On ECT is an immersive theatrical installation, with the goal to promote empathy and understanding of the experience of schizophrenia.
The production is currently in Residency at The Theatre Centre. Artists and scientists/clinicians will work together in development workshops in December 2018 and July 2019, with public performance scheduled in November 2019.
This work is designed as a unique combination of story, experiential exploration, and analysis.
Story: A psychiatrist early in his training develops psychosis and ultimately treatment resistant schizophrenia. Eduard, his son struggles to connect with his father. He must also make difficult treatment decisions. We tell the story in fragments.
Experience: We tell the story from the inside. Our immersive design leverages the power of sound and video, as well as live actors to bring the audience into the perceptual experiences of the illness. Schizophrenics 'hear voices'. Schizophrenics fear loss of control over their own thoughts and bodies. But how does anyone actually separate internal and external voices? How do we trust what we see or feel? How do we know which voices are truly our own?
Analysis: Within the installation we will create places to retreat from chaos, disorganization and pain. We use archival material from the Queen Street ‘Asylum’ and historical writings on schizophrenia as well as contemporary interviews with psychiatrists, neuroscientists and people living with schizophrenia, to create a layer of analysis and reflection about what schizophrenia is – clinically, genetically and psychologically.
On ECT Core Creative Team
Suvendrini Lena (Neurologist, CAMH/WCH) - Creator writer, researcher.
Leah Cherniak (Associate Artist, SoulPepper) - Director, dramaturge, actor
Trevor Schwellnus (Co-artistic Director, Aluna Theatre) - Creator visual artist, environmental designer
Lyon Smith - Creator Composer, sound designer, actor
On ECT is currently in Residency at The Theatre Centre
Residency has its roots in R&D (Research & Development) program, established by The Theatre Centre in 1983. It is designed to support artists in developing new work, and tailored to the specific needs of each participating artist or collective, and the artistic impulse or idea they wish to explore.
About The Theatre Centre: The Theatre Centre is a nationally recognized live-arts incubator that serves as a research and development hub for the cultural sector. We are a public space, open and accessible to the people of our community, where citizens can imagine, debate, celebrate, protest, unite, and be responsible for inventing the future.