(Work-in-progress)

In August 2017, after Cherie Sampson posted images online of a series performative photographs shot in a natural environment of her body altered by the side effects of chemotherapy, a friend and ovarian cancer survivor commented, “Every. Single. One. Of us who has been with this disease is validated, loved and to a certain extent, freed by this image.”  
 “every.single.one” is an autobiographical solo performance work that depicts a life altered by a diagnosis of hereditary breast cancer.  Throughout 2017, Sampson documented her experience with the cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and recovery - collecting audio, video, photographic material as well as medical records. The documentary material contains the essence of the performance narrative as well as creates an immersive audio-visual space in which the expressive storytelling through movement & spoken word  is interwoven.  Creating the “every.single.one” project has been a healing process in itself, allowing Sampson to reflect on the cancer experience and in the words of feminist poet Audre Lorde, “examine it, put it into perspective, share it and make use of it.” 
Other components of the project include a series of short films that have screened in video art, film, and screendance festivals internationally in 2019 and 2020, as well as a 9-minute experimental dance work, “Deliverer” informed by a classical Indian dance item depicting Kali, the Hindu goddess of transformation.
Full-length performance debut: Fall, 2021

 

Creator, playwright, performer and media design: Cherie Sampson

Director: Xiomara Cornejo (fall 2019)

Dramaturge: Xiomara Cornejo

Co-choreographed with: Anjali Tata-Hudson

Composer: Charles Gran   (and Ned McGowan for "Deliverer" dance)

Thanks to the University of Missouri Theater Department for assistance with this project and presentation of the work-in-progress in the "17th Annual Life & Literature" series at Studio 4 Theater in October, 2019.  The project is supported in part by grants from the University of Missouri Research Board and Research Council.