Trilogy of Plays Focusing on the End-of-Life Cycle

Now Available for use by hospices and other organizations through Hospice Foundation of America

Vesta                                                  Dusk                                        Holding On ~ Letting Go
by Bryan Harnetiaux

Donate to HFAThese works provide a rich opportunity for self-examination and community dialogue on fundamental questions surrounding death and dying. Told with humor and a keen understanding of the human condition, the plays are compelling dramas about families struggling to deal honestly with the everyday problems and mysteries of mortality. Each play can be used individually or in any combination by hospices, churches, medical schools, community groups and other organizations as an educational tool and as a vehicle for creating dialogue about end-of-life issues.

Vesta offers a warm and often funny exploration of a family's struggle with a variety of end-of-life issues as they come to terms with the illness and death Vesta Pierson, their matriarch. Vesta is a 90-minute, seven-character play about the last five years of the title character's life. 

Dusk, a five-character, 70-minute drama, deepens the conversation about end of life. Gil Everette has had a heart attack and is now in congestive heart failure. On the eve of his 65th birthday, Gil and his adult children, with a medical social worker on hand, explore Gil's wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment options.

Holding On ~ Letting Go is an often humorous, yet heartrending look at a family forced to come to terms with the end of a life, and saying goodbye. Fifty-one-year-old Bobby Alexander and his family confront Bobby's end-stage liver failure and the murky boundary line between living fully and accepting death. This intimate six-character, 70-minute drama explores the role of hospice care in the wilderness of a terminal illness and impending death.

The plays can be used individually as either fully- staged productions or dramatic readings. Hospices, churches, divinity schools, medical schools and other organizations may want to partner with theatres and fine arts departments in their communities to produce the plays.  Reading of the plays also makes a great event at a regional or national conference. Audience talk-back sessions after the performance provide additional opportunities for discussing advance care planning, hospice, and caregiving issues.

One-year licensing agreements are available through Hospice Foundation of America.  Your organization can select the licensing agreement that works best.  A single performance, one-year license for one play is available for a low fee of $100. Licensing the trilogy for a single performance of each play is $250 for a year; or one play can be used three times in a year for a low $250 fee. Included in this fee is a complete production packet with an electronic copy of the play, suggested discussion questions, templates for advertisements and media releases, sample programs and flyers, and suggestions and ideas from other organizations that have successfully produced a play in their community. Other licensing combinations are also available; contact HFA for details.

To receive a perusal packet of information or to obtain a licensing agreement,  please contact Lisa Veglahn at lveglahn@hospicefoundation.org or by calling 202-457-5811, ext. 1006.

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