An Award-Winning Theatrical Experience: Stroke Static

Stroke Static
Written by Lindsay Price

Stroke Static by Lindsay Price is a heartbreaking look at dementia from the inside. The struggle between real and fantasy. Past and present. An award-winning theatrical experience.

Russ is an eighty-three year-old man in a nursing home struggling with multi-infarct dementia. But in his mind he sees himself as a boy of eighteen, and thus is played by a young actor.

Russ wrestles with reality versus fantasy, and past versus present as he struggles to understand where he is and what is happening to him.

The ensemble plays a variety of real and imaginary characters in Russ’ mind. A heartbreaking look at what goes on in the mind of someone who can’t communicate.

Under the direction of Megan Emanuel, the incredibly talented drama group at Brookville High School in Lynchburg, VA realized that the characters in Stroke Static represent much more than just characters in a play. There are real people every day dealing with these real life situations and this team was able to connect to that message and convey the emotion through their performances:

We’ve had great success with your play. It’s been a challenging and rewarding experience for my Advanced Acting students. I wanted the acting to be as authentic as possible so we took a field trip to a local Memory Care facility and spent the afternoon painting pumpkins and interacting with the residents. It was an eye opening experience for many of my students and helped them connect to their characters in a meaningful way.

We also participated in our city’s Alzheimer’s Walk and have raised $850 toward our $1000 goal for the Alzheimer’s Association.  

We won our district competition, our regional competition, and we are headed to the VHSL State Theatre Festival. We were credited at our regional competition for choosing such a great script. Our mantra throughout this process has been…”tell Russ’s story!” It’s probably the most difficult script we have tackled and the hard work the students have invested is paying off.

Congratulations, Clark Lane Middle School!

*Photo credit: Brianne Friberg

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About the author

Lindsay Price