A play based on the true story of a clown who gets dementia will premiere in Portland, Oregon, on May 30, 2019, with a reception and special showing that benefits the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
Going Down in Flames is based on the true story of legendary San Francisco clown Queenie Moon. The play by Danny Mankin and directed by Angela Van Epps runs May 31 through June 9, 2019, at Headwaters Theatre (55 NE Farragut St. #9, Portland, OR 97211).
A special showing on Thursday, May 30, 2019, will benefit the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. The evening includes a pre-show reception with wine, beer, and pizza from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Alberta Abbey (126 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211). Tickets to the reception are $50 and include admission to Going Down in Flames later that night. Purchase tickets and get more information here.
Joan Schirle, actor, playwright, director, teacher, and the founding artistic director of Dell’Arte International, will portray Joan Mankin and her legendary clown character, Queenie Moon. Through clown and physical comedy, Going Down in Flames is said to be both funny and tragic as the show travels with Joan/Queenie Moon in and out of the circus ring and through her version of reality.
Joan Mankin asked her brother in 2010. “What if we write a play about a clown who gets dementia?” A few years later, they would find out the hard way.
“A play about my sister, Joan Mankin, who while creating a play about a clown with Dementia actually gets Dementia — a true story,” wrote author and brother Danny Mankin in his Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for the production.
In June 2014, Joan Mankin was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease, which manifested itself both as Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) in her brain and as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in her body. She died September 26, 2015, in San Francisco.