Cracked: new light on dementia is a play that aims to challenge the dominant discourse of tragedy about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with the goal of putting forward new, more positive options for the way we think about the disease and the people who live with it. This play hopes to give people insight into the importance of how we relate to people with dementia, seeing a world of possibilities rather than deficits in cognition and person-hood.
The play is co-produced with Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance, at the University of Waterloo. The play was created collaboratively over a two year period (2011-2013) with researchers from University of Waterloo, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and York University, as well as a diverse team of theatre creators, including actors, physical theatre practitioners and musicians. We regularly met with and worked with people with dementia and their care partners throughout our process.
Our first performances were in November 2013, and since then we’ve performed as a keynote at a national conference, been a part of SpringWorks Indie Arts Festival in Stratford, Ontario (an adjudicated multi-disciplinary arts festival), and have toured to long term care homes across southern Ontario – as of November 2014, the play has been seen by over 1800 people.
The development team includes researchers Dr Sherry Dupuis, Dr Gail Mitchell, Dr Pia Kontos, Dr Christine Jonas-Simpson, and artists Susan Applewhaite, Lori Nancy Kalamanski, Tim Machin, Mary Ellen MacLean, Claire Francis Muir, Mark Prince and David Talbot (with a special thanks to Jerrold Karch for his creative contributions).
Below are images from our rehearsal period in September, 2012.
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz