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Conversations About Cancer (CAC): A Theatrical Production
Phone: (619) 594-4948
Phone: (619) 594-1900
Phone: () -
Type: Nonprofit College or University
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Over the past decade, an investigation of how family members talk through cancer on the telephone has resulted in the recent publication of a lengthy volume entitled A Natural History of Family Cancer: Interactional Resources for Managing Illness (NH). Based on the conversations analyzed for this volume, and related research on the psychosocial impacts and consequences of surviving cancer, a theatrical production has been developed entitled Conversations about Cancer (CAC): A play in which dialogue is drawn from naturally occurring (transcribed) interactions between family members as they navigate their way through the trials and tribulations, hopes and triumphs of a cancer journey. This dramatic performance bridges basic communication research with a major social problem: Communicating about cancer. The goal of this STTR feasibility project is to extend prior successful efforts to generate a powerful and dramatic script, and format, for presenting these rare materials to diverse audience members impacted by cancer. We explicitly acknowledge the power of the arts as an exceptional learning tool for refining empirical research, exploring ordinary family life, and exposing often taken-for-granted conceptions of health and illness. The national dissemination of CAC, Phase I goals begin with a) a revised play script, b) live workshop reading and talkback session to solicit reactions from cancer patients and family members in San Diego, and c) a DVD performance for cancer health professionals in Denver. Discussion groups will also be facilitated following performances in both settings. This feedback will aid in refining the considerable commercial potential and educational applications of CAC. Phase I goals also include the creation of guidebooks, data collection instruments, and materials for program evaluation. Phase II goals include extending CAC to a broader sampling of states, and creating more refined communication and educational interventions for cancer patients, family members, and health professionals. The long term vision of Phase III is to make the play available to family members, health, and theatre professionals nationwide. The play will also be integrated into a broader, established, and innovative curricular program based on triggered stories and experiences about family cancer. A team of communication researchers and theatre professionals has been formed in partnership with Klein Buendel, Inc. (KB), a small business communications firm specializing in the development of educational health programs by utilizing traditional and emerging media. Additional and unique collaborations will also occur between universities and their communities, urban/rural cancer networks, theatre troupes, and experts in professional stage productions. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: A theatrical production has been developed in San Diego entitled Conversations about Cancer (CAC). The dialogue for this play, to be performed and evaluated initially in San Diego (live) and Denver (DVD), is drawn from actual recorded and transcribed phone calls between family members as they talk through the trials and tribulations, hopes and triumphs of a cancer journey. Considerable educational and commercial potential exists for helping cancer patients, family members, and cancer health professionals nationwide to communicate more effectively about the challenges of cancer.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *