12 Death Salon Using Theatre Silent James Postcard

Course Description

Using theatre as a means to start a conversation regarding experiences of loss serves as an effective practice for groups and individuals in mourning. Usually this class is presented to grief therapists and students of psychology. It demonstrates how to experience a major emotional, cognitive, and physical shift regarding death and grief and fosters sensations, movements, emotions, and images known as affective embodied experience, to identify with those in grief.


In most cases, we bring one or two short plays (including the actors) and a short 8-minute film to the classroom.  After each performance, we present questions and facilitate discussions that can awaken the opportunity for mourners and students to be in and move through their death fears. Often, in conjunction with a specific scene from a play, certain emotions and stories are recalled.


We use plays expressly created for the Grief Dialogues. Through the actors’ gestures, tone of voice, and expressions, clients/students generally associate with particular characters’ experiences creating new opportunities for open discussion.


Sample of plays in the Grief Dialogues library:


Play Theme Notes
Dead Giveaway End of Life Planning Humorous play about planning for future. Husband buys a funeral plot to surprise wife for V-day. But, if he dies before her, she's getting remarried.
Full Circle Letting Dad Die Cruel father is visited by son for first time in 25 years—who just visits to watch his father die.
Hospice: A Love Story Our Faulty Memories
and Childhood Transgressions
A darkly comic look at two sisters the day after their mother’s death who remember alarmingly different accounts of their mother’s care and her final days.
[Also available as
a short film]
Death is Coming A young couple has a petty fight without knowing that she will soon die.
A pair of future beings countdown their life.
Life Lines Yearning, Ambivalence A mom struggles with reading her dead son's diary.
The Last Night Jewish / Ghost An expectant mother is visited by her dead mother and both discuss the importance of Hanukkah gifts.
The Number Jewish / Holocaust A brother and sister prepare to say goodbye to their grandmother,
who was a survivor of the Holocaust.
For more information,



After we’ve dealt with grief for a time, we reach a point where it feels like we are turning away from our loved one. We are. And we aren’t. #grief #death #turningaway #presence

Oldie but goodie! “Mindfulness of our mortality helps us investigate our priorities.”

Grief Dialogues is an educational and informational community and not meant to diagnose or act as medical treatment. Professional support services based on life and grief coaching practices for moving forward after loss may be offered. If you are experiencing serious suicidal thoughts that you cannot control, please stop now and telephone 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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