Thanatology classes at King's inspire student to write a play
June 29, 2018
Helen-Claire Tingling (Western ’08) took several Thanatology courses at King’s including Spiritual and Philosophical Issues in Death, Dying and Bereavement, and Ethical Issues in Death. She was encouraged by now-retired Professor Tom Attig to continue her research and turn it into something creative. The result was a play, “Living Will”, that will be staged this summer in Toronto.
Tingling credits the Thanatology courses at King’s for not only inspiring her to look at the topic of death but also to process her own emotions on topics associated with death, dying and bereavement. “It took five years to complete ‘Living Will’, and through immersion in the creative process I have learned that the human power to create can help one channel pain and suffering into a positive, share-able artistic experience. I would not have had the courage to explore this kind of work had I not attended King’s,” says Tingling.
King’s professor, Tom Attig stated that Tingling “stands out as one of the finest students that I have had in over thirty-five years of teaching.”
“Living Will” written by Helen-Claire Tingling, directed by Jillian Rees-Brown is about siblings who struggle to care for their ailing father. It will be on stage from July 6 until July 15 at Factory Theatre, Toronto. Tickets are $13.
“It is my hope that audiences that come to see “Living Will” can also find comfort knowing that circumstances around dying are rarely unique, that families often have trouble managing the dying process; and that there is rarely a simple right or wrong answer to ethical questions. Confronting Death can feel incredibly lonely, but the feelings we have are shared by all,” says Tingling.