What place do we afford people who deviate from the norms of our society?
What does it mean to care for each other in changing times?
Winter 2018. Travelling in the USA, the theatre maker Tom Struyf finds himself by chance in a village on the Canadian border. Willard is on the shore of a huge lake, overshadowed by the ruins of a former psychiatric institution. Fascinated by the landscape, the stories of people who live there and a tiny church community, Tom discovers a link to the psychiatric hospital in Geel, back in Belgium. A coincidental encounter with an unusual place results in an engaging trip in which Tom’s personal life becomes intimately interwoven with Willard.
Finding Willard is a travel story about building and decay, care and community. The audience is seated in three rows around a model of Willard, giving them the sense that they are intimately connected to the place, as if they were walking around in it themselves.
Finding Willard is a multimedia, film-like production along the lines of previous productions such as Vergeetstuk and De Tatiana Aarons Experience, in which Tom links his fascination for a place and certain people to a personal experience, thus constructing a new story.