by Caroline Tomlinson, Communications Content Manager
For people who are battling Parkinson’s disease, how can they — and their care partners--effectively walk through this difficult journey?
Actor and writer Matthew Moore, a 1992 alumnus of Cedarville University, will explore answers to this question when he comes to Cedarville’s DeVries Theatre on Friday, Jan. 13, for a theatrical performance of “What I didn’t Say: A Journey Through Parkinson’s.” The performance will be followed by a question-and-answer period with the audience, allowing Moore to contextualize the events of the performance. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Seats are limited, so reserve your spot!
Moore plays one of the lead characters alongside Krista Stauffer. Moore portrays the life of Paul, a patient with Parkinson’s disease, who navigates the highs and lows of this neurodegenerative disease. His role is based on his struggles with Parkinson's, as well as the many people he interviewed to develop the program. Stauffer plays five different characters throughout the performance.
In 2019, at the age of 49, Moore was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease.
“For an actor to have Parkinson’s is a big deal,” said Moore. “I feel obligated to explain to [theatrical] directors that I have a tremor. Is there a character in every play that has a tremor? The answer is no.”
Instead of accepting defeat, Moore wrote a play specifically designed for him — a man with Parkinson’s telling his story.
Moore’s experience with medical professionals at the beginning of his diagnosis inspired him to write this play based on interviews with 11 different people — all care partners or patients with Parkinson’s.
“I had a bad experience with neurologists. We didn’t speak the same language,” said Moore. “I want them to understand the whole patient — see the ins and outs of a patient’s life. There are as many internal issues as external.”
The performance is focused on helping people who battle Parkinson’s, but there’s also a teaching moment for medical professionals, specifically neurologists.
Moore graduated from Cedarville with a degree in communications. He went on to earn his master’s in speech communication, and later his M.F.A. in acting. He returned to Cedarville in 1998 and served as the associate chair of the department of art, design and theatre until moving to Chicago in 2016. Stauffer serves as the academy director at Boxland Media Studio in Columbus, Ohio, and she is a professional actress.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.