Play with a Purpose: Theatre group hopes to reduce stigma of memory loss

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 4:51 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2021 at 7:10 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - If you or a loved one are experiencing memory loss, it can be a difficult topic to discuss. That’s why one organization is hosting a play with a purpose.

The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) in Eau Claire County is bringing the Remember Project to a screen near you. Normally, these are live performances but this year they hope to connect even more families by hosting it virtually. A performance of “In the Garden” will be available to help families, care partners and anyone in the community learn about memory loss.

The group uses the approach of a theatre performance to start the discussion of dementia and then host breakout sessions to continue the conversations. “The overarching goal with the Remember Project is to use the arts as an invitation to have discussion about dementia and the most commonly known form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease,” said director, Danette McCarthy.

“In the Garden” is about a man named Arthur who is in the advanced stages of memory loss and his adult children are not quite in agreement about how to handle the situation. “I found sort of a place in my heart where the thing that I love which is theatre can actually also do some good for people and contribute something important,” said Jim Pounds, the actor who play Arthur.

For anyone watching the play, the director says she hopes it reduces some fear, confusion and stigma of dementia and encourages people to look for help from the ADRC when you or someone you love is experiencing memory loss because there are a lot of local resources to help.

The performance of “In the Garden” will be held virtually on February 23 at 6 p.m. on zoom and is free to the public.

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