In case you missed it, last week Dr. Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock’s COM 415: Performance Practicum course held their performance of Seizing in Leutze Hall to a studio that was standing room only.
Seizing is a performance of collected stories of individuals who Dr. Scott-Pollock has been interviewing for a few years about their seizure disorders. Included are small bits of information about seizure disorders but more importantly, it illuminates the day-to-day struggles individuals with seizure disorders go through; activities those who are able-bodied may take for granted.
The individual stories are striking not only because of the emotion and empathy put into the characters but also how “normal” some of their struggles are. You have women discussing their concerns for having children and the risks associated with their medication and their access to healthcare, a man who just wants to keep his dog that he’s cared for and loved for years, a group of people who want to be seen, to be understood.
Speaking with the performers, they describe the work it took to portray these individuals solely on a transcript of their interviews with Dr. Scott-Pollock. Cast member, Moses Eshiet described the experience and work behind developing his role as “challenging and fun because you have to give justice to them using empathy.”
Dr. Scott-Pollock’s work sheds light on an invisible illness that those who do not have may never stop to give it conscious thought. The performance was concluded by Dr. Scott-Pollock addressing the audience with the idea of trying to understand and empathize with those who are different from us. Of the performance, she said, “I’m grateful that each piece was performed with skill, empathy, and commitment.”
If you couldn’t attend the performance, check out Dr. Scott-Pollock’s youtube for the video coming soon.
In the meantime, take a look at some photos from Seizing.
Carol Friday is a Communication Studies senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is the creative director for the community group managing the Communication department’s Twitter page, the IMC Hawks blog, and its respective Twitter and Facebook page.