Grief Dialogues | The Play


Thank You to Our Seattle Sponsors

Peoples Memorial Logo
End of Life Washington
Speaking of Dying Logo
University of Washignton | School of Social Work


Cockroach Theatre | Las Vegas
Sept. 26, 2018
1025 S. 1st Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Purchase Tickets

ReimagineNYC | New York
October 31, 2018
22 E 30th St
New York, NY 10016

Post-Play Panel Discussion with
Claudia Coenen CGC, FT, MTP
Author of Shattered by Grief and Creator of The Karuna Cards

Kimberly C. Paul
Author and Podcast Host Death by Design

Click here for more information about Reimagine NYC.


June 19, 20, 26 & 27, 2018
18th & Union Theatre
1406 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Post-Play Discussion Moderated by Dr. Sharon Stanley

Bainbridge Island Performances: June 15, 2018
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
550 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Post-Play Discussion Moderated by Dr. Sharon Stanley

New York City, NY July 29, 2018
Dramatists Guild National Conference

Post-Play Discussion Moderated by
Claudia Coenen CGC, FT, MTP
Author of Shattered by Grief and Creator of The Karuna Cards


To create a stage production of Grief Dialogues, we knew the show must include a variety of voices as well as a wide range of grief stories. For two years, we worked with playwrights around the country to bring just the right mix for the first productions.

From 180 submissions, we found 80 semi-finalists, and used additional criteria to bring our finalist list to 20 different short plays.  These finalists became our library.

The Grief Dialogues Advisory Council evaluated each play based on its adherence to our mission of erasing the stigma around dying, death and grief, and the play’s ability to engage a diverse audience.  Those 20 short plays became our “library” to chose from when presenting each performance.

Grief Dialogues 
debuted on September 8, 2017, at the University of Washington, Ethnic Cultural Center Theatre, as the opening event of the Seattle Death Salon, co-sponsored by UW School of Social Work, the Order of the Good Death (Los Angeles), People’s Memorial (Seattle) and Grief Dialogues.  This three-day-event brought Death Positive people from around the world.  The play was the opening act for the Salon and often mentioned as the highlight of the weekend.

In fact, the show was so well-received, we decided to produce it again in Seattle, this time for a longer run, and to bring it to Bainbridge Island.  The director, crew and entire cast return to the show in June.

After each performance, a grief counselor and/or end-of-life expert speaks to the audience and answers questions about dying, death and grief.   The post-play discussion last September was actually longer than the plays themselves.

In summary, death is at the core of human experience.  By encouraging conversations and shared stories, we help ourselves (and others) process and heal.  We embrace Death’s commonality and inevitability.

With your help, we can shift our death-phobic culture and bring relief to those struggling through grief.


Kiki Abba
Kiki Abba is originally from Iowa and has lived in Seattle for nine years working as an actor, marketer for the arts, teaching artist, and producer. Recent credits include The Flight Before Xmas (Seattle Public Theatre), No More Sad Things (Forward Flux Productions), Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine (Annex Theatre), and Belleville (MAP Theatre). She was recently recognized as the People’s Choice Award Winner for Outstanding Actress for the 2016 Gregory Awards.

Kiki worked with the Grief Dialogues team back in 2016 and is excited to return this summer to tell these important, compelling stories with a great team of artists.

Greg Brisendine
Greg Brisendine is a playwright and member of Dramatist Guild, a poet, actor and corporate drone in Seattle. His newest play is No Strings Attached, about life, love, and sex in a retirement community.

“I wanted to be involved in the Grief Dialogues because we fear death so profoundly in our culture, providing little to no room for playful passing or for the the healthy expression of grief when they’ve gone.”

Gretchen Douma
Gretchen Douma is thrilled to be working on the Grief Dialogues. She returns to the role of Anne in Hospice: A Love Story, which she recently performed in Seattle and Portland. She has performed on many stages in and around Seattle including playing Lydia in Forward Flux’s inaugural production, Still Life. You may have also seen her at Annex, ArtsWest, Taproot, Live Girls!, Parley Productions, Second Story Rep, and 14/48, to name just a few.

“Theater is, for me, a safe space to explore the things that we find hardest to talk about. I love being a part of that conversation.”

Shane Regan
Shane Regan is an actor born and raised in the Seattle area. In addition to acting, Shane is also Program Manager at Theatre Puget Sound, a local arts advocacy group.

Shane is thrilled to reprieve his role in Grief Dialogues. “The more we suppress or deny the existence of death, the more frightening it becomes. I hope these plays help shine a light and continue the discussion.

Interested in bringing the play to your town or community?
We’d love to help you start your own conversation around dying, death, and grief.

Please send your inquiries to

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