Cracked: new light on dementia

Cracked: new light on dementia is a play that aims to challenge the dominant discourse of tragedy about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and offer alternatives, including importance of relating to people with dementia with hope and possibility.

(**In these photos: Susan Applewhaite, Lori Nancy Kalamanski, Mary Ellen MacLean, Claire Frances Muir, Andy Pogson, Tim Machin, David Talbot. Photography: Dahlia Katz)

The play is co-produced with Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance, at the University of Waterloo.  With the support of a CIHR Knowledge-to-action grant, 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 summer 2017, the play has been seen by over 4000 people. In April 2017, with the support of a generous donation from the Waugh Family Foundation, live performances of Cracked were filmed – the film and accompanying website were launched in January 2018. Additional information about Cracked, including how to access the film, can be found at: http://www.crackedondementia.ca

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

working with actor and puppetmaker, Claire Muir
working with actor and puppetmaker, Claire Muir
actor Mark Prince, with Lori Nancy Kalamanski and Tim Machin
actor Mark Prince, with Lori Nancy Kalamanski and Tim Machin
actors Claire Muir and Jerrold Karch
actors Claire Muir and Jerrold Karch
actor and physical theatre creator, Mary Ellen Maclean with Dr Gail Mitchell, Mark Prince, Jerrold Karch and Dr Pia Kontos
actor and physical theatre creator, Mary Ellen Maclean with Dr Gail Mitchell, Mark Prince, Jerrold Karch and Dr Pia Kontos
actor Jerrold Karch, with Mark Prince and Mary Ellen Maclean
actor Jerrold Karch, with Mark Prince and Mary Ellen Maclean
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