Empathy and healthcare / theatre

Plays ‘pack a punch’

JUST three short plays – but what a long, heady process it has been.

First the idea, that it was even possible to interest young playwrights to come up with concepts for 10-minute plays on empathy in healthcare, seemed daft.

Not so when Anita Mithra of Tortilla Entertainment Company stepped in and contacted writers with the various topics to choose from:

  • Diagnostic tools have replaced empathic listening
  • Prejudice in the ward
  • The hospital ‘business’: patients are consumers
  • Healing requires feeling: the doctor-patient relationship
  • Palliative care and the quality of death in India

Diagnostic tools have replaced empathic listening

More than a dozen concepts arrived, three were chosen, each script went through three or four drafts before being sent to Mahesh Dattani to review.

And the icing on the cake has been the award-winning playwright’s response to them, which he has made public: “Absolutely delighted to read the three shortlisted scripts. They pack in quite a punch with a remarkably mature sense of craft, in spite of their wackiness.”

So here is the line up for the National Bioethics Conference:

A Heart to Heart: A patient in touch with his body – and the Internet – insists he knows what is wrong with him, even though his doctor would have him believe otherwise. (Playwright: Kusum Punjabi)

MPL: Here the adage ‘health is wealth’ is taken literally – where the best medical services go to the highest bidder (Playwright: Adarsh Satish)

Can You Feel This?: In 2045, will diagnosis of a disease from inexplicable symptoms require the ear of a doctor at all? (Playwright: Deepak Hariharan)

The show is FREE and OPEN to the public. A discussion with the audience and a select panel will follow after the performances.

 At: St John’s Medical College, Nursing College Auditorium On: December 11, 7pm