Grace Under Pressure is a verbatim theatre project that examines the workplace and training cultures that are making young health professionals sick—and which put patient lives at risk. Acclaimed verbatim theatre makers David Williams and Paul Dwyer, in collaboration with the Sydney Arts and Health Collective, will develop Grace Under Pressure from interviews with interns, medical and nursing students, as well as senior allied health professionals and representatives from the specialist colleges and peak bodies.
Medicine and nursing are often referred to as “caring” professions, yet there is ample evidence of the damage that health and medical practitioners do to one another. Bullying, harassment and “teaching by humiliation” are a common experience in hospitals, particularly for students and interns. Rates of clinical depression and anxiety, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour among this population are twice the national average (Beyond Blue, “National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students”, 2013).
Grace Under Pressure will open a critical space for conversation about these often-taboo issues, and will be an important public intervention into medical culture, as well as a compelling, confronting, hopeful and deeply moving work of theatre.
Grace Under Pressure is part of the Great Ideas Performance Series 2017.
Grace Under Pressure has been co-commissioned by Seymour Centre and The Big Anxiety, and developed with the support of the Department of Performance Studies, University of Sydney. The Big Anxiety has been assisted by the Australian government through the Department of Communication and the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund.