Using Drama to Communicate Difficult Subjects

Recently on LinkedIn I wrote, “Using drama to communicate difficult subjects is an emotional yet non-threatening approach to understanding and acceptance.” This isn’t something I just think…it’s what I know. I have experienced it first hand.

For fifteen years I have been taking the play, “Waltzing the Reaper” to audiences across the country. Over and over I hear remarks about how the play affected an audience member. I am pleased to hear that someone feels less afraid to die due to the play. Or that someone feels they must begin to think about their own death and to make plans for their future. Or that they wish to express how the play impressed them and generated ideas they had ignored. Or that they want to remember the words of the character, Vera, when they are dealing with their patients.

There is no better way to the brain than through our emotions. People can talk and talk at us but we can never absorb all that they are saying. But, create a play that touches ones emotions and a message is received so strongly that an action will occur in the receiver. This includes audiences across the board, whether medical doctors, hospice experts, students, or lay persons.

Susan Bauer-Wu, President, Society for Integrative Oncology states, Using performance arts, “Walzing the Reaper” is an inviting and nonthreatening way for clinicians, students and the public alike to explore complex, very real, and emotionally difficult issues related to end of life. It brings attention to the human-side of living with illness and facing death.