OPENING THE DOOR
for NEW CONVERSATIONS

CONNECTING WITH AUDIENCES ON A PERSONAL LEVEL

Using theatre to reach audiences on a personal level

Elizabeth Coplan, founder and chief playwright, started the Grief Dialogues in 2015 as a theatrical expression opening new conversations between grievers, those with terminal and chronic illness, and the health care providers who serve them.  In 2019 she joined forces with Virginia Mason Palliative Care Program to create an evening of short plays followed by a moderated discussion. 

History

Elizabeth Coplan, Founder and Chief Playwright, started the Grief Dialogues in 2015 as a theatrical expression opening new conversations between grievers, those with terminal and chronic illness, and the health care providers who serve them.  In 2019 she joined forces with the Virginia Mason Palliative Care Program to create an evening of short plays followed by a moderated  discussion.

 

At Grief Dialogues Health Care Education, we use theatre as the artistic expression most likely to reach an audience on a personal level. Theatre is the ultimate empathy generator. The productions allow us, as individuals and as a society, to face the untold, unheard, and often misunderstood tales of life and death.

 

 

We learn by engaging in theatre. The main goal is to feel what another is feeling, whether you are an actor on the stage, or a member of the audience sitting in a dark theatre.

We learn by engaging in theatre.

As medical care providers we walk confidently into the middle of your patient’s lives and give orders we expect to be followed, we ask sensitive questions expecting truth in reply, and we immediately prioritize health as each patient’s top value amongst all the deeply held values they hold dear.   These plays allow us a glimpse of all those other values that our patient’s and their families hold close to their soul.  What values other than health do you see these characters as claiming to be top in their values?  All of us have secrets, what we share is minute compared to what we keep hidden.  Notice how little of what is shared, comes from merely the words that are spoken.  How can you learn to listen to your patient’s/families using more than simply your ears?

 

So sit back.  Let us take you out of your comfort zone.  We ask only that you sit with other humans, sharing only a story.

According to the Centers for Disease, the U.S. records 2.6 million deaths a year. For each death there are an average of 12 mourners

We Have a Great Team

Our Board of Directors come from various professional worldwide and establish strategic partnerships with the world’s most experienced and committed healthcare professionals.

ELIZABETH COPLAN

CEO | FOUNDER
PLAYWRIGHT

Elizabeth Coplan is the founder and
chief playwright of the non-profit Grief
Dialogues Health Care Education.
GDHCE educates health care providers
and the patients they serve to
advance, sustain, and support death
and grief conversations through a
collection of curated theatrical
productions and narratives. She is an
award-winning playwright, director,
producer, educator, speaker, editor,
subject matter expert, and curator
who helps others explore their grief
and attitudes toward death.

Dr. Jillian Tullis

JILLIAN TILLIS

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR UCSD
DEPT. OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES

Dr. Julian Tullis focuses her teaching and
research interests on health
communication, specifically
communication about dying and death in
health care settings. Tullis’ scholarship
uses qualitative methods to study such
topics as hospice team communication,
tumor boards, spirituality, dying, death,
quality of life, and a “good death.”

Dr. Robert Neimeyer

DR. ROBERT
NEIMEYER

DIRECTOR OF THE PORTLAND INSTITUTE
FOR LOSS AND TRANSITION

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, Professor
Emeritus of the Department of
Psychology, University of Memphis, now
directs the Portland Institute for Loss and
Transition. He has published 30 books,
authored over 500 articles/chapters, and
is a popular workshop presenter, earning
him Lifetime Achievement Awards by the
Association for Death Education and
Counseling and the International Network
on Personal Meaning.

Peggy Dickens

PEGGY DICKENS
MA, MHC


Peggie Dickens, MA, LMHC,
maintains a private practice in Seattle,
WA. She specializes in depression,
anxiety and panic disorders,
trauma, ADD/ADHD, couples and
relationship issues, life transitions,
stress management, and PTSD using
positive psychology, attachment
based and somatic work.

Gigi Michaels

GIGI MICHAELS


Gigi Michaels
CIO | DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Gigi Michaels, has built
contemporary digital education programs
for a variety of organizations, successfully
translating subtle and nuanced concepts
into relatable and emotionally inspiring
learning experiences. Her technology
work spans over two decades with a host
of clients including Disney, Imagine
Entertainment, the American Film
Institute, MGM, Sony, CBS and NBC.

We Have a Great Team

Our Board of Directors come from various professional worldwide and establish strategic partnerships with the world’s most experienced and committed healthcare professionals.

Elizabeth Coplan

CEO | FOUNDER PLAYWRIGHT

Elizabeth Coplan is the founder and chief playwright of the non-profit Grief Dialogues Health Care Education. GDHCE educates health care providers and the patients they serve to advance, sustain, and support death and grief conversations through a collection of curated theatrical productions and narratives. She is an award-winning playwright, director, producer, educator, speaker, editor, subject matter expert, and curator who helps others explore their grief and attitudes toward death.

Dr. Jillian Tullis

Julian Tullis, PhD

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR UCSD DEPT. OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES

Dr. Julian Tullis focuses her teaching and research interests on health communication, specifically communication about dying and death in health care settings. Tullis’ scholarship uses qualitative methods to study such topics as hospice team communication, tumor boards, spirituality, dying, death, quality of life, and a “good death.”

Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer

DIRECTOR OF THE PORTLAND INSTITUTE FOR LOSS AND TRANSITION

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, now directs the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition. He has published 30 books, authored over 500 articles/chapters, and is a popular workshop presenter, earning him Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Network on Personal Meaning.

Peggie Dickens

MA, LMHC

Peggie Dickens, MA, LMHC, maintains a private practice in Seattle, WA. She specializes in depression, anxiety and panic disorders, trauma, ADD/ADHD, couples and relationship issues, life transitions, stress management, and PTSD using positive psychology, attachment based and somatic work.

Gigi Michaels

Gigi Michaels

CIO | DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Gigi Michaels, has built contemporary digital education programs for a variety of organizations, successfully translating subtle and nuanced concepts into relatable and emotionally inspiring learning experiences. Her technology work spans over two decades with a host of clients including Disney, Imagine Entertainment, the American Film Institute, MGM, Sony, CBS and NBC.