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James Michelin Distinguished Visitors Program

Tuesday, May 3, 2022
7:00pm to 9:00pm
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Baxter Lecture Hall
"UnRavelled"
Jake Broder, Playwright, Actor, Composer,

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The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience, and the T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience are delighted to present UnRavelled from award-winning playwright Jake Broder.

Commissioned by the Global Brain Health Institute, the play is based on the true story of scientist Dr. Anne Adams, who develops uncharacteristic and eventually obsessive artistic talents after the onset of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Her marriage, career, and mysterious conversations with the deceased musician Maurice Ravel are woven into this funny, compelling, and human story that examines the nature of art and expression, science and love. UnRavelled explores the neuroscience of FTD, its clinical presentations such as obsessiveness and disinhibition, and the effects of the disease on the relationship between Anne and her caregiver husband.

UnRavelled premiered online in 2021 (unravelledplay.com) to critical acclaim. According to ArtsBeatLA, the play is "easily one of the best and most thought-provoking plays of the past year." This staged reading will be the first time the actors appear together in the same room.

Related event: Playwright Jake Broder will discuss UnRavelled with Colin Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics and Director of the T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience, on May 5 at 7pm in the Dabney Lounge.

Jake Broder (UnRavelled Playwrigt/Producer)
Ovation and LA Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) award-winning playwright/actor/composer, Broder trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. In addition to UnRavelled, his plays include Our American Hamlet (premiered Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), which received a nomination as Best New Play from the Independent Reviewers of New England. Broder co-wrote and originated ‘LOUIS' in Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara (Geffen Playhouse), winning three Ovation Awards, LADCC, Garland and LA Weekly awards for Best Actor and Best Production. His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley originated Off-West End (Soho Theatre) and played Off Broadway (59e59). Miravel (Los Angeles) won the LADCC for best score. He founded the Maine Summer Dramatic Institute. Acting: Complete Works of Shakespeare (West End ), Amadeus (West End/Broadway), The Morning Show (Apple TV+), Silicon Valley (HBO). Currently shooting The Patient (FX). jakebroder.com

Nike Doukas ( UnRavelled Director/Producer )
Nike Doukas most recently directed All's Well That Ends Well at A Noise Within and will direct the upcoming The Outgoing Tide at North Coast Rep. Pre-pandemic productions include: the world premiere of Steven Leigh Morris's Red Ink at Playwright's Arena in Los Angeles, King Lear at the Harold Clurman Laboratory Theatre, and Harold Pinter's The Hothouse, at the Antaeus Company (nominated for 10 Ovation Awards and 4 Drama Critic Circle Awards). As an actor, she has appeared at South Coast Repertory, the Geva Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Mark Taper Forum, the Old Globe, the American Conservatory Theatre (MFA in Acting), the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, ACT (Seattle), the LA Shakespeare Festival, the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz, among others, and numerous television shows, including a recurring role on Desperate Housewives. She is a 2011 recipient of the Lunt/Fontanne Fellowship, awarded to regional theater actors.

UnRavelled features the following cast:

  • Lucy Davenport
  • Conor Duffy
  • Melissa Greenspan
  • Michael Lanahan
  • Leo Marks
  • Rob Nagle

The playbill for the online production, with cast bios and production notes, is available here.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Lu by phone at 626-395-1724 or by email at [email protected].