co production LAPD & Wunderbaum

September 24 – 29, 2013
World Premiere

 – RADAR LA @ the Tower Theater, LA
November 16 & 17, 2013
Dutch premiere
– Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, NL
January 9, 10, 11, 2014 – Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
January 17 & 18, 2014 – HOP, Dartmouth

About the Project

Two groundbreaking theater companies — Los Angeles Poverty Department and Netherlands-based collective Wunderbaum — confront the realities of contemporary healthcare in a raucous and engrossing “ficto-mentary” of love, life, money and death. HOSPITAL draws on the clichés of serialized medical dramas, as well as real-life encounters with patients, doctors, healthcare professionals and reformers in both the U.S. and the Netherlands. With intelligence, compassion and absorbing stagecraft, HOSPITAL shrewdly sends-up a genre while its cast creates a hallucinatory exposé of free market healthcare and seek alternatives for its future.

Building the Project

Hopkins Center Theaters (HOP) director Margaret Lawrence at Dartmouth College in Hanover invited John Malpede and Henriëtte Brouwers to spend two weeks – in February and March 2013 – to conduct research for the project and make connections with students, medical practitioners and service providers in poor and affluent communities in and around Dartmouth. They met with faculty members, scientists, physicians, researchers and attended classes as part of their research and to generate interest and an audience for the HOSPITAL performance.

During the HOSPITAL performance residency, several more meetings with students and community members were planned. We performed an excerpt of HOSPITAL and co-facilitated a conversation with community members at the Listen Community Dinner Center in White River Junction, and we were able to arrange free tickets and rides for community members who wanted to see the performance that evening.

Dartmouth Research Residency

Research activities included:

Interview with Albert G. Mulley, an international leader in the science and application of Shared Decision Making and other forms of collaboration between clinicians and patients. He is director of The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science (TDC), and professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Health Connect visit – “Huddle” team meeting, interviews with health coaches, waiting room.
Dartmouth Health Connect is a Primary Care practice. They have combined doctors from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with a brand new way of taking care of Dartmouth College employees and their adult family members. They aim to provide the best possible service and care for each patient, eliminating barriers and ensuring that patient confidentiality is maintained. Dartmouth Health Connect is managed by Iora Health, an independent Cambridge, Massachusetts based company.

Interview with Robert Drake, the Andrew Thomson professor of Psychiatry and of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. Robert E. Drake, Director, Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center has been at Dartmouth for over 26 years. He continues to work actively as a community mental health doctor. His research focuses on people with serious mental illnesses and services that help their recovery, primarily in the areas of co-occurring disorders, vocational rehabilitation, health services research, and evidence-based practices. The movement to make medicine more scientific has evolved over many decades but the specific term evidence-based medicine was introduced in 1990 to refer to a systematic approach to helping doctors to apply scientific evidence to decision-making at the point of contact with a specific consumer.

Healthcare Stories of Medical Students: John and Henrïette led a session of Denise Anthony’s “Health Policy” class, and solicited students’ healthcare stories.

GOOD NEIGHBOR FREE CLINIC, White River Junction, Vermont
Conversation with: Stacy (administration) and Ceil (nurse). The clinic is for 95% run by volunteers, more than 100 people, 40 of them doctors and nurses. Most of the doctors are specialists. The clinic is open every day. Mental health is biggest challenge. The average client is a 30-40 year old woman. They see 850 people a year, who make 2400 clinic visits. Downstairs is the dental clinic. They also have a cooking program: eating healthy.

Conversation with Sara Kobylinski, director of the Haven – homeless shelter. “Right now we have a number of young doctors from Dartmouth who come to the shelter to see patients. Pediatric residents have dinner with parents. And we have pediatric oral health at the shelter.”

Community Health Education and Policy Reform Initiative: ReTHINK HEALTH in the upper valley. ReTHINK HEALTH is an initiative of the Rippel Foundation in 30 communities nationwide, to engender change toward patient centered healthcare. Vision for health care groups are growing quickly in wider rings: groups of 60. 30 projects around the nation thinking about a patient centered framework. ReTHINK HEALTH uses the techniques of community organizing for reforming the health delivery system in the US.

Sara Kobylinski, director of the Haven, homeless shelter is part of the ReThink Health working group. They were the first community-group to join the health policy, government officials and business leaders involved in the process. The group conducted 40 interviews and wrote a white paper. They held 8 breakfasts and lunches to have community conversations.

Meeting with Glyn Elwyn, Visiting Professor/Senior Scientist TDI/TDC, primary medical care physician-researcher, shared decision making, user-centered design in Centerra, Lebanon.

Meeting with Replay Health game designers, Mary Flanagan & Max Seidman in Hanover.

Interview with Jim O’Connell, Founding Director of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in Boston .

The Cast

Cast: Walter Bart, Henriëtte Brouwers, Wine Dierickx, Walter Fears, Linda Harris, KevinMichael Key, John Malpede, Maartje Remmers, Marleen Scholten. Dramaturg: Tobias Kokkelmans. Composer: Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli. Set design: Maarten van Otterdijk. Video design: Alina Skrzeszewska.

Project Funders

HOSPITAL was made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional funding from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the California Community Foundation. And by The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional development support for Hospital was provided by The Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.