Manhattanville College Theatre Partners with its School of Nursing and Health Sciences on Medical Drama about Cancer and Caregiving

October 17, 2022

PURCHASE, NY, October 2022 – Manhattanville College Theatre is proud to present its upcoming fall production, W;t, October 20-23 in the Little Theatre on the Manhattanville College campus in Purchase. 

In Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer-Prize winning medical drama, Dr. Vivian Bearing, a renowned scholar of seventeenth-century poet John Donne, discovers that she has stage IV metastatic ovarian cancer. She submits to experimental chemotherapy, and over the course the play (she tells the audience, “they’ve given me less than two hours”—a double entendre) Bearing offers meditations on meaning. Although Bearing takes solace in her love of language, in the end she realizes the primacy of human connection.

Manhattanville Theatre, a component of the Division of Fine and Performing Arts, is co-producing the play with Manhattanville College’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS).  The SNHS is providing medical equipment for the set, as well as tying the production into its curriculum.

The play exemplifies Manhattanville College Theatre’s mission of creating “Theatre that Matters,” in which productions serve as anchors around which to build conversation in expanding circles of engagement on critical issues, which supports the college’s overall mission, “to be ethical and socially-responsible leaders in a global community.” The production of W;t takes multiple initiatives to include the community in this play’s theme of Cancer and Caregiving.

The cast participated in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on campus on October 16 to help support the American Cancer Society (ACS). In addition to publicizing the production, Making Strides of Westchester is coordinating with the ACS to produce a five-minute video about local cancer resources for screening as part of the production. 

The production will include a series of pre-show events which are free and open to the public.  On Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7:30pm, Christopher Pappas, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Division Chair of Natural Science, Mathematics, and Computing, will present, “The Science of Cancer.”  On Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30pm, director Jeff Kaplan, Ph.D., assistant professor in Dance and Theatre will host, “A Conversation with Jon on his Late-Stage Cancer.” On Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:30pm, Orhan Hakli, DNP, RN, FNP-C, associate dean of the nursing school will discuss, “Nursing and Palliative Care.”

On Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2:00pm, Wendy McFarlane, Ph.D., professor of Biology and Pre-Health and program director at Manhattanville College, will hold a panel discussion on “The Journey