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Spero Spiro: A Play


Wednesday April 25, 2018


6:00 - 6:30 PM  Networking & Light Refreshments
6:30 - 8:00 PM  Presentation & Discussion


Lawrence Memorial/Regis College School of Nursing

170 Governors Avenue

Medford, MA 02155


AWHONN members & Lawrence Memorial/Regis affiliates FREE
All others: $10.00 must pre-register and pay at door


Registration: Email your info to Nichole Young at Registration closes Friday April 20, 2018. 

                               Name:                                                          AWHONN Membership #:

                               Address:                                                       Affiliation:



Program Highlights: Judith Austin, a Psychiatric Nurse-Practitioner specializing in addictions, began working on Spiro Spero: A Play in late December of 2016. Prior to pursuing her career in healthcare, Judith earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts from University of Massachusetts, Boston, and has performed in numerous plays in and around Boston. The process of creating Spiro Spero: A Play began through her interactions with patients in the acute detoxification units she works in. These conversations have covered the spectrum of human emotion, from side-splitting hilarity to bone-shaking sorrow, sometimes overt, oftentimes subtle. The constant theme in each of these conversations has been, “I don’t want to be this way.” With that in mind, she started to create characters based on these interactions.

There are a myriad of reasons why addictions take hold. Sadly, Judith regularly finds herself having to defend both her role as provider (“How can you work with those people?”) and the plight of her patients (“Why don’t they just stop?”), even to healthcare providers who do not work in the field of substance use disorders, and, as a result, don’t fully understand it. The goal of Spiro Spero: A Play is to offer a brief glimpse into that odyssey, to demonstrate that there are many paths to addiction, from a commonplace injury to a subtle, or untreated, mental health issue.  Using a variety of characters, Ms. Austin hopes her audience finds themselves saying, “There but for the grace of God…” or “I know that person/I was that person/I treat that person”, and thereby stimulate new ideas, new conversations, and perhaps a new way of addressing the devastating effects and stigma of addiction. At times heart-wrenching, cruel, and funny, Spiro shows us the humanity of those afflicted and, drawing upon Ms. Austin’s professional experience, the playwright hopes to entertain, educate, and involve her audience in this crisis.

The phrase Dum Spiro Spero is Latin and translates to “While I Breathe, I Hope”.

This production is sponsored by the Boston Medical Center Grayken Center for Addiction and the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Addiction Services.

CEU’s: There are no CEU’s for the performance of Spiro Spero: A Play.


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