Francine Lobis Wheeler

Francine Lobis Wheeler is an actor, singer, songwriter, teacher, wife and mother to three boys.  She spent 15 years performing Off-Broadway and in regional theaters, and has sung with swing bands, ballroom orchestras, and major recording artists, including Natalie Merchant, Peter Yarrow, Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, Livingston Taylor, Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright-Roche. In 2005, Francine became a founding member of the Dream Jam Band, whose first record was named by NPR as one of the top children’s albums of 2007. On December 14, 2012, her son, Benjamin, was murdered in his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook School in the worst elementary school shooting in U.S. history to date. In the months following, Francine became a vocal advocate for common sense gun reform, and in April 2013, at the request of President Obama, Francine became the first civilian to read the President’s weekly radio address, during which she lobbied for American support of a universal background check bill. Francine is the Creative Director of Ben’s Lighthouse, a nonprofit promoting 
empathy and compassion for children and she regularly performs with the bluegrass and swing band, The Flagpole Radio Cafe Orchestra. 

Francine is currently developing her original project Just Five Minutes. Book and music by Francine, this is her journey through grief and trauma as a mother whose son was murdered in his first-grade classroom. Francine is also creating a children’s TV series The Isle of Skoo which is a puppet and children’s program she created through her non-profit Ben’s Lighthouse, whose characters come to life in a lighthouse community. Original puppets are complete & were designed by David Cole Wheeler, Francine’s husband. Francine leads each episode, and wrote all the original music and text for The Isle of Skoo.

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Francine Lobis Wheeler

Do We Know How To Grieve

by Francine Lobis Wheeler

In the wake of an unfathomable loss, Francine Lobis Wheeler must navigate grieving in the public eye.

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