The Cast of 32 performing artists is led by:
Hope Wechkin, MD (Script, Score, Lyrics, Violin, Soprano Soloist)
…is best known for her simultaneously performed virtuosic and innovative pairing of voice and violin that combines elements of folk, classical and world music. A graduate of Yale University, she was conductor of the Yale Slavic Chorus and is a founding member of the quartet Sorelle, specializing in 20th-and 21st-century music for piano, cello, flute and voice. Her one-woman show Charisma, also directed by Cathy Madden, performed to sold-out audiences in an extended run at Seattle’s ACT Theatre. Her 2013 solo debut album Leaning Toward the Fiddler won two Global Music Awards. Wechkin is also a physician and the Medical Director of EvergreenHealth Hospice and Palliative Care in Kirkland, where she cares for patients and supports families affected by serious and terminal illnesses. She is also on the teaching faculty for the UW School of Medicine. In July 2015, Seattle Magazine honored her as one of the first palliative care physicians to receive their Top Doctor award.
Beth Graczyk (Choreographer, Dancer)
…is a dance artist who works as an improviser, dancer, choreographer, teacher and producer. Since 2001, Graczyk has performed throughout the U.S. including New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, and internationally in Japan, Ecuador and France. As choreographer, Graczyk recently collaborated with Danish artist Torben Ulrich and musician Angelina Baldoz on the performance project Cacophony for 8 Players, which premiered in January 2014 at Washington Hall. In addition, Graczyk co-directs the performance company Salt Horse with Corrie Befort and Baldoz including a tour of This Was A Cliff through the SCUBA national touring network. With Befort, she also recently launched a new dance company, Color Field Performance. Graczyk is also a research scientist with seven science publications in the field of mitosis (cell division), including a first author paper in Analytical Biochemistry. She currently holds a research lab position at The Rockefeller University in New York City, in addition to working with multiple projects as a choreographer and dancer.
Cathy Madden (Stage Director)
…is a Principal Lecturer in Alexander Technique at the UW School of Drama PATP. For nearly 20 years, Madden studied with and assisted the well-known Alexander teacher Marjorie Barstow. She is also director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle, and the associate director for BodyChance (Tokyo, Osaka). Her book Integrative Alexander Technique Practices for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy was published in 2014 by Intellect Ltd. She is currently a Creative Collaborator for Lucia Neare Theatrical Wonders. For the University of Washington, her most recent productions have included At the Inland Sea, Lear’s Daughter’s, The Mill on the Floss, The Portrait The Wind The Chair, The Mischiefmakers, Mother Teresa is Dead, Far Away, Bold Girls, and Two Sisters and a Piano. Her abilities to observe and analyze movement in relationship to artistic performance have made her a popular coach in Seattle and internationally for actors, musicians, dancers, speakers and teachers. Madden previously directed Hope Wechkin’s one-woman show Charisma, at ACT in Seattle. For more information, see Cathy Madden’s website.
Philip Tschopp (Music Director, Baritone Soloist)
…is known as a champion of new music, collaborator with Northwest composers, and conductor of regional instrumental and choral ensembles. His credits include music direction and conducting with City Opera Ballet, Orchestra Bellevue, Bellevue’s Cascadian Chorale, the Chelan Bach Festival, the Garrett Fisher Ensemble and others. As past artistic director of Bellevue’s Cascadian Chorale, Tschopp commissioned and premiered more than 30 new works. At the University of Washington, where he is pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts, Tschopp was awarded the prestigious Morrison Fellowship. He also served as teaching assistant to Maestro Peter Erös and the UW Symphony, conducted the UW Opera, and conducted the UW Summer Orchestra. As resident conductor of the Affinity Ensemble, a musician’s collective associated with the Washington Composers Forum, he was one of two regional conductors to conduct in Seattle Symphony’s 2006 Made in America Festival in Benaroya Hall. Tschopp recently assumed conductorship of the Seattle Estonian Choir, leading their performances in the Lääneranniku Eesti Päevad (2011, 2015) and the famed Laulupidu Festival in Estonia (2014). As a vocalist, he has performed with The Seattle Choral Company, St. James Cathedral Choir, the UW Chamber Singers, the Bellevue First Presbyterian Chancel Choir, and continues to sing as a core member of Choral Arts.
Leanna Standish, ND, PhD, Lac, FABNO (Neuroscience Research)
…is director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center in Kenmore, WA. She is a fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO), and a senior physician at Seattle Integrative Medicine. She is a licensed and practicing clinical naturopathic physician (ND), and acupuncture provider (LAc). Standish has been a principal investigator in NIH-funded research grants since 1994, and has served as grant reviewer for various NIH review sections. She is currently a professor at the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University. She is also a clinical professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health, and affiliate research professor in the UW School of Medicine Department of Radiology. In clinical practice, she specializes in treating cancer and neurological diseases. She also conducts neurophysiological research on mind/body interactions, functional brain imaging, HIV/AIDS, cancer and hepatitis C. Her brain imaging research on individuals who are physically separated but consciously “in synch” with each other inspires the science explored in The Withing Project.