Elephant-in-the-Room Series

From Mar 07, 2019 to May 02, 2019

So much that needs healing in our world... why are we uncomfortable talking about it?  NHTP's Elephant-in-the-Room Series is back in 2019 with new topics for discussion on the first Thursday of the month.

Next Up:

April 4 - School Safety in the 21st Century
Portsmouth Police Department


NH State Council on the Arts
NH Charitable Foundation

Portsmouth Lodge of Elks #97


Upcoming Topics

May 2 - Suicide & Self-Harm
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Previous Programs

March 7 - The Opioid Crisis Effect on Families

COLLABORATING PARTNER: Safe Harbor Recovery Center

New Hampshire Theatre Project’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series continues with the topic of the Opioid Crisis Effect on Families, featuring a reading of A Wider Circle by Mary-Ellen Hedrick.  A playwright and civics teacher from New Hampshire, Mary-Ellen’s previous work, Throw Away People (featured at NHTP’s 2017 Intelligent Theatre Festival), focused on the devastating consequences of heroin addiction for both individuals and the community. As an advocate for the recovery community, she felt compelled to address the topic of addiction as a family disease. With New Hampshire leading the nation in opioid related deaths, this issue is having significant consequences in all of our communities. A Wider Circle had such a powerful response in last year's Elephant-in-the-Room Series, NHTP has brought it back in 2019 and will tour this program to Concord, Rochester, Gorham and Brentwood NH as well as the Portsmouth presentation.
New Hampshire Theatre Project is partnering with their Portsmouth West End neighbor, Safe Harbor Recovery Center, on this Elephant-in-the-Room presentation.  A program of Granite Pathways, Safe Harbor Recovery Center is committed to assisting individuals and families impacted by Substance Use Disorder both professionally and personally. 
Following the playreading of A Wider Circle, facilitator Timothy Barretto will host a discussion with the audience and a panel of community members including Karen T. Van Gundy, UNH professor of sociology whose publishing credits include Substance Use and Misuse and Marijuana: Examining the Facts.  The panel will also include a representative from Safe Harbor Recovery Center and Keith Sabella, a substance use clinician at Seacoast Mental Health Center.
Admission to the reading and discussion is free, but donations will be cheerfully accepted to benefit Safe Harbor Recovery Center.


February 7 - Eating Disorders & Body Image

COLLABORATING PARTNER: Reflections Eating Disorders Treatment Center

New Hampshire Theatre Project's provocative Elephant-in-the-Room Series opens its second season with the topic of Eating Disorders & Body Image, featuring a reading of Linda Daugherty's play Eat: It's Not About Food by seacoast actors and teens. The script dramatizes the dangerous and confusing world of eating disorders in women and men, girls and boys, exploring causes, warning signs, and the influences of both society and the media on this too often tragic issue.

Following the reading of Eat: It’s Not About Food, facilitator Timothy Barretto will host a discussion with the audience and a panel of community members working in the field of eating disorders.  Dr. Mardie Burckes-Miller is a professor in the Plymouth State University Department of Heath & Human Enrichment, and Director of the Eating Disorders Institute which has sponsored a statewide biannual conference since 2003.  Monika Ostroff is the Manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services at Parkland Medical Center in Derry NH, and directs Reflections Eating Disorders Treatment Center.  She is co-author of Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery and a contributing author to Self-Harm Behavior and Eating Disorders.  Jessie Felber is a 23-year-old graduate student, recovered from Anorexia Nervosa, who currently works as a social worker in the child protection and welfare field.

Admission to the reading and discussion is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted to benefit the Multi-Services Eating Disorders Association in Newton MA.  Founded in 1994, MEDA is the foremost eating disorders nonprofit in New England, touching thousands of lives each year. 
Now in its second year, NHTP’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series presents playreadings and community conversations about subjects that we as a society often have difficulty discussing.  Additional topics for 2019 include The Opioid Crisis & Families (March 7), School Safety in the 21st Century (April 4), and Suicide & Self-Harm (May 2).  Each event is moderated by Timothy Barretto, known for his UNH and Great Bay Community College 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.  The presentation on the Opioid Crisis & Families, featuring Mary-Ellen Hedrick’s moving script A Wider Circle, will tour to Concord, Rochester, Exeter and Gorham NH as well as the Portsmouth presentation.


NHTP's Elephant-in-the-Room Series 2017-18


Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7:00 pm
Topic: Human Trafficking & Sexual Abuse
Reading: Body & Sold by Deborah Fortson
Collaborating Partner:

Thursday, February 8, 2018, 7:00 pm
Topic: Mental Illness
Reading: Snap! by Regi Carpenter
Collaborating Partner:

Event Sponsor:

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:00 pm
Topic: The Opioid Crisis Effect on Families
Reading: A Wider Circle by Mary Ellen Hedrick
Collaborating Partner:

Event Sponsor:


Thursday, May 3, 2018, 7:00 pm
Topic: Death & Dying
Reading: Constellations by Nick Payne
Collaborating Partner and Sponsor:

West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington Street, Portsmouth
All proceeds to benefit Hospice Help Foundation, Portsmouth NH




February 7 - Panel Discussion

February 7 - Reading

February 7 - Reading

February 7 - Reading

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