an interactive performance with guided conversations on how to support those experiencing profound grief

Many of us don’t know what to say or do when a loved one experiences profound grief. Through live theatrical enactments of various scenarios, audiences are invited to practice reacting to loss and supporting those they love.

Our brains are wired for survival, not loss, creating significant challenges in the aftermath of profound grief. FACING GRIEF, a presentation of The Sapphire Theatre’s award-winning PICTURE THIS® applied theatre programming, engages improvisational actors to act out brief scenarios. Staying in character, they “break the fourth wall” for an interactive talk back with the audience at the crisis point of each scene. Society and the community can do better for those who are hurting. Theatre can help show the way by allowing participants to practice how to have hard conversations, hold space, and listen. Musicians, interfaith ministers, educators, counselors and other subject matter experts will help facilitate this event.

Audience Note: This program is focused on people who are seeking to better support loved ones experiencing profound bereavement. However, those currently grieving are welcome to attend – care is being shown to create an emotionally safe space. Disabilities accommodated upon advance request.

For MORE INFO: 317-966-7529;

The Sapphire Theatre Company developed FACING GRIEF in partnership with subject matter experts, including:

This collaborative endeavor debuts as part of the Spirit & Place Festival, a multi-day festival of events independently created and hosted by the community and supported by the Spirit & Place organization, which is housed in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. The year’s festival is from Nov. 2-12, 2023 and explores the theme of NOURISH. For more information about the Spirit & Place Festival, visit 

Golden candles burning in the black background. Copy space. The concept of mourn, grief, mourning or christmas. Burnt match.


THIS IS HARD: What I Say When Loved Ones Die (book). Dr. Jon Swanson, Hospital Chaplain (author and project partner). 2021.

GRIEF IS LOVE: Living With Loss (book). Marisa Renee Lee. 2022.

SPEAKING GRIEF (documentary online, available on PBS and YouTube). PBS and WPSU. 2020.

MAY I WALK YOU HOME? Courage and Comfort for Caretakers of the Very Ill (book). Joyce Hutchison and Joyce Rupp. 2009.


@MYTWICEWIDOWEDLIFE on TikTok – ongoing support, conversations and resources from Andrea Lott Haney, Program Manager.

SOARING SPIRITS International (organization with resources and online community). “Together we provide resources for the widowed people of tomorrow.”

OPTION B (national organization with resources and online community). Resources and community for widowed people. “At some point, we all live an Option B. Grief and hardship are a part of life – and no one should have to go through them alone. We’re here to help you take care of yourself and support your loved ones through life’s most challenging moments.



AMERICA CANCER SOCIETY Cancer Survivors Network. The Cancer Survivors Network is a peer support community for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, families, and friends! CSN is a safe place to connect with others who share your interests and experiences.

PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION NETWORK (PANCAN): Patient Caregiver Services. “No organization supports pancreatic cancer patients like we do. Through our Patient Services, we provide more.resources and speak with more pancreatic cancer patients and caregivers than any other organization in the world.”

TIP BIG FOR BRIAN TO FIGHT CANCER #HANEYHARD. Brian Haney (husband of Andrea Lott Haney, Program Manager) was only 48 years old when he died from pancreatic cancer. He only had 9 weeks from diagnosis to death. He left behind his beloved wife, Andrea, daughter Hannah Rose, and a devoted squad of friends and family. Brian loved Lord of the Rings, music, inappropriate humor, and showing others kindness. One of the perfect examples of Brian’s inherent generosity was how he treated service employees with whom he interacted. He routinely tipped 100%, on both large and small purchases. Sometimes, the server or delivery staff would see the tip before Brian left, and they would ring the bell or try to make a big deal over Brian, but that was embarrassing to him. He didn’t do it for recognition. He did it as a thank you and to pay people what their labor was worth. Tipping is a uniquely American phenomenon that is problematic at best. Still, it’s the system we have and Brian worked within it to make sure the people who helped him were helped in turn.  For this fundraiser, make BIG tips in his honor to PanCan and help this organization that helped him so much during his 9-week battle with pancreatic cancer. Click the link to donate or learn how to participate.


BEAUTIFUL RESILIENCE: Stories of Inspiration on Living Through A Mother’s Grief (book). Dycus, DeAndra (author and project partner). 2021. Contributing Authors: Thomasena Colbert, Valeria Horton, Julvonnia McDowell, Wendy McIntosh, Stephanie Stone, Falisha Curlin Walker, Tisa Whack, Olga Williams, Pamela Wooden.

PURPOSE 4 MY PAIN (Indianapolis organization with resources and community).  OUR MISSION – The mission of Purpose 4 My Pain is to be a resource that provides mentorship, media engagement, and victim advocacy that infuses hope, motivation, and empowerment by telling the stories of those who have been personally affected by gun violence. Our vision is to ensure that the voices of those impacted or injured by gun violence are heard.

CENTER for the PREVENTION of GUN VIOLENCE at IU. “Indiana Family Invests in Study of Gun Violence at IU School of Public Health, Bloomington.” (Article about new ‘Otto Meisenheimer Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence’ in development.)

IF ANYTHING HAPPENS I LOVE YOU (short film – 12 minutes). Netflix. 2022. “In this Oscar winning short film parents journey through an emotional void as they mourn the loss of a child after a tragic school shooting.”

EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK (national organization). The largest gun violence prevention organization in America.

EVERYTOWN SUPPORT FUND (national organization). Reducing gun violence in America.

MOMS DEMAND ACTION for GUN SENSE in AMERICA (national organization) Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.

OFFICE for VICTIMS of CRIME (national).  Link to U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.


INIANA SUICIDE PREVENTION: Prevention Resource Locator. Find Help Now.

INDIANA 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 800-273-8255 (TALK). Our network of crisis centers offers many services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, including veterans. If you or someone you know is currently experiencing thoughts of suicide, or a mental health or substance use crisis, please call 988 to reach Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and speak with a trained crisis specialist 24/7.

INDIANA CRISIS TEXT LINE: Text IN to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling. We’re here for you.

TREVOR PROJECT HOTLINE: 866-488-7386. TREVOR TEXT: Text START to 678-678. Confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ+ youth.  (confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ+ youth): We’re here for you. If you are thinking about harming yourself – get immediate crisis support. Connect to a crisis counselor 24/7, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the U.S. via text, chat, or phone. The Trevor Project is 100% confidential and 100% free.

VETERANS CRISIS LINE: Call 800-273-8255 and press 1. Text 838255.

Thank you to our program sponsors
Thank you to our program sponsors