Samaritan Hosts Virtual Theatre of War Performance
Samaritan, the not-for-profit healthcare provider offering hospice care, grief support, palliative medicine, and primary care at home, is “playing” host to a unique virtual theatrical performance. Theater of War Productions’ “The Nurse Antigone” series, which presents dramatic readings from ancient Greek plays on Zoom as a catalyst for guided discussions on the state of nursing, will utilize Samaritan’s headquarters and nursing staff for its next performance.
The virtual event begins with scenes from Sophocles’ “Women of Trachis,” performed on Zoom on July 27, 2022 from 6 to 8 p.m. Elizabeth Marvel (“The Dropout,” “Homeland,” “The District”) and David Denman (“The Office” and “Mare of Easttown”) will join a “Greek chorus” of hospice and palliative care nurses and home health aides, including Samaritan’s Dawn Fort, a Certified Home Health Aide and Licensed Massage Therapist, in performing the scenes, which frame the challenges of caring for patients at the end of their lives, and witnessing suffering and death.
After the scenes, a community panel of nurses from disciplines including oncology, critical care, palliative care and hospice, including Jennifer Simone, supervisor of The Samaritan Center at Voorhees, will respond to what they heard that spoke to their experiences. Finally, the panelists will open the Zoom event up to the larger virtual audience for a guided discussion.
Samaritan’s Mount Laurel headquarters will act as a “ground site” – a viewing room of nurses, home health aides, chaplains, social workers and more, will watch the scenes together and participate in the audience discussion.
“In this format, Theatre of War Productions provides a unique and thought-provoking way to foster dialogue on a sensitive topic,” said Mary Ann Boccolini, president and CEO of Samaritan. “Nurses are a population who have certainly continued to prove their strength, empathy and leadership time and again, especially throughout the pandemic. Their clinical expertise and boundless compassion are essential to patients we serve in hospice and palliative care, and we applaud Theater of War for presenting this important discussion.”
Sophocles’ “Women of Trachis” tells the story of Heracles – the strongest of all Greek heroes – who has been unintentionally poisoned by his wife Deineira after putting on a robe dipped in a lethal toxin. As the robe eats through his skin down to his bones, Heracles calls out in agony for his teenage son to come to his aid and put an end to the seemingly endless waves of pain.
“The themes reflected in this event – pain, death and dying – could not be more relevant to the work of these compassionate and hard-working nurses and healthcare professionals,” said Bryan Doerries, Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions. “I’m looking forward to a lively and crucial conversation about their important work.”
The Nurse Antigone series is co-presented by Theater of War Productions, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Resilient Nurses Initiative – Maryland, and is supported by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. The virtual event is free to attend, but registration is required at WomenofTrachisNJHPNA.eventbrite.com.
For more information and to register for the event, visit WomenOfTrachisNJHPNA.eventbrite.com.
Samaritan is a not-for-profit, independent organization locally founded in Moorestown, New Jersey in 1980 as one of the first hospices in the country. Today Samaritan is the regional leader for hospice care, palliative (comfort) medicine, at-home primary care, grief support and counseling, advanced illness care, education and advocacy. Samaritan serves nearly 11,000 patients and thousands more of their family members in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties who are coping with the stresses of aging, serious illness or grief in the comfort of home. Samaritan also provides care for patients in nursing facilities, assisted living communities and its two dedicated inpatient hospice centers in Mount Holly and Voorhees. A thrift shop in Westmont supports Samaritan services and programs. Samaritan is accredited by The Joint Commission; a member of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation; and is a four-star hospice in the national We Honor Veterans program. For more information, visit www.SamaritanNJ.org.
About Theater of War Productions:
Theater of War Productions works with leading film, theater, and television actors to present dramatic readings of seminal texts—from classical Greek tragedies to sermons, books, speeches, and modern works of poetry— to provide a framework for engaging communities in powerful discussions about critical subjects, such as the visible and invisible wounds of war, political violence, genocide, the challenges faced by refugees and immigrants, homelessness, the pandemic, and the climate crisis. The company uses a combination of theater and guided dialogue to help diverse communities address pressing public health and social issues, helping break down stigmas and foster empathy, compassion, and a deeper understanding of complex issues. www.theaterofwar.com