At the age of 40, I began finding it difficult to accomplish ordinary tasks like getting dressed or tying my shoes. A few years later, I was officially diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease. At that moment, I began trying to imagine what the rest of my life had in store for me. It didnít take long to realize that the future was as unpredictable as it has always been. As my body began to move even slower (a symptom of Parkinson's known as brandykinesia) the world became a different place. A new place, strange, challenging and an oddly beautiful place.
I've met others who live in my world who spend their days searching for the miracle cure or the ruby slippers that will bring them home. I discovered prejudices towards the disabled and families unable to cope with this new, unwelcome member of their family. In the end, I imagine life not as a long road of misery, but the shortest distance to happiness.
(gravity+grace) shares these experiences and others in an uninterrupted sixty minute performance of dance, monologues, music and song.
I dedicate this project to those who have lent me their hands and their feet to make this happen.
Conceived, produced, written and co-directed by Frank Ferraro
Directed by Stephen Pellegrino
Original Music by Stephen Pellegrino
Words by Frank Ferraro
Choreography by Jamie Erin Murphy
Brian Czarniecki (actor)
Jamie Erin Murphy (dancer)
Stephen Pellegrino (actor/musician)
Renee Smith (dancer)
Adrienne Wehr (actor)
With the Pittsburgh Renaissance City Choir
Led by Choral Director Andres Cladera
The performance was funded in part by a grant from The Heinz Endowments and in part by a Seed award from the Sprout Fund.