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Director Kendra Miller Tackles Death and Mortality in The Cure

A new play explores our insatiable morbid curiosity.

Photo: Dave Rentauskas

Kendra Miller has watched her family and several friends struggle with life-threatening diseases in the past few years. To make sense of the experience, the co–artistic director of Walkabout Theater Company devised The Cure, an exploration of the desire to be cured of sickness and mortality. “I felt a great deal of anger with the idea that the cure is just hope,” she says.

Miller and members of the experimental ensemble spent two years researching the piece, which follows a group of mysterious characters (a “hysterical” 19th-century woman, a snake-oil-peddling doctor) who converge in a greenhouse. It draws on a pastiche of ideas, including the laws of physics, Hindu myths, and 1980s power ballads (“There’s a little bit of Purple Rain”). “In our culture, death has become less spiritual and more medical,” says Miller. “We’re creating an environment where you can ask your own questions about illness and mortality.”

GO:The Cure runs June 1 to 18 at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 78 E. Washington St. Free. walkabouttheater.org

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