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CaltechLive! Presents Diana Wyenn's BLOOD/SUGAR

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Blood/Sugar will be presented one night only: Saturday, November 21, at 7 p.m.

CaltechLive! Presents Diana Wyenn's BLOOD/SUGAR

CaltechLive! will present Diana Wyenn's Blood/Sugar on Saturday, November 21, at 7 p.m. PT. This solo show, at the intersection of public health and performance, focuses on Wyenn's life as a diabetic. Blood/Sugar will be performed live and broadcast from Wyenn's home. It was written by Wyenn and Guy Zimmerman, and developed in collaboration with Lauren Campedelli, John Zalewski, Jason H. Thompson, Joey Guthman, Rebecca Carr, Aaron Saldaña, and Laban Pheidias.

Blood/Sugar uses multimedia effects, original movement, and Wyenn's physical surroundings to create a vivid account of the life-sustaining self-care that diabetes currently demands from one out of every 10 American adults. By 2050, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that as many as 1 in 3 adults could have a form of diabetes.

"After more than a decade of simultaneously working professionally in the theater and living with type 1 diabetes, I read that statistic and immediately turned all my skills as a storyteller toward creating a theatrical response," Wyenn explains. "Blood/Sugar uses all the techniques I learned to dispel the lies, mystery, and shame surrounding diabetes in all its forms."

The acclaimed production masterfully weaves sobering statistics, historical perspective, and Shakespearean texts into a personal narrative about living with a chronic illness. The piece was originally conceived in 2017 for the stage, but Wyenn's increased risk for contracting COVID-19 compelled her to rework the show for our current times.

Wyenn, who was the director, dramaturg, and co-deviser of this year's production of Kristina Wong for Public Office (which will stream on Center Theater Group's Digital Stage platform later this month), is skilled in the technical narrative elements needed for this new kind of performance. Blood/Sugar utilizes the vocabulary of contemporary theater, film, and the now-ubiquitous conventions of livestreaming to explore the realities of a different pandemic.

"I now have the opportunity to be intimately connected through devices large and small to each audience member and facilitate a much-needed conversation about this disease that impacts more than 422 million people worldwide," explains Wyenn, who will host an open talkback between audience members and local diabetes educators immediately after the show.

For Wyenn, this component of the evening, which was part of the original stage show, is as integral as the performance itself. "The performance is the tool I use to spark conversation about healing and the agency we have over the health and well-being of ourselves and that of our families, our communities, and our planet," she adds.

Wyenn continues, "And for the diabetes community-which includes diabetics like me and our caretakers, medical professionals, and loved ones-it's also an important opportunity to come together and share a wealth of experiences and knowledge with one another and beyond. In many ways, this online version is the one I've always been working toward. I just didn't know it."

For tickets and information, please visit events.caltech.edu or events.caltech.edu/bloodsugar_tix . Run time: 70 minutes
Early bird tickets: $10 per household/connection until November 1, 2020; beginning November 2, general admission is $20 per household/connection. Note: ticket holders will be emailed a link to view the production a few hours prior to the performance.

Photo Credit: Plain Wood Productions


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