Portland musician and composer Eliott Cherry will bring his moving dramatic reading of “A Finished Heart” UMaine’s Black Box Theater in the Class of 1944 Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 5:30-7 p.m.
The reading is 75 minutes, followed by facilitated discussion with the author. The event is free and open to the public.
The presentation, with piano accompaniment, deals with a range of death and dying issues including love, caregiving, forgiveness and the loss of a loved one. It is based on Cherry’s conversations with his husband Chris Chenard, who received a doctorate from UMaine shortly before he died of pancreatic cancer in 2007.
Cherry’s performance is based on a diary of conversations he had with his husband of 16 years as Chenard’s health deteriorated. Cherry says on his website that he wants to share his story “to help others empathize with and reflect upon end-of-life experience. I wish to strengthen people’s compassion for each other through an emotional connection based on human commonality.
“The culmination of purpose in our marriage is that I could help my mate die, and he could guide and comfort me,” Cherry says. “How would this time unfold? Dying was our teacher, and we learned from each other. Through this process, we found our deepest meaning by bringing all emotions and intuition into experience without judgment.”
This event is cosponsored by the UMaine Center on Aging, Department of Communication and Journalism, College of Education and Human Development, the UMaine Employee Assistance Program, Psychology Department, School of Nursing, School of Performing Arts, and School of Social Work.
More information is on Cherry’s website www.AFinishedHeart.com.
Contact: Sandy Butler, (207) 581-2382; Sandy Caron, (207) 581-3138