Stuck Dumb shows one day in the life of Adnan, an artist who was "struck dumb" by aphasia. As aphasia impacts the functioning of speech and memory (and how they work together), the play is written to be read in performance, with pieces of text cleverly placed throughout the play to help an actor who is aphasiac tell Adnan's story. The production is a unique experience that is not to be missed.
Jean-Claude van Itallie wrote Struck Dumb in 1991 with Joseph Chaikin, his long-time friend, in response to the stroke that left Chaikin aphasiac. Over 7 Stages' history, the theatre and Chaikin worked together on numerous projects, including 1992's Waiting for Godot and Broken Glass, the final play Chaikin directed before his untimely passing in 2003. During the 1990s, another friend of 7 Stages, Gene-Gabriel Moore, also suffered a stroke which led to aphasia. Following his recovery, Gene-Gabriel dedicated himself to creating opportunities for people with disabilities, forming Not Merely Players. Before his death, Chaikin asked Gene-Gabriel to play the role he originated in Struck Dumb. But with Chaikin's passing and Gene-Gabriel's own health, the production was put on hold. Now, that production is here.
A pay-what-you-can performance is scheduled for Monday, October 16th.