Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA School of Theatre offers grief symposium with 'Rabbit Hole' performances

September 27, 2011 - Sylvia Bierschenk
The Rev. Dr. Brent Peery, director of chaplaincy services at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, will be the keynote speaker during a five-day "Survived By . . ." symposium offered in conjunction with the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's performances of David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole" on Tuesday, Oct. 4, through Saturday, Oct. 8, in W.M. Turner Auditorium.
NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Experts on various aspects of grief and the grieving process are partnering with the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre to present a series of talks, "Survived By … ," in conjunction with the five performances of David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole" on Tuesday, Oct. 4, through Saturday, Oct. 8, in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play focuses on a young couple who, eight months after the accidental death of their four-year-old son, are struggling to move forward with their lives.

"The straightforward manner with which Lindsay-Abaire treats the subject matter enables the audience to relate to the five characters and their separate reactions to the loss," explained Shattuck. "The symposium offers an opportunity for the audiences to learn more about family grief."

Each performance of the play begins at 7:30 p.m. and lasts about an hour and a half.

The audience is invited to remain in the auditorium for post-performance talks on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Wilma Cordova, SFA assistant professor of social work, will speak on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Her topic is "To Grieve or Not to Grieve: Cultural Implications in the Grief Process."

Patricia Foster, SFA instructor of psychology, will present "What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger--Towards a Philosophy of Regaining Control" on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Dr. James Buckingham, board-certified psychiatrist who has a private practice in Nacogdcohes, will deliver "Companions on the Journey" on Friday, Oct. 7.

The Thursday, Oct. 6, audience is invited to arrive by 6:30 p.m. in order to hear "Children and Grief," presented by Demetress Harrell, senior executive director of Hospice in the Pines, Inc.

A further exploration of the grief experience will be offered on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 8. The Rev. Dr. Brent Peery, director of chaplaincy services at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, will give a 2 p.m. keynote address, "Of God, Angels and Parallel Universes: The Spiritual Needs of Grieving Parents."

Peery will be followed by a panel discussion at 3:15 p.m. Brent Uzell, spiritual leader of Unity Christian Church of Nacgodoches, will moderate for panel members Buckingham; Peery; the Rev. Wes Bynum, bereavement coordinator of Hospice of East Texas; and Diedre Cantrell, Longview senior and dramaturg for the production.

Bynum will present the final talk, "The Grief Process," at 4:45 p.m.

All talks will be held in W.M. Turner Auditorium, located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr.

"Rabbit Hole" is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Theatre. It is sponsored in part by Tipton Ford-Lincoln.

Admission to "Rabbit Hole" is $12 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. For tickets or more information, please go to www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Admission to all "Survived By … " events is free.