Maija Tuohino


Cognitive Decline

Mind and body- Disconnected? How can brain disease and its symptoms be expressed in performing arts?

Who is it that can tell me who I am?"
- William Shakespeare, King Lear

The starting point for my master project has been the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease on a family member. Seeing what happens to a person you know inspired me to research the disease more in depth and create my master project around it. My research consists of the medical aspect of Alzheimer's disease (what exactly happens in the brain) as well as the personal aspect of human emotions and symptoms caused by the disease.

To bring all of this together in a narrative form, I will create my own story about an Alzheimer's patient. I will use Shakespeare's King Lear as the base of my play, an interpretation in which King Lear is seen as someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease instead of being mad.

My research on the disease as well as the human brain, is the main inspiration for my set design. What I want to show with it, is the interaction between what happens inside the brain and what happens to the person when the disease progresses. Symptoms and emotions will be expressed through the human body and through costume. Theatrical costume will be an important tool to express what this Alzheimer's patient is going through and it will be an essential part of the storytelling.
© 2010 Theaterkostuum [Theater Costume] - Koniklijke Academie Voor Schone Kunsten [Royal Academy of Fine Arts] - AP Hogeschool Antwerpen | design by ALBERTcan