Dementia & The Arts
Artists For Alzheimer's
ARTZ has developed Alzheimer’s-specific cultural access programs with some of the worlds most renowned and respected cultural institutions, which include: the Louvre in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, the National Gallery of Australia, the Big Apple Circus, and the Tribeca Film Institute, among others. ARTZ has developed Alzheimer’s-specific cultural access programs with some of the worlds most renowned and respected cultural institutions, which include: the Louvre in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, the National Gallery of Australia, the Big Apple Circus, and the Tribeca Film Institute, among others.
Mother...She Made Me
A one woman show written and perfored by: Melinda Buckley
A larger-than-life Hungarian "Mama Rose," is slowing slipping into dementia as her Broadway baby, Melinda slips into de'middle age. ‘MOTHER’ is a story of two women who are losing evrything they’ve ever been—in very different ways—as they both lose each other. Who’s it harder for? The one who can't remember? …or the one who can't forget?
Melinda has appeared on Broadway and in the National tours of several shows, highlights include: Crazy For You, A Chorus Line and the great honor of working with Bob Fosse in the revival of Sweet Charity. She performed improv and sketch material with Gotham City Improv and Chicago City Limits and appeared as a stand up at Caroline’s, Stand-Up NY and Gotham Comedy Club. She has written and performed several solo shows and this most recent show, MOTHER was just featured in Fringe NYC 2014 and in EAT’s new works series: One Woman Standing.
An Opera By: Michael Torke
Even though its title suggests some musical association with the 1967 song by the Beatles -- perhaps even a direct borrowing from it, as in Alvin Lucier's remarkable Nothing is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever) -- Michael Torke's one-act opera is only indirectly linked through its setting: the section of New York City's Central Park named Strawberry Fields in memory of John Lennon. Composed in 1999 on a libretto by A.R. Gurney, this work was conceived as the second part of a trilogy on the subject of Central Park, along with The Festival of Regrets by Deborah Drattell and Wendy Wasserstein, and The Food of Love by Robert Beaser and Terrence McNally. Torke's and Gurney's work revolves on the quirky behavior and musings of an unnamed elderly woman who believes that she is attending the opera, though she is merely sitting on a park bench. Her interactions with her family and strangers who pass by are confused and pathetic; but through her conversations with an idealistic student, who expresses a passion for Lennon's music equal to the old woman's love of Verdi, she is able to make a tentative connection with the real world.
Torke's soft-edged patterns, lush harmonies, and gentle orchestration are well-suited to the sentimental story, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra, under David Allen Miller, provides a glowing accompaniment to the compelling performances of Joyce Castle as Old Lady, Jeffrey Lentz as Student, and the other accomplished vocalists in the supporting cast. On the whole, however, the music is too stratified and too evenly textured, with only a few peaks to provide variety. Furthermore, the vocal parts aren't memorably melodic, and most of the stilted dialog is delivered in forgettable minimalist recitative. But the opera's overall effect is not unpleasant, and Strawberry Fields has a rich, if melodramatic, payoff.
By: Laura Jacqmin
There’s something wrong with Molly: she’s got a hole in her head and the tours she gives of Wisconsin’s Concrete Park are slipping. But Richard, her dead husband, is determined to take one last tour of the place. Molly tries to find a way to plug the hole before it takes over completely, but living life with the help of oven timers, Notes to Self, and advice from friendly hallucinations can take some adjustment. A play about memory loss and dementia from the perspective of a person experiencing it.
Laura Jacqmin is a Chicago-based playwright, and the winner of the 2008 Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award given to recognize an emerging female playwright. She graduated cum laude from Yale University and earned an MFA from Ohio University.
By: Peter Floyd
Helen Bastion is 74 years old, but age has not taken its toll on this matriarch’s will or her need to control her family, from her compliant husband David to her resentful daughter Barb. But when she begins to suffer lapses of memory, her steely facade begins to crumble. As words lose their meaning and reality fragments, Helen’s own sense of self starts to dissolve. Is she truly disappearing, or is she becoming something greater, as the mysterious, mocking figure known as Dr. Bright promises her? Helen struggles desperately to find meaning in an existence that is slowly and inexorably becoming a void.
Peter received his Master of Fine Arts from Boston University and developed his first full-length play, Absence, before graduating in January of 2012. In February 2012, Absence was named co-winner of the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award. Later that year, it was named a finalist for the Alliance Theatre of Atlanta’s Kendeda Award. The play had two readings at the Alliance in 2013, and in January 2014 had a reading presented by the Midtown Direct Rep theater company of South Orange, New Jersey, with Olympia Dukakis playing the leading role. The play received its first full production at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in February-March 2014.