V is the non-binary moniker taken by the playwright formerly known as Eve Ensler, she’s most known for her female liberating script, The Vagina Monologues. V has a new theater offering (now streaming on YouTube) titled That kindness: Nurses in Their Own Words. V experienced the kindness of nurses as a patient requiring surgery for ovarian cancer but penned the docudrama, with the help of James Lecesne, as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, which affects us all but none more so than these health care professionals.
With a stellar cast (including Connie Britton, Rosario Dawson, Stephanie Hsu, Rosie O’Donnell, Billy Porter and Marisa Tomei) we learn from the actual words of practicing nurses the dedication, as well as the struggles, of nursing professionals. We learn of the power of patient advocacy coming from Porter’s Powerful characterization of Nurse Tony, as well as the true meaning of “dead weight” and the toll that such heaviness takes on nurses.
We share Nurse Andrea’s outrage aimed at those who reject mask wearing protocols and who attend super-spreader gatherings (Andrea is played convincingly by Britton). She ask rhetorically, “Am I willing to die for this person?” Sarah (so naturally characterized by Rosario Dawson) tells us that many of her fellow RNs are abandoning the profession, weary of a health care system wherein corporate values trump patient care.
Not only did V collaborate with Lecesne to mold these nurses’ words into emotionally impactful monologues, V also directed this Zoom-like docudrama that’s so filled with emotionality from these talking-head incarnations. What’s more, the National Nurses Association assisted in producing That Kindness, giving it an activist perspective. That Kindness is dedicated to the support of The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s COVID-19 Fund. Access the event on YouTube here. All donations made during the event go to The Brooklyn Hospital Center.