Friends and Colleagues,
In August 2011 my friend and frequent collaborator of over 20 years, Tannis Kowalchuk, had a cerebral stroke. At 45 and in very apparently good health she was not a typical candidate for a stroke, but she had one, and it was serious. In the months afterwards she began to make a remarkable recovery, and in fine when-life-gives-you lemons fashion, she decided she wanted to make a show about her stroke, and she asked me to make it with her.
So over the past year I've worked with Tannis on struck, a new performance about the brain, and neuroplasticity, and identity.
We're working with this remarkable group of collaborators from north and south of the Canada/U.S. border:
Brett Keyser is performing with Tannis.
Kristen Kosmas is collaborating writer.
Alison Waters is collaborating neuroscientist and performer-on-video.
Jim Ruxton is designing a light installation for the show called Aurora Borealis.
Brian Caiazza is doing media design, including a remarkable animation of Tannis's MRI images.
Tina Spengler is collaborating film maker.
Karen Flood is designing costumes.
I am director and co-creator.
The show is produced by Tannis and Brett's company, NACL Theatre, in Highland Lake NY (www.nacl.org).
The last period of work on struck will occur this Spring, and then we'll premiere the show at Cleveland Public Theatre in March, and take it to HERE Arts in NYC in December 2013.
Then I hope to bring it to Canada. Tannis is from Canada, and the show is in part about her hometown of Winnipeg, and memory, and what becomes important to us when we know death is close.
But first we need to finish it.
In order to raise the rest of the funds for this upcoming work, we've started a Kickstarter campaign, which you can see here:
There's a great video about the work so far, which includes footage from earlier phases, including Brian's amazing MRI animation.
We're trying to raise $12,000 by Dec. 31, and we're one third of the way there.
If you can donate - thank you.
If not, thanks for reading this far.
Good holiday to all,
Below: Brett Keyser, Alison Waters (on video) Tannis Kowalchuk in struck