NACL performances are very physical, and often incorporate complex group singing, unusual audience seating, and a surprising use of sets and objects by the highly skilled actors, who transform space to capture the imagination of the spectator. The term “devised” is sometimes used to describe NACL Theatre’s method and style. The company has toured across the United States and Canada, and has played in England, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania. In the New York area, NACL has performed at HERE Arts Center, La MaMa, The Ohio Theatre, Washington Square Church, Access Theatre, The Brecht Forum, PS 122, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art.
OUT OF MIND
NACL Theatre continues its collaboration with scientists on urgent, contemporary subject matters. Our latest art-science project focuses on depression. Neuroscientist, Dr. Allison C. Waters (a collaborator on STRUCK) and Tannis Kowalchuk are 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. A co-production with Hurleyville Arts Centre.
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.
THE WEATHER PROJECT
Beginning in the summer of 2013, NACL lead a team of artists, scientists, local leaders, and laypeople in creating The Weather Project, a community-wide theatre, art, and science project about the weather, ourlives, our local history, our environment, and our current climate. The first phase of the project culminated in a spectacular outdoor pageant in August 2014, and was followed by a second touring phase which concluded in August 2015. (Photo by Brian Caiazza)
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.
STRUCK is an exploration of neuroscience and brain trauma. It is a poetic dance on the razor's edge of mortality, as the brain and body look for meaning, struggle to communicate, recover and re-discover the sense of "self" following a stroke. (Photo by Steve Wagner)
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.
EXILIO: My Life as Bolaño / EXILE: Mi Vida Como Bolaño was a 2010-11 collaboration between NACL Theatre's Tannis Kowalchuk and Brett Keyser, Mexican artists Lydia Margules and Zazil Servin Luna of Museo Deseo Escena, Mexican-Canadian designer Flavia Hevia, and Canadian director and actor Ker Wells. The tri-national company of artists devised a bilingual musing on the life and work of Latin American writer Roberto Bolaño and political events in North America in 1968. EXILIO was presented at The University of Guadalajara's Teatro Experimental.