32 Performers + Oratorio + Drama + Music + Dance + Medicine + Science = “The Withing Project”
THE WITHING PROJECT is a world premiere theatrical oratorio that will be performed at the Jones Playhouse in Seattle’s University District for five performances only on November 19-22, 2015. Developed by an interdisciplinary team of Seattle-based theatre, music, voice, dance, medical and scientific collaborators, and based on controversial findings in modern neuroscience, The Withing Project explores shared consciousness and the humanity of “with-ing” or “being with another.”
Inspired by an actual encounter with a hospice patient diagnosed with end-stage liver cancer, The Withing Project is led by Hope Wechkin, MD. Dr. Wechkin is a palliative care and hospice physician as well as a performer and classically trained composer, violinist and singer. The rest of the creative team includes Beth Graczyk (choreographer, dancer); Cathy Madden (stage director); Philip Tschopp (music director, baritone soloist); and Leanna Standish, ND, PhD, LAc (neuroscience research). The piece is performed by three actors, additional singers and dancers, and a 20-voice choir accompanied by a live quartet of piano, cello, violin and saxophone.
UW researchers and scientists across the country are exploring how stimuli experienced by one human subject appear echoed in the brain responses of others at a distance, indicating some kind of “with-ing” or shared quantum consciousness. “This hybrid of theatre, new music, contemporary dance and science celebrates our growing understanding of how we’re entangled with one another,” says Hope Wechkin, MD. “The longer I practice medicine and make music, the more I find that our experience of connecting with one another is greater than either art or science can express by itself. That’s why The Withing Project explores an artistic dialogue between researchers, performance artists and medical providers to share a deeper understanding of something both familiar and mysterious.”
“The music world is full of fascinating people — but in more than three decades of writing about music, I’ve never met anyone quite like Hope Wechkin.”
Melinda Bargreen – The Seattle Times