The Grieving Project Musical
While the whole world deals with the outbreak of a global pandemic in 2020, Lis, a disabled artist who’s struggled with her own rare chronic illness for twelve years, is stuck in San Francisco: getting blood infusions, with a chronic disease, at home, unable to write new music, and now with a pandemic… She desperately needs inspiration to write music again and yearns for her art-her life-to have meaning, purpose, and to be validated and thrive, while homebound. Devoid of inspiration to write a song for an arts competition, The Grieving Project, Lis meets three other finalists on a Zoom show: thriving artists Danica, Charli, and Brandon, each battling a different physical or mental illness and disability, sending her on an unexpected spiritual quest to find and accept herself. And all must discover what grieving and thriving even mean while struggling with chronic illness, and what happens when we don’t. The Grieving Project is a spoken word musical about finding your voice, exploring concepts of mental health, transformation, identity, grieving and thriving in 14 stages that asks, “How can we live fully and thrive if we don’t grieve?” It integrates a unique concept: the lead characters only speak during songs until each “finds her/his voice” and sings.
Book and lyrics by Lisa Sniderman
Music by Angelo “Scrote” Bundini and Lisa Sniderman/Aoede
Based on “The Grieving Project” 2020 (a spoken word, musical audiobook)
By Lisa Sniderman/Aoede and Angelo “Scrote” Bundini.
Copyright © 2023
About the Creative Team
Lisa Sniderman is a multi-award-winning artist and playwright known by her artist name, Aoede. As a disabled artist, Sniderman creates-and often centers characters with illnesses-to express, foster healing, elevate, empower and advocate for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. She’s been honored with 100+ awards and accolades for songwriting, albums, films, stage plays, spoken word, books, all while battling a rare, disabling autoimmune disease for 15 years: Dermatomyositis, a progressive muscle disease that attacks and weakens her immune system, skin and muscles. While struggling with illness, Sniderman’s created/released 10 albums, including three young adult fantasy musical audiobooks, and staged two of them. Sniderman notes that she initially created to escape her illness, but then started to integrate her illness into her art, to help others thrive, starting with her memoir: A Light in the Darkness: Transcending Chronic Illness through the Power of Art and Attitude (Sep 2018), chronicling her 10-year journey living with chronic illness while creating to heal. In July 2020, she held a free two-week online summit featuring videos with 60+ experts, to help others struggling with chronic illness thrive, attended by 1,800 participants. Says Sniderman, “Music and art are my lifelines; I just cannot stop creating.” She kept so busy creating, Sniderman admits she forgot to grieve her illness. She has also been homebound many years, missing live theater, and had a vision of bringing live theater to those like her through filmed stage performances, which sparked the creation and release of her ninth studio album, “The Grieving Project” (August 2020), a spoken word musical audiobook that sets the stages of grief to music. She’s adapting this audiobook to an episodic stage musical to bring live theatrical experiences to chronically ill and disabled communities https://alightinthedarkness.info/about/
Angelo “Scrote” Bundini has worked as a musician and/or record producer with Grammy and Oscar winning artists (e.g., Sting, Seal, Todd Rundgren). He creates & produces shows & tours including the world renowned concert series Celebrating David Bowie with superstar performers and has composed, performed, mixed, and/or produced music for award winning independent & feature films as well as network TV. Scrote has produced and/or collaborated with Aoede on many of her award-winning albums (Affair with the Muse (2011), Skeletons of the Muse (2012), Is Love A Fairy Tale? (2012), What Are Dreams Made Of? (2013) Do You Believe In Magic? (2015), The Grieving Project (2020), Imaginarium (2021)). http://celebratingdavidbowie.com/
Suzanne Richard is co-founder and Artistic Director of Open Circle Theatre, Washington, D.C.’s first professional theatre promoting careers in the arts for people with disabilities-formed in 2003 by a group of people with and without disabilities. OCT produces high-quality, inventive theatre productions, and many critically acclaimed shows, that provide opportunities for professional theatre artists with and without disabilities. Mixing arts with advocacy, Ms. Richard has worked on and served in various local, national, and international accessibility and disabilities-related councils and committees; authored chapters in a number of books on arts and disabilities, and has been presenting workshops and residencies in local school systems as well as around the country. She currently works as a professional actress in Washington, D.C. area, has performed in more than 30 productions, and even toured as a dancer. http://opencircletheatre.org/artistic-director/