The storytellers

The storytellers are people living with Parkinson's disease (PD) interviewed for A Tulip Unfolding. Some storytellers have caretakers while others are self-sufficient. These stories reveal a glimpse into their life outside of PD as well as a perspective of their diagnosis. Interviewing the storytellers was a vital part of the process, recording oral history that would be included in the soundscore for performance.  On the night of the concerts in Kansas City, the storytellers joined the dancers on stage so the audience could see the people whose stories were told. Other portions of the initial interview were also featured in another choreographic work, Say Yes! performed by the Modern American Dance Company.

Jerry and Dorothy, Ryanstrati, Tulip Unfolding, Concert, Performance, Parkinson's Disease, Kansas City, missouri, KC, MO, A Tulip Unfolding

Jerry and Dorothy

The interview took place on the front porch outside their home. Jerry loves to wear the bearclaw necklace he purchased when they were out-of-town square dancing. He proudly served in the Air Force. He loves his wife, Dorothy, who is also his caretaker. She enjoys making square dance clothes and is a good cook.

Jayne and Jan, Parkinson's disease, Kansas City, KC, Missouri, MO, performance, concert, story, oral history, dance, modern dance,  A Tulip Unfolding, Ryanstrati

Jayne and Jan

The interview took place on in the living room of their home.  Jan worked as the Vice President of Developoment and Marketing for the Hallmark Hall of Fame Television for Movies. Jayne and Jan met at church. They were married after Jan was diagnosed, unlike the other participants, she knew what impact his illness would have on their relationship. She says, "We enjoy going on walks together."

mary, concert, Performance,Ryanstrati, A Tulip Unfolding,  Parkinson's Disease, performance, Kansas City, missouri, KC, MO, A Tulip Unfolding


The interview took place in her livingroom next to her piano.  She can still play the right hand, but cannot control the timing on the left hand.  She was a librarian. Mary likes dark chocolate- anything made with chocolate.   Her church family is extremely important to her. Mary enjoys going to concerts and out to dinner with friends. She takes weekly dance and exercise classes.

concert, Performance, A Tulip Unfolding, Ryanstrati,Parkinson's Disease, performance, Kansas City, missouri, KC, MO, A Tulip Unfolding, Jan, Jan(ice)


The interview took place in a retirement care facility where she lived. When she was younger, she loved playing sports was very competative. Eating yummy finger food on Friday nights with her son was one of her favorite things to do. Jan(ice) wore pantsuits and was a "lady."  She had a dry sense of humor, which made people laugh. She said, "I take takes dance classs "because it's fun." Jan(ice) passed away in 2016. Her story lives on in this dance.

concert, Drew, Classmen, Ryanstrati, A Tulip Unfolding, Performance, Parkinson's Disease, performance, Kansas City, missouri, KC, MO, A Tulip Unfolding


The interview took place in the living room of his home where he lives with his wife. He was a pioneer in ISDN tool for voiceovers. Drew loves music, and was a member of The Classmen, which had a Billboard hit record called Julie.  At the interview, he sat down at the piano and sang.  He calls his wife his angel. They enjoy going for walks and spending time with their treasured family and friends.