On this special Nurses Week celebration bonus episode of The Nurse Keith Show, Keith interviews composer and playwright Pamela Gerke and registered nurse and expressive arts Practitioner Kate Thompson regarding Nightingale: The Life & and Passion Of Florence Nightingale, a new musical film celebrating the nursing profession’s founding mother and patron saint. The film celebrates nurses and their history in a musical dramatization of the life of Florence Nightingale, a pioneer of sanitation and science-based medical care, and a powerful woman and role model.
“It was like watching ‘Hamilton’ about Florence Nightingale!” – Jacob N., age 12
“A deeply engaging, beautifully acted and inspiring musical performance about Florence Nightingale….about the role of power dynamics that serve as a gatekeeper in how nurses can make a difference in the health and lives of individuals, families, and communities.” – Marie A. B., Ph.D, ARNP
“There’s this meeting place between the longing in a person’s heart – like a nurse or a nurse practitioner who desires to serve humanity – and the need of the time you’re living… And when the two of those meet, it can bring about great evolution, great expansion and opening of possibilities and new ways of doing things… I saw all of that in the musical.” – Interviewee (name withheld), HEARTS: Health & Arts Research, 2020.
From the film’s webpage:
With a musical film about Florence Nightingale, we aim to Nurture the Nurturers by uplifting and empowering the Voice of Nursing. In 2020, our production tour of the stage musical was halted by the pandemic, at a time when nurses & other healthcare workers were being catapulted to the forefront of public awareness. This was not the way we had planned to celebrate Nightingale’s 200th birthday – but, like Nightingale, we persisted!
Now we’ve re-envisioned the musical as a film to bring her story to you. The film will be offered free of charge on our YouTube channel and will also be available on DVD. This is our gift to nurses and all healthcare workers, and to anyone else inspired by this story of a powerful woman in history.
The nursing profession of today leads the way in looking at socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health; however, the contribution of nurses is often minimized or dismissed, and nurses themselves suffer from burnout at an alarming rate. That’s why we at HEARTS feel it is so important to support and celebrate nurses and help raise the bar on the entire profession. And we know that The Arts is a powerful way to do that!
Nightingale brings Florence Nightingale’s story to life with original music and scenes that make her image relevant for modern audiences, inspire nurses with a powerful role model, and dramatize a crucial part of nursing history. Nightingale spoke truth to power, caught the old guard in the act of being obsolete, and thereby changed the world. This musical reveals issues that continue to challenge modern nurses, such as hierarchy, sexism, and bureaucratic obstacles.
The stage show had been in development since 2009, with touring shows in 2019 (Rachel Rene, director) and 2020 (Jon Lutyens, director), and performances hosted by nursing schools and nurse organizations in the Puget Sound Region of Washington state. Creating the film during a pandemic was a challenge! Rehearsals were held online, actors recorded video and music one person at a time and in front of a “green screen,” and all post-production work was done via remote collaboration.
Our Creative Team includes: Director Lauren Marshall, Music Director Sam Peters, Director of Photography Ben Kerns, Sound Designer Tom Fallat, Cotumer Elizabeth Power, and Production Stage Manager Sarah Burfoot. The amazing Miranda Antoinette plays Florence Nightingale, supported by a talented ensemble: Mark Abel, Jeremy Berdin, Arwen Dewey, Camilla Ethridge, Andrea Hansen, Rich Hawkins, Jared Hernandez, Duncan Clark Menzies, Julie Olsen, and Casey Raiha.
A composer, arranger, and playwright for over thirty-five years, Pamela’s works include numerous community and school shows. She’s currently working on the film production (soon to be released) of Nightingale: Regarding the Life & Passion of Miss Florence Nightingale, as composer, playwright, and producer. She founded and currently directs a nonprofit, HEARTS: Health & Arts, which is producing Nightingale.
As a longtime choral conductor, Pam has worked with several community and church choirs, and currently conducts the choir at Admiral UCC in Seattle. She’s also a longtime arts and early childhood educator and is the author of five published books of plays, movement stories, and drama curricula for children. She lives in the Seattle area and enjoys playing with paper and glue, and with her cat.
Kate Thompson, RN, CEAP, is a Registered Nurse and Expressive Arts Practitioner, and celebrates the connection between the arts and healing in her work. As a social and performing artist and story catalyst, Kate facilitates playful, meaningful, and creative programming to empower and engage participants while invigorating, strengthening, and catalyzing individual voices, communities, and organizations with whom she partners. Her work includes story forums, interactive art offerings, art carts, interactive art exhibits, developing an online professional and personal participatory forum for nurses, co-creating an e-book of storytelling resources for nurse leaders, and collaborating on a book of nurses’ stories for Kaiser Permanente,.
The Nurse Keith Show is a proud member of The Health Podcast Network, one of the largest and fastest-growing collections of authoritative, high-quality podcasts taking on the tough topics in health and care with empathy, expertise, and a commitment to excellence.
I’m very privileged and grateful to announce that The Nurse Keith Show is a proud member of Ars Longa Media, a collaborative network of podcasts, media entities, musical artists, and others with an aim to add a humanistic touch to professional education, educate the public from a scientifically informed perspective, and improve lives by strategically partnering with those who share our goals to address social ills.