Available Light Theatre Presents YOU WILL GET SICK

Explore the technicolor journey of You Will Get Sick, a play about living with illness and maintaining human connections.

By: Feb. 28, 2024
Available Light Theatre Presents YOU WILL GET SICK
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Available Light Theatre, with Robin and Peter Hersha, present You Will Get Sick, by Noah Diaz, an affecting, technicolor journey, giving voice to a final trip home with imagination, humor, and magic.

It starts with your balance, but it begins to spread, as these things often do. Your legs numb, your grip-strength weakens, your arms go rigid and hard. Before long, you're hiring a stranger to say aloud what you can't say yourself: that you got sick. A recipient of the Kennedy Center's Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, You Will Get Sick examines how to live in your body, how to treat people, and how to continue after you learn your time is running out. Diaz's characters traverse the worlds of "The Big City," community college, a Midwest farm, and a classic movie-musical, never losing the fundamental, human capacity for care and connection.

Available Light Theatre welcomes Jeanine Thompson, Professor Emeritus of Theatre of The Ohio State University, to the cast of You Will Get Sick. In addition to her 28 years of teaching and leadership at OSU, Thompson has been active in Columbus as performer, director, and theatrical intimacy coach. Her specializations in movement and new works form a vital connection to the history of AVLT, making a logical and compelling collaboration.

Thompson explains, "I have been an advocate and supporter of Available Light Theatre since its inception, and I greatly appreciate our shared vocabulary and history with Anne Bogart and the Siti Company." Thompson is currently in rehearsals again with AVLT, having performed in Circle Mirror Transformation in 2011, and is excited to be reunited with former student and now director Eleni Papaleonardos: "Now, I am deeply honored to be working with the company again on this wonderful, heartfelt universal play with one of my most cherished OSU alums, Eleni, at the helm as director."

Available Light Theatre's cast for You Will Get Sick includes Jeanine Thompson, Rudy Frias, Jordan Fehr, Jabari Johnson, and Cindy Tran Nguyen.

Director: Eleni Papaleonardos said of the production, "At AVLT we've often talked about scripts which we find particularly moving as "changing the way we breathe" and when I first read You Will Get Sick I found myself repeatedly forgetting to breathe. So moving and surreal and funny and devastating, Diaz's play is one of the best scripts I've read in the last 10 years. The way he handles such a universally difficult subject was beyond compelling. I was elated when I learned this new play was available and immediately began to craft my dream team. Many of us have had the painful honor of seeing or nursing our friends and family to the ends of their lives and I am grateful to our incredible group of artists for bringing not only their talent but their deep love and care into the rehearsal room. Disability consultant Sha-Lemar Davis has been especially helpful as a wealth of thoughtful knowledge throughout the process. A profound thank you to Noah Diaz for creating a world that embraces our fears and still posits that even in our worst moments, whether we know it or not, we are not alone."

About the Director:

Eleni Papaleonardos is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Denison University and teaches courses in acting, movement-based theatre, and devising. Eleni works as an actor, director, and intimacy director, and serves as Artistic Director for Available Light. She was a member of the first M.F.A. company in Contemporary Performance at Naropa University, where she studied performance and devising with prominent innovators including Barbara Dilley, Wendell Beavers, Meredith Monk and the House, Siti Company, and Tectonic Theatre Project. Eleni has a passion for devising and developing original works and her directorial work focuses on productions which often break the constructs of traditional realist theatre.

Directing credits at AVLT include: God's Ear by Jenny Schwartz, Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice by Daniel E. Kramer, 33 Variations by Moises Kaufman, bobrauschenbergamerica by Charles Mee, Feels Like.. the body project by AVLT, The Grown-Up by Jordan Harrison, Paradise Park Zoo by Savannah Reich, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. By Alice Birch, [porto] by Kate Benson, Cry it Out by Molly Smith Metzler

About the Playwright:

Noah Diaz is a playwright and screenwriter from the Iowa/Nebraska border. Productions include You Will Get Sick (Roundabout Theatre, NYT Critic's Pick), Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally (co-production The Playwrights Realm/Baltimore Center Stage), and The Swindlers (Baltimore Center Stage). Commissions from La Jolla Playhouse, Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan, Baltimore Center Stage, Audible/Amazon Studios, and Arena Stage. His work has been developed with Berkshire Theatre Group, Two River Theater, The Sol Project, First Floor Theater, and The Playwrights Realm, where he was a Page One Resident Playwright. Noah is a recipient of the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize, a five-time recipient of playwriting awards from The Kennedy Center, and a nominee for the Outer Critics Circle's John Gassner Award. In television, he has written on Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu), Up Here (Hulu), Joe vs. Carole (Peacock), and is currently developing projects for ABC, Hulu, 20th Television, The Walk-Up Company, Nyle DiMarco, and the team at Eva Longoria's UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. MFA: Yale School of Drama.