Site-Specific COURAGE Begins Tonight at NACL

Site-Specific COURAGE Begins Tonight at NACLActress Debra Winger will appear in a cameo role in the NACL Theatre (North American Cultural Laboratory) production of COURAGE, a site specific, immersive theatrical journey, conceived and directed by NACL artistic director, Tannis Kowalchuk.

Based in the southwestern Catskills region of upstate New York, NACL Theatre premieres COURAGE as part of its 20th anniversary season. Performances will take place at Apple Pond Farm, tonight, August 18-20, in Callicoon Center, NY and will move the production for a NYC premiere on Governors Island, September 22-24.

COURAGE looks at the struggle for equality and survival in a dystopian world, and advocates for compassion in an era of fear and war, while warning against those who would attempt to profit from war.

Winger is best known for her film roles in An Officer and a Gentleman and Terms of Endearment. She was recently seen in the indie film The Lovers with Tracy Letts and "The Ranch" on TV. Winger has made her home in Sullivan County, NY, for the past 20 years.

Winger will appear in a cameo role she helped create using the collaborative and physical theatre techniques espoused by NACL. When asked about her participation in the play, she offers: "COURAGE couldn't be a more timely theatre project. I am joining the production because Tannis Kowalchuk and the work she is doing with NACL is exactly what communities come to the theater for: to understand more about the 'real' world through timeless theater. The message of COURAGE is urgent and powerful. NACL is on the front lines of the fight to keep the arts as one of the foremost ways to lift people up out of a sea of despair to look around them and understand what we must do."

Winger is also a member of NACL's Advisory Board, along with Mark Ruffalo, another actor who calls Sullivan County his home.

"My work with NACL and Tannis and Brad is both predestined and unlikely. I can't imagine life without them," said Winger.

Conceived and directed by Tannis Kowalchuk (Struck), with music composed by Rima Fand (Luminescent Orchestrii), text by Mark Dunau (Glass, The Weather Project), Melissa Bell (Devil And The Deep), dramaturgy by Mimi McGurl, COURAGE features the NACL ensemble of 25 professional performers of actors, singers, stilt-walkers, and musicians.

The whole farm is used as a backdrop for the play, and the audience experiences what it might be like to be held in a camp with a dominating military presence and where they learn the stories of many characters who have been displaced by a "Crisis." Their stories weave together into a moving tapestry of loss, courage and resilience.

The New York City premiere is slated for Governor's Island, September 22-24, using multiple historic sites as the audience experiences the island through this unique theatrical lens.

Performances will take place August 18 and 19 at 6pm and Sunday August 20 at 2pm at Apple Pond Farm, 80 Hahn Rd in Callicoon Center, NY. Tickets are $22. Limit 100 spectators per show.

Performances on Governor's Island will take place September 22-24 at 2pm. Tickets are FREE but require a reservation for seating. Tickets must be purchased online at

Besides Ms. Winger, the cast includes actors Jessica Lopez-Barkl, Jessica Beverage, Bradley Diuguid, Brett Hughes, Oliver King, Tannis Kowalchuk, Daniel Lendzian, Nick Lopez, Keith McHenry, John Roth, and Yurika Sase. Chorus members include Melissa Bell, Tracy Broyles, Rebekah Creshkoff, Rocky Davis, RaeAnn Handshy, Annie Hat, and Nancy Peterman. The Stilt Corps includes Gregg Erickson, Corinna Grunn, Adrianne Picciano, and Jon Jon Thomas. Featuring musicians Sarah Alden, Zoe Christianson and Doug Rogers. Costumes are by Karen Flood, with props by Sue Currier. Stage Management by Aubrey Ellis with Assistant Stage Manager Brendan Dromazos. Technical Direction by Zoot, and Brett Keyser on Tech/web. Brad Krumholz is the Co-Artistic Director of NACL.

Known for experimental, physical, and site-specific work, NACL Theatre recently celebrated 20 years of making original theatre productions about contemporary issues. NACL received a prestigious Our Town award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2013 for its creative work with community.

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