© 2019 by Diana Wyenn

1/16
Photos by Mae Koo & Cooper Bates

BLOOD/SUGAR

created and performed by Diana Wyenn

written by Diana Wyenn and Guy Zimmerman

After more than a decade of living with Type 1 Diabetes, I have turned all my skills as a storyteller toward creating a theatrical response that dispels the lies, mystery, and shame surrounding diabetes in all its forms. 


Blood/Sugar, is an evening-length solo performance about diabetes that uses contemporary theater to explore the realities of this growing epidemic and challenge the binary of health and illness. A 20-minute lecture-performance is also available. 

Today, 1 in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes and if trends continue the CDC projects that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by the year 2050. The important word is "could" because together we can stop this epidemic. 

Contact me to book a performance for your community.

ABOUT

Historical perspectives and staggering statistics collide with personal narrative, live-feed video, Shakespearean texts, and original movement to give embodied expression to the complexities of living with a chronic illness. Creator Diana Wyenn, who has Type 1 diabetes, places her story and body at the center of the work, as both a carrier of the disease and a vehicle for theatrical transmission. 

 

Diagnosed in London at the age of 20, Wyenn’s first response was to resist immediate treatment in order to make it to the theater on time. Now, after more than fifteen years of grappling with diabetes, her relationship with her illness has progressed from denial to a powerful authority over her own well-being. Blood/Sugar weaves the personal with the existential, and the historical with the expressive, to illuminate the day-to-day choices that shape the lives of more than 422 million people worldwide.

 

Each performance is immediately followed by a conversation between Wyenn, the audience, and local diabetes educators and nutritionists. 

AUDIENCE TESTIMONIALS

“As someone who’s lived with, battled, come to peace with, battled, and finally accepted a life with type one diabetes, Diana Wyenn’s show was like a bomb going off in my heart and my head. It’s a wonderful and artistic look at a bewildering disease. Blood/Sugar was like many things diabetes: funny, complicated, frightening, sad, and ultimately… rewarding.” —Jim Turner, Actor and Diabetes Advocate​

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“Diana, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your show (and support) broke through my denial and defiance and is helping to save my life. In three months time, I have dropped my A1C from 9 to 6.1; tri/cholesterol from 447 to 170; lost 18.3 lbs lost; and BP is now normal (It was dangerously high). These stats were directly motivated by your show.” —Audience Member w/ Type 2

 

“Diana's show accomplishes what no billboard or pamphlet ever could. Every healthcare provider working in cardiovascular disease treatment or prevention—or anyone wanting to improve our collective health—should see this show to begin to understand what it's like to live with a chronic illness and grasp that there is hope for change through our food choices.” —Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD, Chief Nutrition Officer at Nutrinic

 

AUDIENCE TESTIMONIALS

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“A hurricane of a performance!” 

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“She's literally performing not only her own illness, but the disease itself, and it's breathtaking."

“I've been diabetic for over 23 years now, but I still struggle to express what it means or how it feels to loved ones and the rest of the community. Blood/Sugar is a statement to all of those living with diabetes that you are not alone and that this work of art can start a healing dialogue between you and everyone around you. I wish that everyone gets to experience this work at least once.” —Audience Member w/ Type 1

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“I just want to reiterate how much [Blood/Sugar] ‘spoke’ to me. I have had so much shame and fear about my disease, which started about eight years ago. I haven't even been calling it a disease until I saw this show!”

"A deep show with layers of insights, complexities, and contradictions. I've thought about it a lot and will continue to do so."​

“Diana's show accomplishes what no billboard or pamphlet ever could. Every healthcare provider working in cardiovascular disease treatment or prevention—or anyone wanting to improve our collective health—should see this show to begin to understand what it's like to live with a chronic illness and grasp that there is hope for change through our food choices.” —Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD, Chief Nutrition Officer at Nutrinic

“Thank you for an amazing performance. It has changed me! I see it all from a different perspective.   This morning already, my approach was different because of your life testimony. Thank you for having me. It was a great experience.” —Diabetes Educator

“As someone who’s lived with, battled, come to peace with, battled, and finally accepted a life with type one diabetes, Diana Wyenn’s show was like a bomb going off in my heart and my head. It’s a wonderful and artistic look at a bewildering disease. Blood/Sugar was like many things diabetes: funny, complicated, frightening, sad, and ultimately… rewarding.” —Jim Turner, Actor and Diabetes Advocate​

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“What I loved about [Blood/Sugar] was it perfectly expressed how I KNOW my patients feel but don’t always have the words to use to articulate it.” —Lauren Decker, Medtronic Diabetes Clinical Manager

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“Diana’s powerhouse educational memoir theater piece brings to light how this disease is deeply affecting millions of lives. Not only does she make the facts and data about diabetes digestible, her courage to tell her truth has now enabled me to ask questions about her disease that I was once uncomfortable to ask before. Everyone should seeBlood/Sugar.” —Jami Brandli, Humanitas Prize-winning playwright

​“Entertaining and educational, I laud Diana and the team for the amount of research they put into Blood/Sugar. It’s one of the best live performances that I have ever seen. Type 1 diabetes is not talked about enough. Blood/Sugar is a must-see!”

“A very inspiring performance, not to mention educational in the best possible way.” 




“As a type 2 diabetic, I received more info on diabetes from Diana Wyenn's Blood/Sugar than I have from any doctor I've seen in the 3 years since my diagnosis. I (finally) have more clarity now which is saying a lot because diabetes is truly confusing & overwhelming on many levels. It was healing for me to see that people of all sizes struggle with this illness.” —Audience Member w/ Type 2


“A smart, gripping show that truly leaves you thinking about what it is to have this particular chronic disease and about the very human struggle to cope/not cope/transcend/not transcend illness.” 



“It was so full of information, history, personal upset, and triumph mixed with great movement and Shakespeare. Oh, yeah!” 

“Blood/Sugar is a testament to the power of theatre to entertain, engage, educate, connect, and motivate an audience. Diana’s performance and presence capture you from the minute you walk into the theatre and leaves you with an empathetic understanding of what it’s like to walk through life with an invisible disability.”




“The show was awesome - not only did I learn a lot but found it tragic, funny, entertaining, infuriating, inspiring and empowering all at the same time - thank you for that gift.”


 

“Diana, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your show (and support) broke through my denial and defiance and is helping to save my life. In three months time, I have dropped my A1C from 9 to 6.1; tri/cholesterol from 447 to 170; lost 18.3 lbs lost; and BP is now normal (It was dangerously high). These stats were directly motivated by your show.” —Audience Member w/ Type 2

 

BRING BLOOD/SUGAR TO YOUR COMMUNITY!