Cancer Stories Project

I’m very excited about this:

Recently I came up with an idea that would enable me to actively help the American Cancer Society with fundraising and outreach while getting me back into creating theater (not just facilitating the tech side of it) — something I really haven’t had a chance to do since college.

The idea is for something I call (you guessed it) the Cancer Stories Project. It will be a theatrical event here in Madison founded on the idea of “documentary theater,” or “theater of testimony.” It is a style of theater that can be quite powerful (as demonstrated by Anna Deavere Smith in such works as Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, a play about the L.A. riots that year). The gist is to take the experiences and stories of actual people and through the use of on-camera interviews transform them into monologues performed by actors — keeping as true to the people and events that have been shared as possible.

For the Cancer Stories Project, several local people with compelling cancer stories — including survivors, patients, caregivers, family members, and others — will be interviewed. Local actors will use the interview footage to craft performances. The monologues will then be joined to form a cohesive stage play to be performed as a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.

When I first contacted a few people I know in the ACS a week or two ago, it was met with immediate enthusiasm on their part, and is now working its way up the ranks in order to determine what level of direct involvement the ACS will have.

I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue my volunteerism with the ACS, while embarking on an exciting new creative project. I will keep you posted on the progress of this project…

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3 Responses to “Cancer Stories Project”

  1. Andy Pearson Says:

    Go Mike Go 🙂

  2. Mike, as always you find a way to give back in an amazing way.

  3. […] camera in order to practice and discuss our eventual interviews of people affected by cancer for the Cancer Stories Project. During our discussion, Talish mentioned an interview with a doctor that he saw on the PBS special […]

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