What we can learn from career transitions between medicine and theatre

December 11, 2020

Department of Performing and Media Arts Professor David Feldshuh, who is also an emergency medicine physician, is one of ten individuals interviewed in this HowlRound essay on career transitions between medicine and theatre. 

Writes Amelia Parenteau,

"Other major similarities between the two professions cited by the people I spoke to include presence (listening, observing body language and/or environment, working with one’s hands); communication (facilitating narratives, storytelling as patient advocacy, honesty); collaboration (community building, creating trust); creativity (being able to think on your feet, comfort with ambiguity); empathy (generosity); composure (staying cool under pressure, familiarity with high stakes environments, being able to take criticism); and intelligence (curiosity, dedication, discipline). There was consensus across the board that one’s previous life experience enriches and informs the new work. Pivoting in both directions allowed for new insight into just how versatile theatre artists’ skill sets are."

Read the full article here.

David Feldshuh is a Phi Beta Kappa, philosophy major of Dartmouth College. He completed his actor training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, studied mime with Jacques Lecoq, and joined the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, remaining there for seven years first as an actor and then as Associate Director. Subsequently, he completed a PhD in theatre focusing on creativity and actor training, then earned an MD degree and completed a residency in emergency medicine, a specialty he continues to practice. His theatrical career includes regional theatre and off-Broadway directing as well as opera and film. He is author of three published and widely produced plays, most notably, Miss Evers' Boys, for which he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in drama. As an HBO movie, Miss Evers' Boys received twelve Emmy nominations, winning five including Best Picture and the President's Award for television presentations exploring vital social issues. Dr. Feldshuh has served as Professor of Theatre and as Artistic Director of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts for the past twenty-five years. He is a Stephan H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, an award recognizing distinguished undergraduate teaching.

David Feldshuh