Out of Mind

Oct 13th, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

October 13, 7:30 pm and October 14, 3 pm

Tickets $25 in advance ($30 day of )

Out of Mind is a hybrid science lecture-performance that explores the neurophysiology of depression. Theatre artist Tannis Kowalchuk lends her brain to Dr. Allison C. Waters, a neuroscientist and depression researcher, for an inquiry into how emotions are made in the mind and body. Waters and Kowalchuk unite in their disciplines to make scientific exploration accessible, entertaining and thought-provoking through the art of live performance.

Incorporating brain wave data collected in laboratory experiments with Kowalchuk as the subject, this unconventional neuroscience lecture invites audiences to witness the chafe and charm of attempting to merge divergent forms. Audiences are encouraged to celebrate their own lived experience – as an embodied brain – in states of sadness and wonder. The performance ends with a lively question and answer period with the audience.

Out of Mind is a co-production with NACL Theatre and Hurleyville Arts Center.


Dr. Allison C. Waters

Allison C. Waters, PhD is a clinical neuroscientist. Her research involves emerging approaches to the measurement and modulation of brain electrophysiology for treatment of brain circuit pathology. Dr. Waters is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics (NY, NY) and adjunct faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA). Supported by the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, Dr. Waters develops brain-based algorithms to guide treatment with deep brain stimulation (i.e., neural implants) for individuals with severe depression. She also investigates cortico-limbic control processes in the emergence of the self, self-evaluative thoughts and cognitive symptoms of depression. Her work emphasizes the growing prospect of psychotherapeutic strategies that integrate treatments for the mind with treatments for the brain, to maximize the lasting benefit from both. Waters earned a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University, PhD from the University of Oregon, completed clinical training at the University of Arizona Medical Center and has worked in the field biotechnology. Previous to her academic training, Waters was a performing artist. She was an original member of NACL Theatre (1997-2000) and collaborated with the company on six performances, including Struck (2013), as both a scientific consultant and performer. Dr. Waters continues to explore the territory shared by scientific inquiry and the performing arts with a mission to “make brains more accessible to themselves.”

Tannis Kowalchuk

Tannis Kowalchuk is a theatre artist and farmer. She co-founded NACL Theatre in 1997 with whom she created and performed in over 25 original devised productions. She is also co-owner of Willow Wisp Organic Farm, a 30-acre vegetable farm in Damascus, Pennsylvania, where she leads the cut flower production. Recent theatre projects include the NYC premiere of Shakespeare’s Will, a solo performance by Vern Thiessen, (HERE, NYC) in March 2018, and directing Courage an outdoor site-specific performance based on Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children with a cast and crew of 30, including actress Debra Winger (Apple Pond Farm and Governors Island 2017). Current projects include directing and acting in Small Miracles, a series of original street theatre plays with NACL Streets focusing on themes of ecology, migration, and social justice, and Out of Mind, a hybrid neuroscience lecture- performance about Depression with neuroscientist Dr. Allison C. Waters. Tannis is deeply invested in creative place-making projects that focus on collectively creating large-scale plays with community members and inter-disciplinary specialists. Future projects include the development of a greenhouse on Willow Wisp Organic Farm, dedicated to practices in agriculture, theatre, food preservation, ecology, education, and community connection. Tannis serves on the boards of Evergreen Community Garden, and Tusten Heritage Garden in Sullivan County, NY.