copeland
The Marsh in San Francisco and Brian Copeland are trying to raise $150,000 so that they can present Brian's show "The Waiting Period" weekly for one year free of charge to the public.

The reason is that the show has literally saved lives by getting people to seek help. Suicidal people have changed their minds and reached out after seeing the show.

We want young people in high school and college who can't afford to the $30 to $100 to have access to the show and its message, which is "You're not alone. If you're struggling, Tell Someone."

The Marsh is a registered 501(C)(3) nonprofit and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

About "The Waiting Period"

This show is an unrelenting look at a ten-day period in Copeland’s life—the mandatory ten-day waiting period before he could lay his hands on the newly purchased gun with which he planned to take his own life. Even in the midst of this tragedy, however, his wonderful sense of the comedy of life does not desert him (how much should he spend on the gun?), indeed serves him insidiously well as a buffer against the grim reality of his intention. Copeland hopes this very personal, and ultimately redemptive, story will reach people who struggle with depression—often called the last stigmatized disease—as well as their families and loved ones. Interspersed with interviews with other sufferers, the play also offers outsiders an insider’s view, thereby expanding our understanding and, hopefully, our humanity. As critic Sam Hurwitt put it in The Idiolect: “It’s a play I’d strongly recommend to anyone who is now or has ever been depressed or who knows someone in that situation. But honestly, it’s such a strong piece that I’d recommend it just as heartily to anyone who’s ever been human.”

About Brian Copeland

Brian Copeland has been in show business since he first stepped on the comedy stage at the tender age of 18. Soon he was headlining clubs and concerts across the country and opening for such artists as Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Ringo Starr, and the Queen of soul Aretha Franklin, in venues from The Universal Amphitheater to Constitution Hall in Washington DC. Soon, Copeland branched off into television, appearing on comedy programs on NBC, A&E and MTV. He spent five years as co-host of San Francisco FOX affiliate KTVU breakfast program "Mornings on 2" and two years hosting San Francisco ABC affiliate KGO’s Emmy Award winning afternoon talker "7Live."

In 1995, ABC affiliate KGO Radio premiered “The Brian Copeland Show.” Its unique mix of talk and entertainment soon made it the most listened to program in its time slot. Copeland branched out into theater in 2004 with his first solo play, "Not A Genuine Black Man." This critically acclaimed exploration of race and identity created an audience pleasing blend of laughter, tears and sociology that led to the show becoming the longest running solo play in San Francisco theatrical history. Successful runs in Los Angeles and Off Broadway and a bestselling book adaptation followed. "Genuine" has been performed in over 30 cities across America.


Taking aim at depression with ‘Waiting Period’ crowdfunding -

Alameda: Copeland's acclaimed 'Waiting Period' comes to Altarena -

Combating Depression with a Year of Free Theater - KQED Arts

After Robin Williams’s Suicide, Brian Copeland Revives His Show About Depression - Newsweek Magazine

Robert Hurwitt's San Francisco Chronicle review of "The Waiting Period"

Sam Hurwitt's The Idiolect review of "The Waiting Period"

Chad Jones' TheaterDogs review of "The Waiting Period"
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Update 17
1 month ago

August 28, 2016

“Never put a period where God has placed a comma.” - Gracie Allen

Dear Friends,

By now, you've probably heard about the VERY special project that the Marsh and I have partnered on around my hit solo play, THE WAITING PERIOD. You may also be one of the hundreds of generous people who have financially supported us. Thank you! As we enter the 9th month in our mission to provide this in depth look at suicidal depression to the general public free of charge, I'm looking back on the good we've done thus far.

There was the man who saw the play and recognized his brother's behavior in my portrayal on the stage. As a result, with aid of his family, he was able to stage an intervention just days before his sibling had planned to end his life.

There was the teenage girl who, like the character Charlie in the play, dealt with her anxiety by cutting her arm to ribbons. After seeing WAITING, she confessed her self harm to her parents who are today in counseling with her. She's dealing with her problem and doing fine.

Then there was the woman who suffered in silence because her husband of 15 years didn't believe that depression was anything more than a mood “that you could change if you really wanted to”. On the way home from the show, he turned to her and said, “Is that what you go through?” The dialogue between them strengthened their relationship and his understanding of, and compassion for, his wife's struggles.

There are many stories I'm hearing every day about how the tale of my struggle is helping people and starting a long overdue discussion about depression, the last stigmatized disease.

Our goal is to present THE WAITING PERIOD free of charge at the Marsh in San Francisco weekly through the end of this year. As of this writing, we have enough funding to run it through mid October. If you can see your way clear to help us in any way financially, we'd appreciate it. Again, thanks if you've already supported us. If you can help us again, we'd be grateful and you can get a tax deduction. The Marsh is a registered 501c3 nonprofit and all contributions are 100% tax deductible. Please take a moment to check out out GoFundMe campaign at You'll be glad you did. Please do us a favor and share this campaign with your friends, family and social media contacts.

We appreciate anything that you might be able to do.


Brian Copeland
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Update 16
4 months ago

We are almost six months into our year of free shows and I'm just thrilled to hear the stories of people who are being helped.

Some are reaching out to ask for help. Some are recognizing the signs of suicidal friends and loved ones from seeing my behavior in the show. Still others are finding the inspiration to initiate conversation about depression and mental illness among their peers in order to help erase the stigma.

We've raised enough through your contributions here and the contributions made directly to the Marsh to continue the free performances through June. After that, we'll have to begin charging folks if we run out of money.

Can I ask another favor? Can you please let your friends and your social media contacts know what we're doing here? Can you send them the link to this campaign and ask them to spend three minutes watching the video?

I appreciate your kindness and generosity more than you will ever know. Together, we're saving lives. There is no nobler cause.

God Bless You,

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Update 15
9 months ago

I just got word that folks have reserved almost all of the free seats to THE WAITING PERIOD through February. I'm thrilled!

I'm especially thrilled by the number of parents bringing their teenagers in to see the show...and the conversations the kids are opening up in during the drive home from the theater. We're saving lives!

We have enough money to run the show through April free to the public but we need more help to be able to run if for the whole year. If you haven't made a tax deductible contribution, will you please consider helping us out?
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Update 14
9 months ago

The San Francisco Chronicle did a piece on our project today!

Here it is:

A couple of clarifications. Seating is Open, but we are going to set aside 10 reserved seats per performance for $50-$100. That money is a tax deductible donation that will go into the pot to fund more free performances.

Also, we have funding to do free performances through April 10 at this point. Still fundraising so we can keep it free all year! If. you know a rich philanthropist or company (are you listening Silicon Valley) that needs a tax write off and would like to help, we need to raise another $100k.
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$54,545 of $150k goal

Raised by 588 people in 16 months
Created June 21, 2015
All funds raised go directly to:
  Certified Charity
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  San Francisco, CA
Tax ID: 943142152
How it Works
  1. You make a donation. Payments are processed by FirstGiving.
  2. Checks are issued. Once a month, a check will be sent directly to the charity.
  3. Charity receives money. The listed charity receives their check directly.
1 day ago
vicki oswald
10 days ago

i am bipolar and before i was diagnosed and given proper medication i suffered from one very severe depression. i felt "beyond" suicide because what was the point--killing myself wouldn't change anything. kudos to you, brian--depression,bipolarism and other mental disorders are diseases that can be treated. keep up the good work!

29 days ago
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Bev Scott
1 month ago
Carol Gould MFT
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Nancy Kenyon
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