Celebrating Survival: Exploration of Courage, Strength, Laughter, and Love

An evening of stage readings by Santa Fe playwrights to benefit the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico

Date October 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Author Staff

Publication SantaFe.com

Categories Nonprofit Performing Arts


A group of Santa Fe playwrights received a challenge: Write a short work that somehow deals with cancer, from any perspective, or the battles we face when we confront adversity. The result is an evening of theater covering a wide range of subjects: from pursuing bucket lists and dealing with the complexities of chemotherapy, to realizing that surviving cancer doesn’t always lead to grand epiphanies—and that’s OK. These stories offer humor, insights, and personal perspectives on how patients and loved ones deal with a cancer diagnosis.

The idea for Celebrating Survival came from Michael Burgan, a two-time veteran of the Benchwarmers short-play festival at the Santa Fe Playhouse. He wanted to mark the 25th anniversary of his own successful battle with cancer and give the proceeds from the event to a local charity. He also wanted to work again with the talented writers and actors he’s met in Santa Fe—some of whom are also cancer survivors.

One of those survivors, accomplished stage and screen actor Michael Graves, will be directing one of the plays and serving as the evening’s host. His nearly 40-year career includes performances on and off Broadway, in regional theater, on the daytime drama All My Children, and in short films. Graves recently performed his one-man show about Mark Twain, The Report of My Death, in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

The playwrights taking part in Celebrating Survival are:

  • Michael Burgan
  • Kelly Huertas
  • Shebana Coelho
  • Aaron Leventman
  • Gary Dontzig
  • Erin O’Shaughnessy
  • Larry Glaister
  • Terry Riley

The event will also include a silent auction featuring art donated by local and national artists.

The beneficiary for this fundraiser, The Cancer Foundation for New Mexico, is a non-profit that provides financial, emotional and educational assistance to patients with cancer being treated in Santa Fe. No patient who qualifies for assistance is turned away.

Where: Santa Fe Playhouse, 142 East De Vargas Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

When: November 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., November 10th at 4 p.m.

Admission is $15. For reservations, call 505-986-1801. Please mention show date and number of tickets. Payment is at the door by cash or check only.   

From a press release...