NACL bridges the domains of art and science in this new performance about neurology, the workings of the mind, and one woman’s walk on the razor's-edge between life and death. Co-created by Artistic Director and actress Tannis Kowalchuk, who suffered a major stroke in 2011, in collaboration with fellow actor Brett Keyser, neuroscientist Allison Waters, New York playwright Kristen Kosmas, Canadian director Ker Wells, and a team of interdisciplinary collaborators, STRUCK is a visceral response to that close brush with mortality.
STRUCK is a co-production of NACL Theatre and Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT), with producers Arnold & Roberta Krumholz.
STRUCK is funded in part by the Ensemble Studio Theatre/ Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, by The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and through the generous donations of over 250 individuals.
STRUCK is a poetic exploration of neuroscience and brain trauma -- of a brain and body looking for meaning and struggling to communicate, to recover and re-discover the sense of "self” after a crisis.
The experience we are trying to create for the spectator is of a neural anomaly, a break in the normal functioning of the brain-body, and we are using the multi-media format to reveal the multi-dimensional tasking process of the brain as it fires away trying to function and make sense of the world... There is also something in there about spirit, human will, 'the other', and God.
STRUCK was created by a group of NACL collaborators from across North America: writers/actors Brett Keyser and Tannis Kowalchuk, neuroscientist Allison Waters, director Ker Wells, contributing writer/dramaturg Kristen Kosmas, digital artist Brian Caiazza, filmmaker Tina Spangler, costumer Karen Flood, electronics artist Jim Ruxton, lighting designer Stephen Arnold, technical director Zoot, and A/V technicians Ray Cornelison and Joe Murray.
STRUCK - WORLD PREMIERE @ CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE
Our work has been strengthened and supported by our co-producer Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT). STRUCK premiered at CPT's Gordon Square Theatre March 21-April 6, 2013.
The CPT engagement was presented in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and featured panel discussions with medical professionals following select performances throughout the run.
STRUCK poster art by CPT designer Sean Higgins.
STRUCK @ NACL
We opened our 2013 Season in Highland Lake with two sold-out weekends of STRUCK, May 24-June 2, 2013.
STRUCK - NYC PREMIERE @ HERE ARTS CENTER - DEC 5-21, 2013
This production was a part of SubletSeries@HERE, HERE’s curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.
"Every now or then, a piece emerges that begs to be seen. STRUCK is one of those. Tony Vellela, INTERMISSION TALK review of STRUCK at HERE - 12.15.13
"The work itself -- its gestation and process, its joie de vivre and outright silliness -- offers us a metric for the actual, practical application of resilience." Helen Shaw, TIME OUT NEW YORK review of STRUCK at HERE - 12.12.13
"STRUCK defies expectations. An unconventional, almost giddy tour... A bracing sort of stage poetry that is surprisingly funny." Neil Genzlinger, THE NEW YORK TIMES review of STRUCK at HERE - 12.09.13
"A wild fantasia! STRUCK is shot through with joyousness, with a sense of not just wonder but whimsy. Through its constantly shifting perspectives and styles, STRUCK gives a strangely beautiful subjective experience of living inside an altered brain... It is a constant and pleasant surprise." Loren Noveck, NEW YORK THEATRE NOW review of STRUCK at HERE - 12.06.13
"A powerful, passionate performance. The very modern aesthetic works well here -- interpretive song, dance, and video combine like the pathways of the brain, working together for self-recovery." Carly Mento, STAGE BUDDY review of STRUCK at HERE - December, 2013
"A symphonic and turbulent play that weaves through moments of harrowing realism and enchanting vulnerability..." Timothy Malcolm's Times Herald-Record review of STRUCK at NACL - 05.25.13
"Your synapses are going to light up in new and different ways when experiencing this amazing event." From Christine Howey's review of STRUCK at CPT - 03.24.13
"Keyser and Kowalchuk are arresting performers who are fascinating to watch." Andrea Simakis reviews STRUCK for The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) - 03.27.13
"...an exceptional piece of literature that also happens to be a show. ...unlike anything I’ve ever seen before." Kory's Review: STRUCK @ Cleveland Public Theatre - 03.28.13
EST/SLOAN FIRST LIGHT FESTIVAL
Tannis Kowalchuk Talks About Her Stroke, Her Recovery, Neuroscience, And Her New Show STRUCK
Rich Kelley interviews Tannis for the 2013 EST/Sloan First Light Festival.
WCPN CLEVELAND PUBLIC RADIO
Dee Perry, host of "Around Noon" on Cleveland's WCPN interviews Tannis and Brett during the CPT run of STRUCK:
MEANING IN MADNESS WITH TANNIS KOWALCHUK ON BLOGTALKRADIO
“I dropped the stems a few times and thought that was odd, and noticed a certain numbness in my left hand.” After dropping the shears a few times, and then experiencing difficulty riding her bike, she realized something was terribly wrong. A trip to the hospital and a slew of tests confirmed her fears. She was told that she had suffered a stroke. “A portion of your brain is dead, and you’re never getting it back,” the doctor told her... Read Jonathan Fox's article on STRUCK in The River Reporter - May 22, 2013
“It’s a great gift that I’m able to process my experience through art and with these artists I’m working with, who make it more interesting and beautiful that it was,” Kowalchuk said. “It’s taken on this other shape, and it’s a great gift. It’s an honor, in fact.” Read the full feature on STRUCK by Matt Connolly in American Theatre Magazine - March 2013 (PDF)
"It's so connected to everything — a search to understand how these things happen to people, and how they deal with them in a proactive way." Tim Malcolm's preview of the September 2012 work-in-progress showing of STRUCK - August 31, 2012
THANKS TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED OUR STRUCK KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
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