poster image of vitals -- paramedic slumped in ambulanceA performance of Vitals, followed by a panel discussion featuring Essex-Windsor EMS workers, is open to the campus community Thursday.

Paramedic pressures subject of play

A performance of the award-winning play Vitals, Thursday in the Jackman Dramatic Arts Centre, is free and open to the campus community.

The play is part of the curriculum of drama professor Michelle MacArthur’s course, “Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies.” Local actor Mary Grace Weir will perform this solo piece, which she has been planning to produce in Windsor.

Written by Rosamund Small, it tells the story of a paramedic dealing with trauma and burnout from her job, and sheds light on the experiences of emergency medical services (EMS) workers. The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts conferred two 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Awards on Vitals, for outstanding production and outstanding new play.

Content warning: this play includes sensitive material including discussions of violence, sexual assault, and suicide.

Immediately following the performance, Essex-Windsor EMS workers Mechelle Murphy and Bruce Krauter will join Weir on stage for a facilitated discussion about mental health and frontline work. Murphy and Krauter played key roles in the development of a peer support team which assists paramedics dealing with stress and trauma from the job.

The event is set for 10 a.m. Oct. 19 in the Hatch Studio Theatre. To reserve a seat, email Dr. MacArthur at