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Susan’s Undoing – A Survivor’s Story
June 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Preservation New Jersey is pleased to present Susan’s Undoing – A Survivor’s Story, a 70-minute one-woman theater piece by Susan Chase with original music performed by Justin Solonynka. Susan’s Undoing uses dance, movement, music, and multimedia to tell the story of one woman’s battle and survival of breast cancer. The story is both personal and universal; diverse audiences express deep responses to the play because it sheds light on universal issues of change, loss, and resilience.
Breast cancer survivor Susan Chase climbs, dangles, and literally defies gravity in a duel with her Nemesis. Using wry repartee and multi-media, Susan’s skirmishes with Life, Death, doctors and well-intentioned friends veer from harrowing to hilarious. An uplifting story; in battling Death, Susan learns how to live!
Susan Chase was a professional ballet dancer with the Boston Ballet Company, an ensemble member of the Touchstone Theater in Bethlehem, PA, associate director of the Pennsylvania Youth Theater, and a drama therapist at KidsPeace.
I have been a cancer surgeon for over 20 years and Ms. Chase has been my patient…Susan’s Undoing is fascinating, life affirming, emotionally riveting, visually stunning and intellectually challenging. I found myself thinking about it long after the curtain descended…I cannot recommend it highly enough…as a centerpiece, not only for cancer patients and survivors, but…for medical professionals.
– Lee B. Riley, MD, PhD, FACS, Medical Director, St. Luke’s Cancer Center
Susan Chase is badassery personified, a breast cancer survivor who’s turned a harrowing journey into her brave, inspirational production.
– Philadelphia Inquirer
The only way to transcend death is to create something. Her journey through cancer forces her to reevaluate everything about her life, much like Renee Descartes when he decided to doubt everything to find his truth. Chase needed a happy ending and surviving cancer wasn’t enough because, sooner or later, we all die. What matters is what we do with our life and what we leave behind. Chase’s play is an invitation to all of us to create something beautiful that will help others grow. For her it was a play, for others, it’s a book, a child, an idea. What do you leave behind?
– Milton Carrero, Lehigh Valley Health
Recently, Susan Chase has performed her play for Cedar Crest College, Moravian Academy, Baystate Health Network, and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. The play has received glowing reviews and enthusiastic media coverage, including interviews on NBC-10 television and NPR radio (https://whyy.org/segments/battling-cancer-and-making-theater-susans-undoing/), and articles in several newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A classically trained pianist, Justin Solonynka has composed more than one hundred works for piano, jazz combo, and rock combo. He met Susan Chase in 1993 while still in college, working at Pennsylvania Youth Theatre where he specialized in devised theater for middle school and high school students.
Justin was the director and lead writer of the acclaimed theater piece Jabberwocky, which premiered at Bethlehem’s Historic Ice House in 1998. He went on to direct several other new plays at Moravian Academy, including Sally Pont’s AIM in 2002. He also played the lead role of Albert in Shooting God, a full-length independent film shot in 2001, and composed all the music for the film. In 2009, Justin was invited by Marc DeSouza (three time gold medal winner in stage magic, International Brotherhood of Magicians) to collaborate with him for his Music and Magicpresentation. This presentation (along with Justin’s music) appears on DeSouza’s Masterworks of Conjuring video series. Two years later, Justin presented a TED talk, The Power of Proof, at TEDxAFS. The video of his presentation has been viewed on YouTube over 26,000 times.
Justin released his seventh solo album, titled A Cup of Kindness, in 2014. He has performed solo shows at venues all over the east coast, including Godfrey Daniels, Musikfest, and the World Café. He also performs regularly with an alternative folk band (Acoustic Blender), two contra dance bands (Soup for the Soles, Contra Deceptives) and a loud rock band (Jefferson Friendship). He currently teaches math at Abington Friends School, where he continues to coach young musicians, spoken word artists, and aspiring actors.
This performance is repeated Sunday afternoon, June 30 at 3:00 p.m. at the 1867 Sanctuary.
The 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center is wheelchair-accessible through a wheelchair ramp through the gate on the left side of the building. All parking is across the street in the Ewing Presbyterian Church lots, including an inner ring across the street for disabled parking. Passengers may be dropped off at the curb directly in front of the main entrance; please use your hazard flashers when stopped there. Concert parking is recommended in the north lot (by the field closest to I-295). For your safety, please cross at the marked crosswalk and press the yellow button to activate flashers.
To Purchase Tickets
- $20 for General Admission
- $15 for Friends of the Sanctuary
- $5 for School and College students with ID
- $15 per person for Groups of 10 or more**
Tickets can be purchased online or reserved at the box office for payment by cash, check or credit card by calling 609-392-6409 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door as space allows. (Sorry – we don’t mail tickets. Tickets will be held at the box office and a receipt will be emailed from PayPal if purchased online.)
**GROUP RATES (10 or more people). Group rates apply only to advance online sales and must be purchased in quantities of 10 or more within a single purchase. Group rate tickets cannot be purchased at the box office prior to the concert.
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