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Finding Florence: Theatre and Nursing Collaborate for Original Theatre Production

April 3, 2019 4:00 PM

On Thurs., April 4, the Theatre and Media Performance Program at Stevenson will debut an original documentary theatre piece titled Finding Florence, directed by Program Coordinator for Theatre and Media Performance and Assistant Professor, Ryan Clark. Aside from this piece being written and conceived by Theatre students and Clark, what makes it even more unique is the help they had from Stevenson’s own Nursing department.

Theatre students spent the spring semester researching and interviewing Nursing faculty along with senior Nursing students who are about to graduate with their nursing degree. They also interviewed nurses working in the field and researched the history of nursing by visiting the Living History Museum, Maryland’s only museum dedicated to nursing, which honors the critical role of nurses and chronicles the continuing story of the profession.

The result of this research is Finding Florence. Using the light of Florence Nightingale’s lamp, the production illuminates the historical stories of nurses in harrowing times of war and plague. It also explores the role of the nurse in specific fields such as labor and delivery and mental health, as well examining what inspires a person to choose this demanding yet rewarding profession.

While Theatre students benefitted from this research, so did Nursing students, who also visited the Living History Museum. “It is important for nursing students to understand the history of the profession before entering into it. The roots of nursing provide the foundation for the future of health care as our graduates continue to make positive contributions to the art and science of nursing,” said Laurel Moody, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Stevenson University.  

This isn’t Clark’s first time working with the Sandra Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions. For the past two years, Theatre and Media Performance students have participated as standardized patients for clinical nursing courses in an end-of-life/hospice simulation. They have also played bi-polar patients in an emergency department simulation.

Catch a performance of Finding Florence in Stevenson University’s Inscape Theatre at 1525 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson Maryland 21153 on April 4, 5, or 6 at 7 p.m., April 7 at 2 p.m., or April 11, 12 or 13 at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors.  For tickets go to: http://tktassist.com/Tix/?u=SU or call 443-334-2618.