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NHTP's Elephant-in-the-Room Event Focuses on Death and Dying

April 19, 2018

NHTPs ElephantintheRoom Event Focuses on Death and Dying

New Hampshire Theatre Project’s final Elephant-in-the-Room Series event focuses on Death & Dying

Featuring a reading of Constellations by Nick Payne

Thursday, May 3 at 7 pm

West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH


The final event in New Hampshire Theatre Project’s provocative Elephant-in-the-Room Series of playreadings and community discussion will focus on the topic of the Death & Dying, featuring a reading of Constellations by Nick Payne.  This brilliant new script, currently running on the NHTP MainStage, takes us on a journey through parallel universes and the multiple nuances of loving relationships, including how two people who care deeply about each other cope with enormous loss and end of life questions.

New Hampshire Theatre Project is partnering with The Edgewood Centre, sponsors for this Elephant-in-the-Room presentation.  Admission to the reading and discussion is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit to the Community Hospices of America Foundation. 
Following the playreading of Constellations, Timothy Barretto will host a discussion with the audience and a panel of community members and experts in the field of palliative care and hospice.  Dr. Sarah MacDuffie, DO is a Palliative Care Physician with Wentworth Health Partners, working closely with the hospitalist team at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Her passion is to help those suffering serious illness navigate the medical system and create a plan for care that improves quality of life and respects their values.  She is Board Certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine and has worked on the Seacoast for the last 20 years.  Patricia Coughlin is a Palliative Care Social Worker at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, and began her career as a mental health counselor in the Seacoast area treating adult survivors of childhood trauma.  She was introduced to End of Life work quite by accident 26 years ago and has never looked back, working both in hospice and, most recently in palliative care.  Jane Cummings is a nurse by training and has been a hospice volunteer for many years. Additionally, Jane has personal experience with both completing her own advance directives and also as being the caretaker and decision maker during her husband's end of life journey.  Maren Tirabassi is a United Church of Christ pastor in New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1980, the author of twenty books, a former poet laureate of Portsmouth, NH, and a facilitator for many New Hampshire Humanities programs. Her books include A Child Laughs – Prayers of Justice and Hope; Caring for Ourselves While Caring for our Elders; Transgendering Faith; and Gifts in Open HandsMore Resources for the Global Community.  She leads workshops, teaches writing in a wide range of settings and mentors new authors.

NHTP’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series presents playreadings and performances about subjects that we as a society often have difficulty discussing.  This season’s past topics have included Human Trafficking/Sexual Abuse, Mental Illness and The Opioid Crisis Effect on Families. Each event is moderated by Timothy Barretto, known for his UNH courses on Managing Conflict in the Community. Questions focus on attitudes about ethical issues involved in the subject over time and today, and our responsibility as a society to bring these issues out of the shadows and into the cultural mainstream. Audience members who wish to help bring these social issues out into the open will be provided with an Action Plan for positive action steps and ways to get involved.
NHTP’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series is possible through generous funding by NH Humanities and the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle.  Click here for more information, or email info@nhtheatreproject.org.

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