Open to Public
Women of Trachis: New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association
Please RSVP through the link provided. The event Zoom link will be distributed via email, and available to registered attendees starting 2 days prior to the event.
Wed, Jul 27.2022
Theater of War Productions will present scenes from Sophocles’ Women of Trachis on Zoom, featuring professional actors and a chorus of hospice and palliative care nurses and home health aids, to help frame a powerful conversation about the challenges and opportunities of witnessing suffering and death and of caring for patients at the end of their lives.
This special event, hosted by the Northern New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association and Samaritan Life Enhancing Care— is the fifth installment of The Nurse Antigone series, which presents dramatic readings from ancient Greek plays as a catalyst for guided discussions about the past, present, and future of nursing. Using Sophocles’ ancient play about the death of the great hero Heracles to create a vocabulary for talking about death and dying, the project aims to generate compassion, awareness, connection, and much-needed healing, while celebrating and advocating for palliative care and hospice nurses at this critical time.
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 she discovers that he has fallen in love with a younger woman. In an attempt to win back her husband’s affection, she mistakes a lethal toxin, which was given to her by a dying centaur years ago, for a love potion. Deineira sends Heracles a robe dipped in the liquid. When Heracles puts on the robe it immediately eats through his skin, muscle tissue, down through his bones to the marrow. Heracles falls to the ground, clutching his sides, crying out in pain, calling for his teenage son, Hyllus, to come to his aid and to help him put an end to the seemingly endless waves of pain.
Featuring performances by Elizabeth Marvel (Homeland), David Denman (The Office), Craig Manbauman (Nurse, Poet, US Air Force Veteran), Charlaine Lasse (BSN, RN, RNC-NIC, Vascular Access Team, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center), Angie Meraviglia (BSN, RN, Critical Care Nurse), Dawn Fort (CHHA, LMT, Certified Home Health Aid, Licensed Massage Therapist), Sharon A. Campbell (RN, MSHS, CSN, CCDS, Oncology Nurse Navigator).
Supported by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
Support for our digital programming is provided, in part, by the Mellon Foundation.
NNJ HPNA would like to thank their sponsors: Dr. Jessica Zitter Fund, Kemenczy Law, Norris McLaughlin P.A., Samaritan Life-Enhancing Care.
The Women of Trachis will take place on Zoom Webinar and can be accessed on personal devices. The event Zoom link will be distributed via email and available to registered attendees starting 2 days prior to the event.
This event will be captioned in English.
All of Theater of War Productions' events follow the same format:
- The performers will read the text.
- Community panelists will kick off the discussion with their gut responses to what resonated with them across time
- We will open the discussion to the audience, facilitated by Bryan Doerries. During the discussion, please raise your hand using the button at the bottom center of the screen. If called upon, please accept the invitation to be promoted to speak and you will be visible and heard by the entire audience for the duration of your comments. If you would prefer not to be seen, please disable your video.
About the play
Women of Trachis by Sophocles
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 she discovers that he has fallen in love with a younger woman. In an attempt to win back her husband’s affection mistakes a lethal toxin, which was given to her by a dying centaur years ago for a love potion. Deineira sends him a robe dipped in the liquid. When Heracles puts on the robe it immediately eats through his skin, muscle tissue, down through his bones to the marrow. Heracles falls to the ground, clutching his sides, crying out in pain, calling for his teenage son, Hyllus, to come to his aid and to help him put an end to the seemingly endless waves of pain.
Domestic ViolencePatient and Impatient Griselda
Theater of War Productions and Margaret Atwood return to the Toronto International Festival of Authors with an exciting new collaboration exploring power and control, domestic violence, and family dynamics by way of two versions of the same story, one written by Giovanni Boccaccio in 1348 during the bubonic plague and the other by Atwood in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Bocaccio’s version, a woman named Griselda remains in an abusive and controlling relationship, showing great patience and forbearance in the face of her husband’s sadism and cruelty. In Atwood’s version, Griselda takes matters in her own hands and, with the help of her sister, turns the tables on her husband.
This free, public event featured a live, dramatic reading of the “Patient Griselda” story from Boccaccio's Decameron by Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Fleishman is in Trouble), Maev Beaty (Beau is Afraid, Mouthpiece), and Araya Mengesha (Tiny Pretty Things, Nobody). Then, in response, Margaret Atwood performed “Impatient Grisleda,” a story that is narrated to a group of humans in quarantine by an alien that looks like an octopus. The readings of both texts was followed by immediate responses by community panelists and culminated in a guided audience discussion, facilitated by Bryan Doerries (Artistic Director, Theater of War Productions).
Co-presented by Theater of War Productions and Toronto International Festival of Authors.
This hybrid presentation took place in person at the Toronto Harbourfront Centre Theatre and on Zoom Webinar on September 30, 2023.
Racism & Social JusticeAntigone in Savannah
Dramatic readings of Sophocles’ Antigone with live music to frame powerful dialogue about honoring the dead and healing historical wounds.
Caregiving & DeathEnd of Life
End of Life presents readings of ancient Greek plays in public settings and medical communities as a catalyst for facilitated discussions about challenges faced by patients, families, and health professionals today around end of life care. This unique, participatory event is intended to promote powerful, open discussion among diverse communities - public and professional - fostering compassion, cooperation, and understanding about living with chronic suffering and the mortality we all share.