An aging mother’s health teeters on the brink. Her adult daughter scrambles to find footing in her new role as caregiver. Death pounds at the door and they both wonder, could someone this pissed off actually be dying? The Undertaking portrays end-of-life care using theater, dance and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2, played live by Northwest Piano Trio musicians Heather Mastel-Lipson, Susan McDaniel and Hannah Hillebrand. Presented as part of the Fertile Ground Festival of New Work January-February, 2019.
Conceived and directed by Jessica Wallenfels
With text by Emily Gregory
Created in collaboration with actors JoAnn Johnson and Beth Thompson
Musicians - Hannah Hillebrand, Heather Mastel-Lipson, Susan McDaniel
Scenic design - Kaye Blankenship
Costume design - Jenny Ampersand
The Undertaking can be presented with a new play reading created from The Art of Aging Project. Weaving together essays and interview responses from people over 65, Camille Smicker’s choral work is read by local actors, created from elders speaking in their own words.
This piece was generously supported by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
Actor photos by Gary Norman feature Beth Thompson and JoAnn Johnson.
Northwest Piano Trio photo by John Green. L-R Heather Mastel-Lipson, Hannah Hillebrand, Susan McDaniel.