Wooden Nickels Performance Available for Private Screenings
The collaboration between Compassion & Choices and death-literacy platform Bevival uses entertainment to expand discussions about death.
Jul 18, 2022
This past June, Compassion & Choices hosted a national event for Wooden Nickels that allowed participants to view this exclusive play and then participate in a live Q&A with the creator, Devorah Medwin, and Compassion & Choices President Emeritus Barbara Coombs Lee. Dr. Jeff Gardere led the discussion. For the next year, this performance of Wooden Nickels is available to stream for anyone wishing to help promote advance planning and tools for facing dementia, and to bring new friends to the end-of-life options movement.
This compelling work of virtual theater is set within the Zoom meeting of a family trying to support their aging mother while respecting her wishes for autonomy as they consider transitioning her away from living independently. The characters, Kiki and her three daughters, discuss these complex topics with frankness and authenticity. Coombs Lee — playing herself — joins the family to provide consultation, walking Kiki and her daughters through the difficult realities they face and the Compassion & Choices resources that can guide the conversations ahead.
In Wooden Nickels, playwright Devorah Medwin has created a unique theatrical approach to confronting aging and dying with agency. Medwin, inspired by the work of Compassion & Choices early in her career, is also senior executive at Bevival, an online platform that defines itself (being + revival) as "a mindset and a movement, dedicated to death literacy." Her work has been produced live on stage, radio and television, and in virtual and mixed reality. She began considering how we inevitably become patients or caregivers, and ultimately those who grieve, and how we must learn to navigate those roles after witnessing her mother’s own memory loss. Medwin’s storytelling skills led her to then develop the framework for Wooden Nickels.
“It is exciting to see theater applied to such noble educational and sensitizing purposes. One hopes to see more such theatrical forays from Medwin,” says Broadway World’s Herbert Paine, of the project.
We invite you to host a viewing with your family, friends and neighbors, virtually or in person. Wooden Nickels provides a wonderful opportunity to begin the conversation about end-of-life planning. Once you've registered for your screening, you will receive an email with a link and password to view Wooden Nickels and a link to a guide to help foster further discussions.