Matthew Moore from The Parkinson’s Play: The Power of Theatre to Battle PD

An interview with Matthew Moore from The Parkinson’s Play: The Power of Theatre to Battle PD on November 13 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



I am a performance artist, educator, and the Founder of Lamp and Light Productions with a Master of Fine Arts in classical acting from the George Washington University. I have two decades of experience in acting, playwriting, directing, and helping others do the same on a collegiate and professional level. In 2019, I was diagnosed with early on-set Parkinson’s and have used the power of the arts ever since to fight back against the disease.



Can you tell me more about your organization?

Lamp and Light Productions exists to tell great stories well, especially those related to Parkinson’s disease. We offer a play about PD, which has toured the country, called ‘What I Didn’t Say: a Journey through Parkinson’s’ for the purposes of educating the public about PD and improving communication among medical professionals, PD patients, and care partners.

What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?

My passion is creating awareness and empathy through the arts– theatre and storytelling. Lectures touch the head, but the arts touch the heart, so the arts were my launching pad. I interviewed a dozen people and wrote a play because greater awareness and education is vital to the wellness of everyone involved in a PD journey. In addition, I publish a newsletter that provides PD-related information, interviews, and upcoming events in my area.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?

We don’t work with individuals in the traditional sense. Typically, people attend our play to learn more about PD and to experience its impact on patients and care partners in a unique and powerful way.

What type of training and how long are the programs?

The play itself is 45 minutes and is always followed by a town hall-type discussion, which is critical to the success of the event. In the discussion, PD patients and care partners are encouraged to ask questions and tell their stories, which leads to a sense of community. Resources are also emphasized, so that no one leaves the performance without a place to turn for their needs.

What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?

It can have a very powerful effect. We regularly hear that PD patients and care partners feel heard, seen, and less alone as they experience their thoughts and emotions expressed on stage. It provides a safe space to relate their own story to that in the play. Medical professionals say they understand better how a patient’s home life can influence their path toward wellness.



What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?

A goal for the future is to offer the play in more places and for more people, perhaps for students in medical training programs. We also want to provide more local resources for people attending the play. A third goal is to offer private coaching in theatre and speaking for PD patients to assist with voice development, facial expression, confidence, and cognition.

What events do you participate in?

The play is available for Parkinson’s gatherings, symposiums, conferences, fundraising events, training sessions for medical professionals, and more.
How does this also assist the caregivers?

The play emphasizes the point of view of the caregiver. Several monologues express the range of emotions and the challenges that come from caregiving. Caregiving is also discussed in every discussion after work.

How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?

People can email me at

They can also visit my website, which is:

They can contact me there and find out more about the performance.

How can others also become advocates for awareness?

People can recommend the play to PD groups and medical professionals. They can financially support the play, the newsletter, etc. And they can tell their stories in whatever format is available to them.

What was the tipping point that put the program in motion?

I wrote the play, in part, because I didn’t want Parkinson’s to end my career as a performing artist. I created my own work.

Then, my attention turned to awareness about the disease because I quickly discovered how little people know about the disease and how rarely the disease is depicted in media and the arts.

In your opinion what is the key to effective advocacy?

Passion and resourcefulness. Effective advocacy requires highly motivated individuals, but those individuals may not have the skills or strategies necessary for advocacy. But, if they are resourceful and teachable, they can obtain the skills they need to make ideas and dreams a reality.

How can we better fundraise to support a cure for Parkinson’s?

Fundraising is linked to great storytelling, in my opinion. There needs to be a major motion picture about Parkinson’s, similar to the documentary about Michael J Fox. Films, documentaries, plays, and the arts in general will raise awareness through storytelling and touch the hearts of those who will be motivated to help.

What other activities do you undertake to help improve and support your daily living Eg exercise and alternative remedies?

Personally, I use cryotherapy and red-light therapy. I exercise daily, typically with HIIT and try to take my medications on time. I play pickleball and basketball. I’ve tried hyperbaric chambers and neuro feedback with little success.

Why should people who don’t have Parkinson’s care about this?

A wave of Parkinson’s is coming. It is the fastest growing brain disorder in the world. People need to be educated about the environmental factors that can lead to PD and how to partner with friends and family that have it.


Have you had any family members or relatives affected by Parkinson’s disease?

I have Parkinson’s disease and was diagnosed in 2019. My father had Parkinsonian symptoms later in life. My entire family is affected by my diagnosis on some level.

If you had one song that would tell us more about you or represent your life which song would it be?

Eye of the Tiger

If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?

When you hit a barrier, find a way around it. Innovate and never, never, never give up.