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.
Our mission is to build community, mobilize advocacy, and fundraise for treatment grants. Our goal is for all affected parties – patients, families, and doctors – to feel seen, heard, and understood. Our story explains the Lyme disease battle so that you don't have to.
"Patricia Cosulich’s intelligent, deeply humorous play The Great Imitator is deftly formed from the narratives of her own journey contracting and living with Lyme disease as a young adult, and interviews she conducted with others suffering from Lyme, their supporters, and doctors. As a person living with the singular perspective, setbacks, and redemptive moments of a physical disability, I immediately connected with the play’s transcendence of great suffering through human interdependence and a unique, adversity defying optimism.
The Great Imitator incorporates comedy to great effect: from a magically conjured, no nonsense Fairy Godmother to the endearingly sadistic embodiment of Lyme disease’s Spirochete (Borrelia) species. The Fairy Godmother and the Spirochete mark the play as polar opposites, by turns advising for the good and ruthlessly taunting the Lyme-affected protagonists. It is a refreshingly unique play that also serves to advocate for those involved with Lyme disease (and other life-changing conditions) in the form of impeccably written comedic drama. I shed a few tears watching The Great Imitator, too."
Effy Redman, Memoirist/Disability Advocate (www.effyredman.com)
Interested in your own show?
If you’re interested in collaborating or hosting a show, don't be shy!
This is great for advocacy-forward thespians, universities, medical schools, health centers, and community organizations that value public health.
"EVERY PLAY NEEDS A VILLAIN"
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. 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 rewrites. I wrote the first draft as a capstone project while earning my MA in Social Innovation, an interdisciplinary degree in social impact and business.
Additionally, I took the play to pitch competitions and the Torrey Project. These opportunities helped me build a strategic impact model.
How to Watch
The recording from our May 2021 Zoom reading is now available on a donate-what-you-can basis to fundraise for future productions.
How We Inspire Advocacy
The Lyme Disease community faces many gaps. We urgently need accessible (and reliable) diagnostics, affordable and effective treatments, increased research, and awareness. Not to mention that we would love better community understanding and compassion about how truly debilitating this condition can be. While we may not be able to solve all of these problems overnight, we are contributing to the larger ecosystem of Lyme disease advocacy.
By gathering communities and educating through the engaging art of storytelling, we are making a difference. We encourage audiences to take further action in whatever way fits their current capacity.
WHAT CAST MEMBERS & AUDIENCES ARE SAYING
It was such a JOY being part of Patricia's "The Great Imitator", a play that bridges the gap between Lyme disease and art. As an actor and Lyme warrior myself, I felt deeply connected to this story, and loved how Patricia infused comedy into a serious subject matter. I had the honor of being part of the developmental process and loved seeing Patricia's words come to life. "The Great Imitator" not only raises awareness about Lyme disease, but also brings laughter and hope to a community that needs these things more than ever. This play is bound to touch many people's lives, and I can't wait to see where it will go next!
~ Christa Nannos
Actor, Writer, Lyme Advocate
Working with Patricia was eye opening and uplifting. Patricia reached out to me serendipitously the same week that I came out about having Lyme Disease and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She was very encouraging, accommodating, and professional which reassured me that I had made the right decision to come out about working in the entertainment business while contending with chronic invisible illnesses. Patricia’s talent, professionalism, and maturity extend far beyond her years. Additionally, the team she chose shared the same integrity and emotional intelligence as Patricia. I am very thankful to have worked with Patricia and her team. I can’t wait to see the teams she assembles next and what projects they create.
Actor, Motivational Comedian, Music Video Assistant Director
The Great Imitator was an incredible play. As someone Lyme has personally inflicted, it depicted the perfect picture of how it feels to go through Lyme whilst also bringing out so many emotions of the experience. It shows how it truly is tough on those who suffer from Lyme. It would also be great for those who want to understand someone they know who Lyme has impacted. It is educational, with even a touch of humour to bring it across as light-hearted. With both of these aspects, it gives the audience a clear understanding of the great imitator.
Patricia has created a masterpiece of this play, and I highly recommend giving it a watch.
~ Bianca Michele
Lyme advocate, Author, & Coach