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Shadow puppet of eagle and performer

Above the Water

“At what point does loss cause loneliness so vast that you drown in an ocean of despair?

When you are flooded with feelings you can no longer bear, is it easier to simply numb the pain? ”

Above the Water is a poetic physical theatre performance inspired by true stories of loss. This piece is a deep dive into the complex emotional landscape of grief, explores the depths of love and loss, and seeks out what it takes to stay afloat. Above the Water invites the community to share their stories about loss through poetry, which will be used as inspiration for the show. The show incorporates movement and puppetry to express the 5 stages of grief, allowing the audience and performers to walk through the shifting complexities of grief together. After each performance, Above the Water offers an optional movement de-briefing workshop, led by a licensed clinical counselor – Susan Imus, which allows the audience to process their emotion that occur during the show. Above the Water is not limited to a theatrical experience, but serves as a vehicle to decrease stigmas against, and increase the universality of the need to grieve, in hopes to increase compassion and empathy for one another.



"It’s poetic, haunting, beautiful and difficult. ...Seeing this audience open up renewed my faith in humankind for one more day, and for that I am grateful."


Created by Chih-Jou Cheng 

Collaborating with

Choreographer/Performer – Chih-Jou Cheng

Puppetry Designer/Puppeteer – Caitlin McLeod

Composer –  Macy Camille

Lighting Designer –  Daphne Agosin

Poets –  Daisy Salto, Henri Sudy, TJ Jacobs

Workshop Devisor – Tiffani Lawrence


Lead Voice-Over Artist –  Henri Sudy

Voice-Over Artist

Rachel Livingston, Gabriel Fries, Kat Kaplan, Lindsey Ball,

Richard Schiraldi, Jaime Gutfeldt, Anna Roemer, Alexa Erbach, & Henry Walker

Tech Director/SM – Richie Schiraldi

Post-show Workshop Leader –  Susan D. Imus

Marketing Director –  Gabrielle Confer

Social Media Marketing –  Myra Kalaw

Graphic Designer – Alua Amangeldikyzy

Videographers -- Blake Huang & Maximilian Vanderwerf

Photography --  Max Li & Tong-Qian Li

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