Margaret Atwood and Others Confront Sorrow in ‘Nurse Antigone’

It wasn’t a hard sell. Replied to Doerries via email. “You want me to play an old blind transgender prophet? It’s a dream come true!” He remembered what he had written.

“We have a great admiration for nurses and you just say yes to them,” Atwood later said in a call from her home in Toronto. “It’s like giving blood – you don’t say, ‘Well, on the one hand… and on the other hand’.”

Both professional and non-professional actors will not be wearing costumes (Doerries’ attempt to keep things unpolished and raw) – with the exception of Atwood, who is the only one who needs an indication that his character is blind. Days before the show, he was considering a hooded cloak that covered most of his face, and possibly a pair of skeleton gloves.

will be reading performed virtually It is the first of a one-year initiative of 12 performances in collaboration with different nursing organizations around the country, nearly two years after the World Health Organization. Declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This is a crisis that has left frontline healthcare workers so exhausted and traumatized that leave their jobs in flocks. and one current research thousands of nurses by the American Society of Critical Care Nurses He found that 66 percent were considering leaving their jobs because of their experiences during the pandemic.

“Nurses tell us how in the beginning everyone applauded and cheered and called us heroes,” said Cynda Rushton, a clinical ethics leader who teaches at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute for Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and helps Doerries recruit nurses. for the game. “But as time goes on and you think about the social unrest, the political division, the anger that has developed in response to the pandemic, nurses – as those closest to the patient – ​​have been the recipients of that anger or that violence and frustration.”

Theater of War Productions was founded in 2008 to bring community-based performances of Greek tragedies to military bases, hospitals and other venues, helping active service members and veterans, as well as their spouses and other military neighbor workers, to process and share the trauma of war. . In the 14 years since its founding, the group has expanded its mission beyond military circles to other communities in crisis: the homeless, incarcerated and survivors of addiction, abuse, natural disaster or racial violence.

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