Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Global Health & Arts at Long Wharf Looks at Understanding, Tackling Cancer

Medicine and the arts intersect in a day-long exploration of cancer, one of the world’s most challenging diseases, at Long Wharf Theatre’s 2011 Global Health and the Arts event, entitled Understanding and Tackling Cancer in the 21st Century, held on Friday, April 1.

This unique event begins at 9 am with opening remarks from Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein, David Scheer, president Of Scheer & Company and chair of the event, Dr. Thomas Lynch, Physician-in-Chief of the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven and event co-chair, and Dr. Robert Alpern, the dean of the Yale Medical School. In addition, there will be keynote addresses by Sid Mukherjee, author of “Emperor of Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” and Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Representatives from Pfizer, Novartis, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Nektar Therapeutics, Celgene Global Health, AstraZeneca, Covidien, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Yale University, Harvard University and Columbia University, will discuss subjects including cancer treatment, technology development, prevention and innovation. Long Wharf Theatre’s artistic department will also present brief scenes throughout the day from plays dealing with the subject of cancer.

Long Wharf Theatre’s third annual Global Health & the Arts initiative is built on the faith that scientists and artists have something to say to each other – that in our attempt to understand the world around us, and the working of our own bodies and minds, that we need both science and the arts. Global Health & the Arts integrates a symposium on an important health issue with a play involving that health issue. A distinguished group of thought leaders from the worlds of academia, science, industry, and the arts will explore issues and developments in the world of cancer research, treatment, along with the social impact of the disease.

Following dinner, the theatrical component of the day will be a performance of Agnes Under the Big Top, a new play by an up-and-coming, important voice in American theatre, Aditi Brennan Kapil. A lively post-performance panel will invite open discussion. Global Health & the Arts: Understanding and Tackling Cancer in the 21st Century will explore the history, science, treatments, emerging developments, and human impact of this complicated, many-faced disease.

Past events have been remarkable for the caliber of the participants, the poignancy and humanity of the play, and the sense of enlightened community that emerged throughout the day. Additionally, a sense of hopefulness permeates the event as we focus on diseases that were once considered fatal, intractable, and are now increasingly treatable and manageable. This year’s event will be no exception, as we explore the vast headway that has been made in our understanding and treatment of cancer in the 21st century.

For more information about the event visit http://www.longwharf.org/ or call 203-787-4282. Tickets are $150.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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