The Great Imitator
Raising awareness for Lyme Disease with a blend of documentary theatre and imaginative departures from reality. Lily tries to call out sick from her own show, except instead she is thrust on a journey of uncertainty. From encounters with a personified, satirical, self-aware Pathogen to a Fairy Godmother, this play follows Lily’s quest for answers. She ends up discovering a whole lot more than she bargained for.
The goal is to change the way we view healing, build community, mobilize policy change, and fundraise through storytelling. Rights will be made available during the month of May (Lyme awareness month) as long as profits support Lyme-related causes, such as treatment grants or research.
This piece is by and for the community. Written by yours truly (Patricia Cosulich), this play is inspired by my lived experience and a series of interviews with patients, doctors, loved ones, and advocates. Since I spent eight years fighting for my own diagnosis, I am intimately familiar with tickborne illness experience. Further, many of our actors and members of our creative team live with illnesses and disabilities and have provided feedback on the development process.
The Great Imitator has been through multiple iterations. I started while earning my MA in Social Innovation, an interdisciplinary degree at the intersection of peace and justice, leadership, and business. This play is the culmination of my Master's capstone.
So far there have been four public readings, with two major rewrites. I am forever grateful to everyone who has contributed to its development process, as it has been a community effort. Many colleagues, friends, and fellow Lyme warriors (who currently remain anonymous) provided feedback throughout the writing process.
Additionally, I was a finalist in pitch competitions which helped me learn how to communicate the value of the play, the design behind its community model, and why the issues it addresses are so important.
"EVERY PLAY NEEDS A VILLAIN"
Our goal is to produce a live, in-person performance in Southern California in May of 2022. We are currently scouting venues and partners and can't wait to bring the play to life in-person, onstage!
We also hope to inspire a constellation of self-produced performances around the world in 2022.
If you’re interested in collaborating or hosting a show, don't be shy. We're looking for theatre artists, producers, medical schools, universities, and Lyme-community partners (nonprofits, doctors, and local advocates) especially in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. Thank you to those of you who have already offered locations or recommended us to others, we appreciate you so much!