In the tradition of Chekhov and Shepard, Untying Love is a raw and unblinking view into the intimate moment when people embrace the ultimate act of family love. The play is set in a hospice, where Steven’s mother is caught between life and death. He doesn’t know how to help her. Sharing stories, laughter and tears, his quirky family hopes to give his mother a peaceful goodbye, free of pain and fear. Two supportive hospice volunteers provide all the help they can. But something’s in the way. Who’s not letting go, and why?
Emma Berry directs a cast of eight, including Jed Dickson* (Off B'way: The Mask), Nancy Hess* (B'way: Phantom, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Goodbye Girl), Rodrigo Lopresti, Simon MacLean*, Marie Marshall*, John Mateyko), Nancy Nagrant*, and Kyla Schoer*. *Appearing Courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. AEA Approved Showcase.
Untying Love can be viewed as a contrasting but complementary piece to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit by Margaret Edson, with whom Willens attended high school in Washington, DC. While Wit portrays the experience of a woman, Dr. Vivian Bearing, in the last stages of ovarian cancer, in Untying Love the dying patient remains offstage. And while Witis highly literary, including flashbacks to Dr. Bearing's erudite lectures on the poetry of John Donne, the characters in Willens' play struggle to communicate their most basic hopes, fears and resentments. But the two plays share two themes: that there are times when medical intervention can no longer help, and that there is something in the human experience that cannot be understood through intellect alone.
Untying Love is presented in a time when end-of-life issues, palliative care and hospice care are receiving increased attention. Current political debates about Medicare spending touch on the topic both obliquely â€’ about 25% of Medicare dollars are spent during the last year of a person’s lifeâ€’ and directly, as when the term “death panels” was coined for a proposal to offer Medicare patients voluntary counseling about living wills and end-of-life care options. The provision was deleted from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Eighty percent of U.S. patients state that they don’t want aggressive intervention and hospitalization once their disease reaches a terminal phase, and yet many people who want to die at home or in hospice do not have that opportunity.
The palliative care and hospice communities work to help families acknowledge what’s happening during the dying process while easing patients’ physical and emotional pain. The hospice philosophy is to help people live with dignity in their last days and weeks, with a chance to say their goodbyes and to die in peace. There is, in short, such a thing as a good death.
Thursday-Saturday at 8pm / Sunday at 3pm
Previews: Saturday, October 13 @ 8pm & Sunday, October 14 @ 3pm
Theater: Tada Theatre
Address: 15 West 28th Street
New York, NY
Cost:$18 for Adults, $15 for Students and Seniors
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Ovation Tickets at 866-811-4111