National Academy of Sciences Announces Staged Reading of Tangles , a Play About Family and Dementia

October 3, 2016

WASHINGTON – Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and The New Theater of Medicine (TNTM) announce a staged theatrical reading with music of Jeffrey Allen Steiger’s Tangles. The story, told through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl, Tyler, follows her family as they try to come to terms with their evolving roles as caregivers for an aging relative and as navigators of a complex health care system. Tangles will be followed by a discussion focused on finding creative solutions and new paths of empowerment for patients, providers, and families.

The ensemble of actors and musicians are professionals from top theaters throughout the Washington, D.C. region. The performance is directed by TNTM Artistic Director Jeffrey Steiger, who wrote the play and music, with program direction and dramaturgy by Charles Samenow, M.D., M.P.H. It features Kashi-Tara Barrett, Jenny Donovan, James Konicek*, and Gloria Makino*. Music is directed and arranged by Nathan Blustein, and performed by Blustein on piano; Linda Bard on cello; and Steiger on guitar and ukulele. (*Special appearance in agreement with Actors’ Equity Association.)

Through the collaboration between a theater artist and a physician, TNTM seeks to advance and improve health care through innovative theater, inspired by the real world of medicine. TNTM combines the creative elements of professional theater with the rigorous standards of medical education to create unique theatrical pieces that critically examine the culture, dynamics, and practice of health care through both the lens of the patient and the provider.

Previous iterations of Tangles have been performed at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre’s Rehearsal Hall, The Ohio State University’s 50th Alumni Anniversary, the Exercise and Physical Activity in Aging Conference (Indianapolis), and at the opening of AARP’s Dementia Care and Technology Forum. The play has been performed for more than 1,400 federal and state directors of aging programs. Tangles was the recipient of a 2015 D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Innovate grant.

The reading will take place on Monday, Oct. 24, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the National Academy of Sciences Auditorium, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. It includes a discussion with TNTM Program Director Samenow. The event is free; reservations and photo IDs are required. To make a reservation, visit

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences sponsors exhibitions, film screenings, theatrical readings, the quasi-monthly salon called D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER), and other events that explore relationships among the arts and sciences. For more information, visit

The New Theater of Medicine’s mission is to advance and improve health care through innovative and interactive theater, inspired by the real world of medicine. It aspires to empower health care providers, patients, and families to creatively work together to reshape the culture of medicine.

This press release posted courtesy of Alana Quinn, Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences 202-334-2415; For the full press release, please visit