EXPERIMENTAL theater choreographer
sarah stites


Visual artist Katie Ford and experimental theater choreographer Sarah Stites come together to create "What Doesn't Kill You," an interactive dance installation that explores the intimacy and distance created by physical illness.  Seated inside the 625-square-foot, interactive installation,  the audience will be both the examiners and the examined as the dancers confront the social, emotional, and spatial implications of what it means to be unwell. 

WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU takes place in very close quarters. You will be touched, you will be in the dark, and you might be breathed on.  This is all part of the immersive experience that we hope you find compelling.


Glenna Clark   +   Cecilia Ebitz   +   Grace Frankenberg
Jeana Hickling   +   Amy Palmer   +   Joanna Emily Reed   +   Riva Strauss

Produced by Audrey Frischman. See Audrey's other projects here.


Donations to WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU go directly toward the costs of its creation.  Your dollars buy bungee cords, body paint, rehearsal space, and our affection.

about the show

WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU is an interdisciplinary collaboration between visual artist Katie Ford and choreographer Sarah Stites. Through the creation of a large-scale, interactive installation and responsive dance pieces, Ford and Stites will explore the intimacy and distance created by physical illness. Seated inside the installation and among the dancers, the audience will be both the examiners and the examined, confronting the social, emotional, and spatial implications of what it means to be unwell.

Composed of three movements, the performance will range in tone from humorous to profoundly vulnerable. The choreography will be fundamentally linked with the installation as it evolves around the dancers and the audience. The performers themselves will generate the soundtrack, using rhythmic breath and the percussive elements of their bodies and the installation surfaces to create a rich soundscape.

The tent-like installation will respond to the dancers movement to create changes in the feel and dimensions of the interior space - at some points making it open and light, at others, uncomfortably close. Made from layers of fabric, plastic sheeting, paint, and found textiles, the surfaces will play with translucency and over-accumulation. The combination and treat of these materials will waver between domestic familiarity and the cold strangeness of medical surfaces.