Ora Pescovitz, M.D., Norman Hogikyan, M.D., and Joel D. Howell, M.D., to participate in “talk-back” sessions after performances. James Cavalcoli, Ph.D., featured in production.
Two years after graduating from the University of Michigan, an event that was immediately preceded by a terrifying diagnosis of cancer that threatened to end his career, actor and playwright Alex Kip has penned a play inspired by his experience.
My Other Voice will premiere in Ann Arbor at the Arthur Miller Theatre at U-M Thursdays – Sundays from Aug.15-Sept.
A special Aug. 25 performance will feature a “talk-back” session hosted by U-M EVPMA/UMHS CEO Ora Pescovitz, M.D. The session will allow audience members to speak openly about challenges of the physician’s role in cancer care and will also encourage physicians to dialogue with patients. Norman Hogikyan, M.D., professor and chief of Laryngology, Rhinology and General Otolaryngology will host a talk-back session with patients and audience members on Aug. 30 about specific vocal-related issues and health. Additional talk-back sessions will be announced for the Medical Arts Program, coordinated by Joel D. Howell, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Internal Medicine, Health Management and Policy, and History.
In May, Pescovitz described Alex as “the epitome of courage” and praised his ability to “reinvent himself as a person and artist” on her blog, Medicine that Speaks
“It can be easy to give up and become a victim of circumstance.” says Pescovitz. “It is not easy to confront and surmount obstacles that get in the way of your dreams. Yet, that’s what Alex has done.”
Kip, 25, a native of Columbus, Ohio, received his BFA in musical theatre from U-M and is also a graduate of the London Dramatic Academy. He was given a 15-30 percent chance of survival after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma as a senior at U-M.
During subsequent treatment at the U-M Medical Center, Kip lost his voice. “No longer able to speak or sing,” he says, “I had to find a new identity.”
Now in complete remission, Kip wrote “My Other Voice” with the goal of providing inspiration and hope to other cancer patients, particularly young adults, whose survival rate for cancer has not improved at the same rate as other age groups.
James Cavalcoli, Ph.D.
, assistant professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, will play the role of Dr. Foster in the performance.
“My hope is that this play will spread awareness of the unique difficulties young adults experience when diagnosed with cancer, while also giving patients hope for the future,” says Kip. “It will also be used as a teaching tool for doctors in training, or help this underserved group secure the age-appropriate resources they need. I want it to act as a patient advocate for young adult cancer victims.”
Prior to the play’s upcoming premiere, it received several readings with industry professionals in New York City and had a staged reading in Columbus, Ohio. The Ann Arbor production will feature U-M faculty, students and other industry professionals both on stage and behind the scenes. For more information, visit www.myothervoice.org
Watch a promo video for the play here: http://bit.ly/16sY9oU