Current NACL Productions
Courage is an immersive walking journey inside an imagined refugee camp occupied by stilt-patrolling soldiers, and populated by a host of characters that engage the audience along the way. Courage is based on Bertolt Brecht’s 1939 anti-war classic Mother Courage and Her Children, written in response to the devastating rise of fascism in Europe. This NACL musical spectacular tells the story of a mother searching for her lost son, as she advocates for empathy and compassion in an era of fear, displacement, and crisis.
Tannis Kowalchuk performs the role of Anne Hathaway in this lively song-filled solo performance about the life of the wife of William Shakespeare. Basing the narrative upon the little information known about the Bard’s wife, playwright, Vern Thiessen has written a sensitive and humorous text in verse, taking great delight in imagining and inventing the robust, earthy, and intelligent character of Anne Hathaway.
The Little Farm Show
"WHERE DOES YOUR FOOD COME FROM?" NACL Theatre set out to answer that question with The Little Farm Show, an all-ages musical extravaganza about FARMING, FOOD, and the ENVIRONMENT. From the inception of the solar system, to sunset on Millicent’s farm, the Magnificent MacDonald twins give audiences a whirlwind tour of “The Greatest Show on Dirt!” The Little Farm Show asks people to consider their food choices and the effect those choices have on their bodies, the environment, and society.
PEOPLE LIKE US
In 2016 Tannis Kowalchuk teamed up with Keith McHenry, and a cast of local actors to tackle workplace diversity in a production of People Like Us. The play contains drama and humor and, in a fictional context, enables attendees to examine their opinions and concerns about "difference". Following each performance, a facilitated interactive discussion allows attendees to explore difficult issues in a safe and supportive learning environment.
An outgrowth of NACL Theatre's recent outdoor community-engagement spectacles, Courage and The Weather Project, the company offers weekly training workshops in street theatre skills (stilt walking, juggling, music, and acting). From this training the NACL Streets ensemble has grown, made up of community members of all ages who appear in parades and perform short vignettes at festivals, and events across the region, under the direction of Tannis Kowalchuk. NACL Streets has recently performed at the Scranton Bonfire Festival, the NOFA-NY conference, and the Climate March in Ithaca, NY.
In The Works
AN ACT OF NEUROSCIENCE
NACL Theatre continues its collaboration with scientists on urgent, contemporary subject matters. Scheduled to premiere in 2018, our latest art-science project focuses on depression. Neuroscientist, Dr. Allison C. Waters (a collaborator on Struck) and Tannis Kowalchuk are currently devising a new form of live performance: blending the art of experimental theatre with an academic lecture, to convey results of their scientific investigation on emotion and the brain.