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SPARC Festival Keynote Speaker

Dr. William Doan

Drifting: A Brother's Journey Into His Sister's Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr. William Doan

Wednesday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. in Knott Auditorium

When your sister says, “I saw what you used to do in the barn,” you listen. When she says it from deep inside a coma, you really listen. Drifting, and this SPARC presentation, by using video and graphic narrative material, takes us inside the author’s personal and creative journey through traumatic brain injury and sibling loss. Dr. Doan brings together issues of science, faith, and the medical experiences of a two-year journey from his sister’s accident to her death.


Dr. William Doan is a writer, educator, and solo performer. He is co-author of The Story of Naomi/The Book of Ruth: Gender to Politics, Prophets, Performance and Power, and Twice Used Songs: Performance Criticism of the Songs of Ancient Israel. Two of his short plays, Southwest Ohio Society of Badasses, and Villainy, premiered at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. His solo performances include Why I’m Not a Redneck, Requiem For My Boyhood, and Confessions of a Class Straddler. He is a professor of Theatre at Penn State University. Drifting, his most recent play, received its premiere workshop production at Dixon Place Theatre in New York City. Doan is currently adapting the play into a graphic novel for the Graphic Medicine series at Penn State Press.


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