May 13, 2003 Feature

After Words Documentary on Aphasia Premieres in Boston

Imagine losing the ability to speak, or understand, or read, or write—to be held hostage within yourself, despite intact intellectual capacities.

Aphasia impairs these skills to varying degrees. Caused by injury to the brain from stroke, tumor, trauma, or neurological disease, aphasia is largely a mysterious disorder afflicting more than 1 million Americans. Yet it is often mistaken for deafness, hearing loss, mental retardation, or psychiatric illness.

After Words is a documentary film whose mission is to shed light on this disorder through the stories of members of the Aphasia Community Group of Boston (ACG), a support group for people affected by aphasia and related disorders. The film features group members at home, in the community, at work, and at group meetings. It also features celebrities whose lives have been touched by stroke and aphasia, such as Jan Curtis, Joseph Chaikin, Julie Harris, and Patricia Neal.

This project was developed by Jerome Kaplan, speech-language pathologist and founder of the ACG. The documentary was directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Vincent Straggas, who has directed numerous documentaries for the Public Broadcasting System and WGBH Boston.

After Words will have its world premiere on June 1 at 4 p.m. at the Wang Center for the Performing Arts in Boston. General admission is $25, premiere seating is $100, and sponsor seating (includes five tickets) is $1,000. To purchase tickets or inquire about sponsorships, call Elizabeth Lutynski at 617-573-2920. For media inquiries, call Michelle Apuzzio at 617-573-2902, or e-mail .


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