In this poignant meditation on the uneasiness between science and the human spirit a group of women aged nineteen to 63 with HER2-related breast cancer are recruited for a clinical drug trial. For some of them the trial is renewed hope, others feel it’s a weary last resort. For Dr Danielle Pearce the research scientist in charge of the program the trial is the most critical moment of her career. Her mission is global and measured outcomes are her chief concern. But in the chemo room medical statistics are just background noise as the women gradually form a collective bond through humour and compassion, raising the question, “does community positively influence immunity?”
Melissa is the only character with a declared Asian background. The others can be cast with any ethnicity. Six members of the premier production were Persons of Colour.
Daphne MIller: 60-yr old mother of 2 near college-aged kids.
Frances Wood: 59 yrs old. Dairy Farmer
Melissa Chu: 58 yr-old Naturopath of Korean descent.
Gloria Deslisle: 56, bombastic, humorous, Worked at Walmart
Charlene McBride: 41, Actor. Has a four yr-old daughter.
Anya Patris: 19. She was a party girl until the diagnosis and treatments
Naomi Peters: 63. Professor of Anthropology
Doctor Danielle Pearce 57
Nurse Gabby: 48 Efficient, earnest and caring.
Kate Santanam: 38 in future scene that starts the play, but for most of the play (15 yrs ago) she is 23, a post graduate student of biochemistry
Co-production between Buddies in Bad Times and Nightwood Theatre. Premiered at Buddie in Bad Times Theatre Toronto
The play can be accessed from Playwrights Canada Press.