Performance, education, and collaborative research for health, justice, and community-building.

Flipping Cancer

Flipping Cancer is a performance installation in story, dance/movement, + visual landscapes created from interviews with people who face advanced cancers as patients, caregivers, + healthcare providers.

Film Trailer (3:22), Overview + FAQs

  • Based on multi-year research partnerships in cancer care settings, artist-scholar Marie Garlock adapts and performs Flipping Cancer as a dynamic keynote production, specific to each new site

  • Funded groups of 4-6 local cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers participate in 2 open rehearsals; Marie directs as they discern + ultimately share their vital insights + stories onstage

  • Stand-alone 1 hour workshops in “Healthcare Storytelling + Stress Relief” are offered to clinical education entities in a “mini residency”, with 1 for healthcare providers, 1 for patients and family caregivers

photos by Andrew Synowiez, Stacy Grove, Stacey L. Kirby


  • Patients, family caregivers, healthcare providers at each site of production / keynote performance

  • Rev. Stacy Grove, sound healing practices and interfaith chaplain who co-hosts “Healthcare Storytelling” workshops and/or rehearsals, provides live music as an exemplary form of palliative care

  • Stacey L. Kirby, production assistant and “medical intake officer” co-hosting audience feedback and dialogue with interactive visual/performance installation onsite

  • Alex Maness and Andrew Synowiez, technical directors for projection, light, sound, film onsite

Previous Performances

10th Coping with Cancer Symposium Performance + Patient, Caregiver Participation in “Cancer Pain Management During the Opioid Crisis” (MAHEC, UNC Cancer Network, ERUUF Residency)

Levine Cancer Institute Keynote + Healthcare Workshops + Open Call (Treating Health Inequities with New Knowledge Residency) 

Clinical Pastoral Education Statewide Conference + Hospital Workshops (ACPE Certification Residency)

Intensive Integration Curriculum + Clinical Workshops (UNC-CH School of Medicine Residency)

HopKins Performance + Faculty Colloquy (LSU Residency)

Artist's Statement (Solo Takes On: 4 Festival, UNC Chapel Hill)

InterPlayce Performance (Oakland, California)

Economies of Dis/ease (Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery, FIU Residency)

Residencies + Performance Development

10th Annual Coping with Cancer Symposium, performance production with UNC Cancer Network for 125 oncology and supportive healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, palliative, integrative, and supportive care initiatives), Cancer Pain Management During the Opioid Epidemic” hosted by MAHEC and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (Oct 2018)

Feminine Spectrum: VAE Exhibit, commissioned visual art installation, with live performance excerpts on advanced cancer and breast cancer patients’ experiences, for audience of 30 educators, artists and members of public, curator Stacey L. Kirby (Apr-May 2018)

THINK: Treating Health Inequities with New Knowledge Academy, performance production for audience of 175 oncology healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers + more) for Charlotte AHEC; artist-scholar residency with LCI Health Disparities + Outreach, public patient, family caregiver + healthcare provider + staff workshops @ Levine Cancer Institute (Feb 2018)


Clinical Pastoral Education Statewide Summit, performance production for audience of 150 hospital chaplains and pastoral counselors completing/renewing certification from across NC); artist-scholar residency with InterPlay for Cancer Care + Chaplaincy Workshops @ UNC Hospitals (Jun-Jul, 2017) 


Intensive Integration for Clinical Application, performance production for audience of 200 third year medical students + attending interdisciplinary faculty, collaborators; artist-scholar residency with public, faculty + graduate health sciences workshops @ The School of Medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Dec 2016)


HopKins Black Box Performance Season, performance production for public + university audienceartist-scholar residency with faculty + graduate collaborations/workshops + Department Colloquy in Health Communication + Performance @ Louisiana State University Communication Studies (Feb 2016)


"Communication Ethics + Patient Centered Care for Advanced Illness," performance for 4th year medical residents + faculty with pilot Social Medicine curriculum @ UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine (Feb 2016)


Humanities in Healthcare Symposium "The Promise of Empathy" with performance plenary presented @ University of Calgary Medical School (Nov 2015)


InterPlay Arts + Social Change symposium, developmental performance @ InterPlayce Oakland with Breast Cancer Action (July 2014)


Solo Takes On: 4, Festival of New Solo Works, developmental performance + tech residency @ Swain Studio 6, support from UNC Cultural + Performance Studies, Interdisciplinary Health Communication, Duke Theater + Visual Studies (Jan-Feb 2014)


Healing Movements, Economies of Disease developmental performance residency @ North Park University, Chicago, support from Communication Arts, Conflict Transformation + Dialogue Program, Schools of Nursing, Divinity, Biology,  Exercise Science, Psychology (May 2013)


"Economies of Dis/ease" excerpts presented @ Performance Studies International PSi18, Leeds University, UK (Jun 2012), and "Embodying Toxicity" excerpts for Performing Cancer Communication @ National Communication Association, Washington, DC (Nov 2013)


Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery Developmental Residency, with Geraldine Ondrizek's Cellular Installation @ Florida International University Art + Art History (Nov 2012)

Flipping Cancer explores health equity as a joint pursuit of healthcare, environmental, racial, gender, and socioeconomic justice—made real when wisdoms of persons facing stage IV illness become our guide for everyday and systemic change.