Date: January 8th at 7:30pm
Venue: Arthur Miller Theatre
We will be attending the show “Helen and Edgar," hosted by UMS at the Arthur Miller Theatre on Thursday, January 8th at 7:30 PM. Afterward we will be joined by writer, actor, and acclaimed raconteur Edgar Oliver in a post-show dessert and wine reception in the Center room of the Pierpont Commons.
The presentation is entitled Helen and Edgar, and explores Edgar Oliver’s mesmerizing, hilarious, and heartbreaking upbringing with his sister Helen in Savannah, in which he delves deeply into the experience of his own mother’s mental illness. In our post-show session with Edgar Oliver – who is one of the most beloved storytellers of The Moth radio hour - we plan to explore storytelling as a way to make the sense of the world, be it our own lives or those of our patients. We will doubtless also touch on the experience of mental illness in medicine, as well as any other questions you might want to ask him. Some of you will recall last year’s theatre presentation in the same venue, “Bullet Catch,” and the fascinating conversation we had with the actor after the performance.
Responses after the show:
- The show itself provided an interesting window into life in a household characterized by a mental disorder.
- I found the entire experience to be mesmerizing. I felt that I was transported to Savannah, Georgia, and into the lives of Helen, Edgar, and their mother. It also helped me to learn about the perspective of those living with a loved one suffering from mental illness.
- I was surprised by how much our conversation with Edgar did not touch on aspects of his mother's mental illness. Our lack of discussion surrounding this topic I think can be attributed to two things: 1) it's a sensitive topic to broach with people and 2) something that Edgar said about his mother not being 'mad' may have led us to believe that we did not interpret his mother's behaviors in the same way that he did. It is interesting because it gets at the fact that growing up with parents who suffer from psychological disorders probably gives one a very different view of mental illness.
- As medical students, we are always asking patients to "tell their story." It is our responsibility to listen attentively and learn as much as we can not only about their past medical history but about how their past experiences shape who they are today. Likewise, patients come from diverse backgrounds, and we as physicians must respect our patients and remember to approach every patient with an open mind.
We're sorry, we do not have any photos of this event.