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Samaritan Hosts Virtual Theater of War Performance



Production Spotlights Challenges Faced by Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses

Mount Laurel, NJ – 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.

Dawn Fort, CHHA, LMT, Samaritan, will perform as part of the “Greek Chorus”

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.