Main Navigation

Transformative storytelling

An interdisciplinary partnership brings “Healthcare: Stories of Illness and Wellness” to campus.

How do we care for one another? How do we cope with illness, injury and loss? How do we find the strength to heal? Stories help us grapple with these complex questions. UtahPresents, in partnership with the U of U Health’s Resiliency Center and Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities, presents a special evening of storytelling, featuring true stories told live on stage without notes. Stories about sickness and health, complications and recovery and the challenges that arise in the providing and receiving of care will be shared.

Curated and hosted by Giuliana Serena and Nan Seymour of The Bee, Salt Lake City’s beloved monthly gathering of storytellers and attentive listeners, “Healthcare: Stories of Illness and Wellness” will be an evening of transformative storytelling.

“Healthcare: Stories of Illness and Wellness”

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

Kingsbury Hall

  • U students with UCard: $5
  • U faculty/staff with UCard: 10 percent discount
  • General public: $20

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Kingsbury Hall box office, by calling 801-581-7100 or at

The performance is the result of an interdisciplinary partnership, now in its fourth year, among UtahPresents, the U’s Department of Theatre and U of U Health’s Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities. The partnership, which began in 2013, has included a performance of “Mercy Killers” by Michael Milligan about the rising costs of health care and end of life decisions; staged readings of “Informed Consent,” the story of a researcher who pushes the boundaries of ethical consent for research subjects; and “Molly Sweeney,” a story about the consequences of pursuing a cure at any cost.

Brooke Horejsi, executive director of UtahPresents, Gretchen Case, associate professor and chief of the Program for Medical Ethics and Humanities and Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell, associate dean for research in the College of Fine Arts, spearheaded the partnership to explore the ways in which the arts and theatre specifically can broaden educational opportunities for medical students and to discuss sometimes difficult subjects outside of traditional classroom lectures.

Stories have been curated from workshops held during the past year with staff and faculty at U of U Health, as well as patients and others impacted by health care issues.

Second-year medical students are invited to see each production as part of their coursework, and then discuss the impact of the performance and the issues raised.

“Students are often very surprised by how they respond to the plays,” said Case. “There is an emotional response to the story that humanizes the issues in ways that a traditional lecture cannot.”