NIGHTINGALE: REGARDING THE LIFE & PASSION OF MISS FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
by Pamela Gerke
Produced by HEARTS: Health & Arts
in association with
Theatre of Possibility & Kerns PhotoMedia
CLICK HERE to listen to DEMO SONGS from Nightingale
"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.
THE VOICE OF NURSING
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.
See a "Sneak Peek" of a Song/Scene from the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9_1-tykXk8
The Trailer will come out Nurses Week, May 2021 and the entire film releases this Summer - STAY TUNED!
SEEKING SPONSORS FOR THE FILM PRODUCTION
Sponsors receive wide publicity, with your name and logo attached to all credits and promotions for the film. It's a great way to let the public know about your organization and that you support nurses and the creation of health via the arts. Sponsoring the Nightingale film will help your organization promote its programs, recruit new students or new nurses, cultivate donors, and sponsor educational or social events that expand and enrich its programs.
Join this list of our Film Sponsors:
Washington State Nurses Association
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Washington Center for Nursing
King County Nurses Association
Rainier Olympic Nurses Association
If your organization is interested in becoming a Sponsor, please contact HEARTS to receive more information: Contact Us
ABOUT THE MUSICAL
Act I follows Nightingale through her 20’s as she struggles to understand her passionate nature and to follow her “call from God,” all the while chafing at the expectations placed on her by her wealthy British family and Victorian society. In Act II, Nightingale supervises female nurses in the Crimean War where she creates order out of chaos, despite the horror of war and opposition from entrenched medical and military authorities. By the end of the Crimean War she had become world famous and during the last fifty years of her life she worked for healthcare reform, the creation of nurse training and the profession of nursing, and much more.
Quotes (names withheld) from audience members, January-February 2020, from interviews conducted by HEARTS: Health & Arts Research Team
I told the playwright and composer that this was just really healing… this is a profession and also a calling, but at the end of the day you just have to grit it out, and fight it through, and know what you're doing it for.
I see so much of her in myself and myself in her. She had to fight against the existing paradigm, the very limiting beliefs. And she endeavored to find ways to change things over time.
There were certain phrases in that musical that really rang true to me… And one of them was when she spoke about being in full possession of herself… The woman who wrote this, her writing is very important.
I think the scene with the soldiers who were in their bed singing affected me the most. That entire scene and the song were just fantastic, and we all talked about it afterwards… It was so haunting and really to be remembered.
Photo: Florence Nightingale, "Lady with the Lamp," played by Miranda Antoinette (Seattle, 2020)