‘TitBits’ performance, held at Newhouse Nov. 9 and 10, will feature the stories behind breast cancer

October 24, 2019

The stories behind breast cancer—patient, survivor, caregiver, medical practitioner and advocate—are the center of the documentary theater production “TitBits: Breast Cancer Stories,” which will debut next month at the Newhouse School.

Conceived, produced and directed by Tula Goenka, professor of television, radio and film, and written by alumna Nancy Keefe Rhodes G'89, G’06 with Kyle Bass, associate director of Syracuse Stage, “TitBits” is part of the Look Now Project and presented as part of the Humanities Center’s 2019-20 Syracuse Symposium: Silence. It features the stories of Colleen Anderson, Deirdre Bordies, Anthony Deboni, Barbara Genton, AnnMarie Giannino-Otis, Samuel Gruber, Sheila Lemke and Anju Varshney.

Tula Goenka
Tula Goenka Cindy Bell for Look Now

Goenka, a breast cancer survivor, launched “Look Now: Facing Breast Cancer” in 2010 with the goal of focusing on survivors using a series of clothed and nude portraits to juxtapose their public personas with their private struggles. The project was relaunched in 2016 when Goenka received the rotating Newhouse Endowed Chair award. In 2018, a multimedia exhibition at Point of Contact Gallery showcased portraits of 25 project participants by photographer Cindy Bell. Those portraits will be displayed at Newhouse to coincide with the performance.

“Cancer doesn’t happen to an individual. It affects the family, the community and also those responsible for the medical care,” says Goenka.

“Believe it or not, ‘tits’ is one of the seven words not allowed on broadcast television. My aim is to reclaim the word by showcasing the different stories of our eight participants. I want to thank them for their courage in sharing their innermost thoughts and experiences with us with honesty, warmth and humor. I hope it is a deeply healing process for everyone in the auditorium.”

Performances, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3 on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and Light Work. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available. For more information, or if you require additional accommodations, contact Kristen Northrop at (315) 443-7358 or kmnorthr@syr.edu.