Theater of War Frontline NYC online / Join us Dec 08

Join Theater of War Frontline NYC online with live discussion with frontline medical providers

Tuesday, Dec 8, 2020, Noon-2:00 pm: Montefiore Medical Center
Free and open to the public with advance registration at:

Wednesday, Dec 16, 7:00 pm: NYU Langone (internal, by invitation only)

Featuring performances by Kathryn Erbe, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Frankie Faison and David Strathairn

Frontline medical workers continue to confront unprecedented professional and personal challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Theater of War Frontline NYC combines one of the pandemic’s newest forms of communication – the Zoom webinar – with the ancient art of Greek tragedy, reaching frontline medical workers who may be struggling in isolation – providing them the opportunity to name and communalize their experiences, connect with colleagues and concerned citizens, and access available resources.

On Tuesday, December 8th, four acclaimed film, theater and television actors will present a raw, intense reading of scenes from Socrates’ historical plays, Philoctetes and Women of Trachis, to catalyze a discussion about the impact of Covid-19 on frontline medical workers.

The live performance from noon-12:45pm will flow into a 1½-hour interactive, raw discussion with doctors, nurses, and other staff about their gut responses to what resonated with them across time. The Zoom-based program will run until 2:00pm and will include audience participation about the issues raised.

Theater of War Frontline NYC, a special series of performances supported by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund as part of the Fund’s Arts in Health initiative, aims to foster connection, community, moral resilience, and positive action.

Developed by Theater of War Productions, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities & Health – Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers presents dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of scenes from ancient Greek plays for audiences of frontline medical providers to open up powerful dialogue about difficult subjects.

“In a nutshell, Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers’ current approach during the pandemic is this: harness the power and messaging of Greek Tragedy, and use it as a medium to explore moral dilemmas that frontline care providers confront on a daily basis via Zoom Webinars, followed by a debrief that explores real-life issues which mirror the themes that are displayed during the actual production. After the performance, the actors are replaced by a diverse group of front-line medical providers‚ who then respond to what they heard in the plays that melds with their own experiences of caring for patients during the pandemic.”

– Robert Glatter, MD, Forbes

Past performances in partnership with Lincoln Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, Doctors without Borders, and the Emergency Medical Workers union in New York City have reached thousands of participants in more than 30 countries, engaging healthcare workers and concerned citizens.


According to surveys following previous performances:

  • 96% of the general public who participated reported that attending the performance deepened their awareness and understanding of the unique challenges faced by Frontline Medical Providers.
  • 80% of the healthcare workers who participated reported that it was useful to their clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 90% of participants reported that viewing or participating in Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers reduced their sense of isolation.
  • 80% reported that it made it more likely for them to use resources or support resources, if needed.
  • 87% reported that it made it easier to talk about difficult topics, related to COVID or generally.
  • 98% would recommend Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers to a colleague or friend.
“This was an amazing production. The discussion afterward was inspiring to me to continue patient care.”


“This play was a complete translation of what I have been experiencing or witnessing. I haven’t necessarily been in the field, but I work behind the scenes seeing how decisions are made and how they’re implemented and watching my coworkers, my friends, pretty much my family come off their shifts knowing they have to go back home to their families and not knowing if they are going to be able to come back home, when’s the next time they’re going to be able to hug their kids. It’s a very helpless feeling.”


“Thank you for this event and for choosing a wide range of perspectives for your panel. It was both devastating and liberating to attend.”