I WAS NEVER ALONE is a play script based on over 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork focused on the life experiences of adults living with mobility impairments in a provincial Russian city. The script takes the form of seven monologues or portraits, comprised nearly entirely of quotes transcribed from ethnographic interviews with real people, whose life experiences form the inspiration for each character.

While the subject matter of the play centers the segregation of people with disabilities, the themes in the work – love, family, alienation from politics, and the desire for connection in a digital world – are universal.

This work is currently in progress. The first draft, developed under the supervision of Joseph Megel in the Performance Studies program at UNC Chapel Hill, was completed and read in a process reading in May 2015 (and an early concept was developed in Renee Alexander Craft‘s graduate workshop in performance ethnography). A workshop and public presentation/staged reading is scheduled to take place in Chapel Hill in early February 2016. The work is intended to reach non-academic audiences, and will be workshopped and presented in Russia – including in the city where the research was conducted – as well as in the US.

Please contact Cassandra for more information about this project, to get involved or collaborate.