Tannis Kowalchuk and Sarah Dey Hirshan in 'The Uncanny Appearance of Sherlock Holmes'
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“In the dark times will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing about the dark times.” —Bertolt Brecht. 10 Brecht Poems was created in 2003 as a collaboration between Tannis Kowalchuk and Leese Walker of Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble. The two-woman performance celebrates the voice of artists, Brecht the poet, the wonders of theatre, and humankind's unstoppable struggle for light in the shadows of war, oppression and suffering.

Each of the ten poems in the series is heralded by a hand-written placard and a simple chime, as the actresses juxtapose song, dance and humor with Brecht's poignant social critique and moving poetry. With grace, skill, and extraordinary energy, the actresses transform the stage, turning simple instruments and objects into the devices of a performance style akin to magical realism.

10 Brecht Poems has toured to the Goethe Institute in Washington DC following an extended run at NYC's Brecht Forum in March-April 2003. The piece has been presented at over 40 venues including PS 122, Judson Memorial Church, the Bowery Poetry Club, HERE Arts Center in New York City, FuryFest in San Francisco, Poets and Busboys in Washington DC, the 2003 KO Festival (Amherst College), The Catskill Festival of New Theatre, and The Maryland Ensemble Theatre. College appearances include: Penn State, SUNY Sullivan, New York University, Trinity College-- Austin Arts Center, Muhlenberg College, University at Albany, and Hood College.

“Performing in a vaudevillian style including song, dance, storytelling, hand-painted slides and shadow-puppets, Tannis Kowalchuk and Leese Walker could be serving fairy tales to the kiddies, but their intent is far more poignant and appreciated.” —Village Voice

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Leese Walker in '10 Brecht Poems' Tannis Kowalchuk and Leese Walker in '10 Brecht Poems' Tannis Kowalchuk and Leese Walker in '10 Brecht Poems'