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Participant Information

Martin Thall

City:
Brooklyn
State:
NY
Country:
USA
Essay:

I have spent my whole life in various art forms. From comic book cartoonist to filmmaker, to set designer for theatre and film, and puppet maker.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 14 years ago. It devastated me. After enjoying a full active life I had some serious adjustments to make. I could no longer do any graphic art. I could no longer dance or play softball. I was going crazy for something to do.

Ten years ago I decided to chase a fantasy, to become a playwright. I had spent some time in theatre as an actor and designer and loved it.

My neurologist, Dr. Alessandro, asked me if I would consider writing a play about Parkinson's. I thought about it for maybe four seconds and said yes and joined a group therapy just for research.

Research, hah! There was my play right in front of me, about people of different ages and social/economical backgrounds with PD in one room discussing their problems and looking for answers.

The process of writing "On Common Ground" was sheer joy. It gave me freedom. It gave me motivation. It gave me a new life.