Adam E. Stone
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A Life Unhappening
 
A spoken-word ballet, in one act, exploring the impact of Alzheimer's disease
on three generations of one woman's family
 
Written and Produced by Adam E. Stone 
Choreography by Chelsea Stone 
Lighting Design by Richard Cadena
 
Click to watch the HEC-TV broadcast of our St. Louis World Premiere (50:39)
 
Click to watch the following short videos about A Life Unhappening:
 
 
Click to access the script of A Life Unhappening as a PDF
 
 
 
L-R: Jeanine Holtgrave, Chance Marshaun Hill, Hallie Chametzky, and Carrie Kesler; photograph by Jason Wilkey
 
Unlike a traditional ballet, where the dance is choreographed to music, in this spoken-word ballet the dance is choreographed to a pre-recorded audio track, in which the nine-scene narrative unfolds. Music is used in the transitions between the scenes, and for the dance finale, but the majority of the ballet consists of dance choreographed to the monologues of the four main characters: Marletta, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease; Thomas, her son; Sara-Jo, Marletta's aspiring-ballerina granddaughter and Thomas' daughter; and a unnamed caregiver at the residential facility where Marletta lives.

Notable talent involved with the production includes Grammy Award-winning musician and actress Thirza Defoe, who performs the voice of Sara-Jo, and novelist, poet, essayist, playwright, and film maker Diane Glancy, who performs the voice of Marletta. Richard Cadena, author of four books on theater and stage lighting and technical editor of the magazines Lighting&Sound America and Lighting&Sound International, is the lighting designer for the production.

An American Sign Language interpreter is available for each performance of the ballet. Typically, each one-hour performance is followed by an intermission, then a question & answer session with key players in the piece and with experts on Alzheimer's disease. 
 
 Performances to date:
 
Friday, May 4, 2012   7:30 pm   Special Preview Performance
Shryock Auditorium, SIU-C, Carbondale, Illinois
This performance was partially supported by a grant from the Carbondale
Community Arts/Southern Arts Fund and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
In partnership with the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association
 
Friday, May 11, 2012   7:30 pm  World Premiere Performance
Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, St. Louis, Missouri
In partnership with the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association
 
 
Hallie Chametzky; photograph by Jason Wilkey 
 
The Principal Dancers: Carrie Kesler, Chance Marshaun Hill, Jeanine Holtgrave, and Hallie Chametzky.
The Understudy Dancers: Amanda Beckmann, Will Heisner, Diana Shepherd, and Raynah Unes-Reid.
 
Featuring the voices of Thirza Defoe, Diane Glancy, Adam E. Stone, and Bret Correll
 
Audio design by Jon Clarkson and Adam E. Stone
All audio recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered by Jon Clarkson 
"As the Day Ends Fast" written and performed by Nealey Gail Compton
Additional orchestrations arranged and performed by Jon Clarkson
American Sign Language interpreting by Lilith Reuter-Yuill
 
Above photographs taken by Jason Wilkey at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts,
Mt. Vernon, Illinois, November 2011
 
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