Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 31, 2012.


"i. am. everything. for one moment." A cross-disciplinary theatrical immersion in the mind of a woman whose brain is shutting down.

We are seekingbackers to help us finish our latest original performance, struck 

We invite you to be a part of this soul-searching art-science-engineering project, helping us to complete struck with a donation at whatever level you can afford.*

Please help us strengthen our efforts by sending this link to a friend.

struck is a multi-faceted, multi-media, descent into a woman's moment of crisis as she experiences the effects of "an acute cerebral vascular accident", or, as most of us know it, a stroke. Her frozen memories mingle with her present surroundings in poignant, sometimes humorous patterns, through which we glimpse the fragile, intertwining tendrils of brain function, identity, and awareness. The subject hits close to home, as our protagonist, the fictional Catherine, bears a striking resemblance to NACL Artistic Director Tannis Kowalchuk, who last year survived a total blockage of her right interior carotid artery.

NACL Artistic Director Tannis Kowalchuk also grows flowers on Willow Wisp Organic Farm
NACL Artistic Director Tannis Kowalchuk also grows flowers on Willow Wisp Organic Farm

Shortly after the stroke, Tannis began physiotherapy and a re-engagement with the physical training in which her artistic work has been grounded for over 20 years. She began reading about the brain's ability to change, to accommodate for loss of function, and about the "window of time" when a damaged brain is "particularly plastic and sensitive to external stimuli", and in which state "it can acquire things like language, or a musical instrument." Emboldened by this prospect, she aimed to take full advantage of her own "window of time", and promptly assembled a group of collaborators to assist her. struck is the direct result of this determination, force of vision, and the shared talents of fellow artists, technicians, and one extraordinary neuro-scientist.

Project Collaborators: Cross-Country and Cross-Discipline

Collaborating on the project are fellow NACL artists and technicians Ker Wells (writer/director, Hamilton, ON), Brett Keyser (writer/performer/designer), Karen Flood (costume designer), Ray Cornelison (lighting/av tech) and Zoot (technical director), joined by neuro-scientist Allison Waters (experimental researcher/neurologist avatar, Eugene, OR), playwright Kristen Kosmas (writer/dramaturg, Walla Walla, WA–Brooklyn, NY), digital artist Brian Caiazza (animation), filmmaker Tina Spangler (film sequences), light engineer Jim Ruxton (northern lights installation, Hamilton, ON), Tony-nominated lighting designer Brian Monahan (Los Angeles, CA), furniture designer Hall Smyth, and dress designer Pam Mayer.

The Work Ahead of Us

As we enter the final stage of the project, having shown two work-in-progress versions to date, we will add several more scenes and fully incorporate and refine technical aspects including stage lighting, sound design, and video, alongside Jim Ruxton's construction of an artificial aurora borealis. We are particularly excited about this planned light array which will mimic the eerie pulsing of the northern lights (a recurrent motif throughout the story).  

So this is the point at which we move the entire work from raw to polished, when all that we have built and imagined takes its final solid form. It is important for us now to take the time to sculpt a seamless experience for our audiences; and time, of course, is flying—the window closes quickly. The premiere is set for March 21, 2013 at Cleveland Public Theatre. Then in May we will open our season with it in Highland Lake, NY. 

With your financial support we will be able to commit the time and materials we need to make struck an extraordinary experience to share with you. Specifically, your donation will help fund artist salaries, materials for the aurora borealis construction, additional sound and video recordings, and travel fees for the non-local collaborators who will work with us in January and February. $12,000 is the minimum budget we need to complete the project, however the ideal budget would be nearly double the amount we're trying to raise here, so it is critical that we meet, or better still, beat our goal.

Thanks for your interest in struck. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the project you can visit the NACL website or connect through our NACL Facebook page.

You Get Good Luck and a Tax-Deduction

*NACL is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Any donation exceeding the value of incentives you receive is tax-deductible. If you would like your donation to be fully tax-deductible you may decline to receive incentives. We will send you a receipt indicating the tax-deductible amount of your donation, along with a huge Thank You.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As the core of the show currently exists, we are confident that we will have a show worthy of witnessing. Once we have raised the necessary funds (and barring any extreme weather-related damage, bizarre health issues among the performers, or other Acts of God or Man) we are prepared to premiere the work as scheduled in March 2013 at Cleveland Public Theatre (a committed co-producer of the show), and then to open our summer season with a two-week run of struck at the end of May 2013.

Of course, it is always possible that unforeseen challenges may arise that could prompt a rescheduling of these events, but as the saying goes in theatre, "the show must go on". In the 15 years since the company's founding, NACL has produced more than 15 full productions and countless public performance events, all of which were made possible by a combination of public funding, corporate sponsorship, and individual donors. We do not take lightly the trust you place in us when you donate funds to support our work. We have built this company and cultivated the growing community that supports us from the ground up. When we ask for your support we are not only asking for dollars, but for you to join this community. It's a two-way exchange to which we are committed, and which underlies all our work.

We are planning to tour the show beyond the above scheduled dates, but we do not yet have firm commitments from potential presenters who have shown interest in New York City, New Orleans, and Hamilton, Ontario. We want to perform it as much and in as many places as possible, and will certainly let all of our backers know when additional dates are added, but cannot guarantee any future dates beyond those in Cleveland and Highland Lake.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $13 or more
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    36 backers

    Lucky 13: A stroke of good fortune and your name listed in the program.

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  • Pledge $24 or more
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    49 backers

    Synapses Firing: 500 at this level and we HIT our mark. You get the luck from above, your name in the program, PLUS one ticket to the opening run in May 2013 in Highland Lake, NY.

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    50 backers

    A Date with Destiny: Your name in the program and TWO tickets to the opening run in Highland Lake.

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    7 backers

    Brain Flower: All of the above, AND a packet of Tannis' signature flower seed mix. Check out the photo of her bouquets to the left. (NOTE to international backers: We can't send seeds outside the US, so we could substitute a struck poster here if you wish. At the higher levels, the seed mix will be omitted from international mailings.)

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $120 or more
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    6 backers

    Northern Lights: All of the above PLUS a 'struck' poster, designed, and signed, by Brett; AND you'll be invited to join us for a post-show toast in your honor.

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    23 backers

    Refresh My Memory: 100 of these puts us OVER THE TOP. You get your name in the program, two tickets to the opening run in Highland Lake, Tannis' seeds, a signed struck poster, the post-show toast, AND a striking NACL T-shirt.

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    R.E.M. Sleep: All the above PLUS overnight accommodation for two at the NACL artist residence on the night you attend the performance.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Food for Thought: Everything at the $150 level PLUS two seats at an exclusive banquet to be held in June 2013 inside the struck set, including overnight accommodations at the NACL artist residence.

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    Magnetic Residence Imaging: Everything at the $150 level PLUS a weekend stay at the NACL artist residence for you and up to 10 friends.

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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    Super-elastic Neuro-plastic: For this great act of generosity you or your business will be listed as a co-producer of struck on our website and in all publicity (AND we give you all the treats at the $1,000 level).

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Funding period

- (28 days)