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Published: March 23, 2007. Updated: August 17, 2009

Doctors Lounge on stage! Touchstone Theatre addresses healthcare myths

"Ouch! Three Takes on Healthcare" is a new theatrical event aimed at healthcare which opened on Wednesday, March 21st at the Touchstone Theatre in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

This 90-minute production consists of the following three parts:

  • And Now For Your Physical (hitting the funny bone) -- A brief sketch comedy that plays on the myths of doctor-patient interactions.
  • July 7, 1994, by Donald Margulies (examining the symptoms) -- A one-act play exploring the challenges faced by doctors, touching on issues such as domestic violence, race relations and HIV/AIDS.
  • A Discussion with Community Health Professionals (searching for the cure) -- A facilitated discussion between audience members and healthcare professionals from St. Luke's Hospital, Lehigh Valley Hospital and other local healthcare providers.

Characters include Dr. Kwonk who is seen performing a Lunch Hour Express Reconstructive Surgery, while his assistant, Guido, treats eyeballs as martini olives. The production aims to get people to walk in a doctor's shoe by displaying and analyzing various healthcare myths and bad doctor stereotypes.

The first picture shown at the top of this article features Max Gash as The Patient and Margie Anich as Dr. Kronkhite, an adapted version of  "Dr. Kronkhite and His Only Living Patient", Smith and Dale Papers, 1903-1981.  This scene is in Take One - And Now for Your Physical (hitting the funny bone).  The other picture features Vicki Haller as Kate and Margie Anich as Paula.  This scene is in Take Two - July 7th, 1994 (examining the symptoms).

The scenes include jokes that are taken from the Doctors Lounge humor section, for example:

Daddy, a boy in my class asked me to play doctor.

Oh, dear.  What happened, honey?
Nothing, he made me wait 45 minutes and then double-billed the insurance company.

In addition the theatre's cafe contains print outs of some of the other Doctors Lounge jokes placed on the cafe tables for the audience to read before the show.

"We are very excited to have St. Luke's and Lehigh Valley Hospital as sponsors and community-building partners in sparking dialogue about healthcare". said Mark McKenna, Touchstone's Producing Artistic Director.

Show times are March 21 - 24 at 8pm, March 25 at 2pm, March 29 - March 31 at 8pm and April 1 at 2pm. Tickets prices: Fri., Sat. - $20 adults/$18 students and seniors; Wed., Thurs., Sun. - Pay What You Will at the door. Tickets may be purchased in person at Touchstone Theatre, 321 E. Fourth St., online at www.lvartsboxoffice.org or by calling the box office at 610-867-1689.

Celebrating its 25th year, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. For more information about Touchstone Theatre, call 610-867-1689 or visit their website at www.touchstone.org.


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