• By: Katie Hartai

LIGHT at the end of the tunnel

Eating disorders push perfectionists into dark worlds where all they want is to be light, and all they need is a ray of it.

Produced and performed by Lisa Jeans, Light is a theatrical duet between a live performer and audiovisual technology like video projections, live sound and original electronic music. It tells the story of an emergency room doctor named Helen Rose, who, despite her medical knowledge, struggles with anorexia.

Light is a personal piece for Jeans. She understands first-hand what it is like to be at war with an eating disorder. In fact, Jeans continues to feel its physiological implications today.

“Although my primary goal is to captivate and tell a story, I do want to translate my experience, to offer insight and spark awareness and conversation, because eating disorders run deeper than wanting to look like a model on the cover of a magazine,” she explains on the show’s fundraising webpage.

A role model to all individuals striving for “light”, Jeans is a respectful actor, writer and theatre creator. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft. Her initial performance training was in contemporary dance. Writing by Jeans has also appeared in the Globe and Mail and Fashion Magazine.

Light has been made possible by a core creative team of six: Lisa Jeans (writer and performer), Jason Sonier (sound), Pixie Cram (video), Elizabeth MacKinnon (tech integration/video mixing), Eleanor Crowder (dramaturgy) and Mary Davidson (stage management). There is also a cast of 10 actors who physically portray the supporting characters in projected video.

Jeans warns that some content within the performance may be triggering to those actively recovering from an eating disorder.

The show will be running from January 23-31 at the Arts Court Theatre in Ottawa. Tickets remain available and can be bought online for around $20.

Photo: Courtesy Andrew Alexander