Eliott Cherry's one-man performance
of story, conversation and poetry:
Life takes on special meaning during times of great intimacy.
A Finished Heart provides entry into the private life of a gay couple as they face end-of-life and loss together. As students are immersed in the intimacy of a beautiful marriage, new perspectives on life and relationships are created, and same-sex unions are normalized in people's hearts.
"Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate, personal experience and helping us to confront our own mortality. Your performance about death and dying had important lessons about love and living." [more] Sandra L. Caron, Ph.D., Professor of Family Relations, University of Maine, Orono
A Finished Heart is replete with gentle humor, as well. "To be able to laugh in the face of dire circumstances is a gift, and you provided that for us amidst eloquent poetry, beautiful music and pithy dialogue." [more] Wil Kilroy, Actor/Director, University of Southern Maine
A Proven Model for Colleges
Students of nursing, social work and other healthcare disciplines:
Future practitioners will learn from an inside view of end-of-life care and loss from the man who lived, and continues to live, the experience.
"this powerful piece allowed us to learn from a narrative of experience, gave us insights that we might not otherwise uncover and opened important dialogues" [more] Susan B. Sepples RN, CCRN, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Southern Maine School of Nursing
A Finished Heart invokes the power of narrative medicine. "It will increase empathy and cultural competency, leading to improved health care quality" [more] Timothy J. Richardson, MD, VA Maine Healthcare System
"We've received extremely positive feedback ... It is not often that such personal work reverberates with the experiences of so many." [more] Shelley Cohen Konrad, PhD, Director, Interprofessional Education Collaborative, School of Social Work, University of New England
"The level of raw emotion shows Eliott's ability to connect with any audience." [more] Karen Pierce-Stewart, Executive Director, Cancer Care Center of York County, Maine
Read about how A Finished Heart inspires bonding:"Thank you, Eliott, for creating space within my heart and the hearts of many to give and receive love in ways unimagined." [more] Mary Elizabeth Peterson, Portland, Oregon
"powerful, rich and raw -- absolutely mesmerizing from start to finish" [more] Susan Kocen, Q Center, Portland, Oregon
"I can’t say strongly enough how important it was for Chris and me to be visible in the world. Integral to the strength of our marriage was that we were two men, out and proud" Read interview with Eliott
University event planners may wonder:
A Finished Heart shares an experience of dying. Will students want to engage with this? Mortality can feel like a difficult subject. But do students want to engage with LOVE? This is what A Finished Heart is all about!
Sandra L. Caron, Ph.D., Professor of Family Relations, University of Maine wrote, "I have to admit that I found myself feeling a bit anxious as the lights dimmed, the music began, and you started to speak. Clearly, it reflected my own discomfort with death and dying. But my anxiety quickly subsided as you drew me and other audience members into your personal world" [more]
Please join me in this beautiful love story that will help you connect with each other and with profound aspects of life. It is a great honor to present A Finished Heart to audience members who enter the world of Chris and Eliott and who may also share their own stories and feelings with generosity and trust.
Comments About A Finished Heart
- This was a wonderful experience for me and my friends ... I hope my boyfriend and I stay together and be as happy as you two were.
- The performance was amazing. I loved it. It was so heart felt. I got chills so many times during it! It was very moving and I was happy to have been able to watch it. I have never seen anything like it before and I am so happy that you are able to perform it.
- It meant a lot to me. It really showed me how brave someone can be to share something so personal with people he doesn't even know.
- Most touching, loved it. Entertaining, I had tears, smiles, laughter, and calm — loved it. I could feel your love for Chris in every word.
- The experience of a discussion afterwards allowed me to process the entire performance. It gave me insight to how other people were feeling and made me realize that I was not alone in the feelings I was having.
- It meant a lot to me, I could relate in many ways to your story. How real you were about it. It made it seem you were actually talking to your husband.
- The story and performance was very emotional. it made me think of how things are for other people and how people only think about themselves. [The discussion] was very heavy and in depth. I really enjoyed his openness and [being] willing to talk about one of the hardest things he went through and telling us that it was part of his coping ... to share his story with others.
- Your story was very touching and should continue to be told. I love how courageous you are. You are truly inspirational. Thank you!
- I am exhausted. A wonderful experience.
- The performance meant a lot to me, since I have a really hard time dealing with the death of people close to me. Hearing this performance really helped me get an understanding of the grieving process.
- The performance meant (in my opinion) that, getting over the grief that seems to swallow your soul, is a lot harder, but, you can get through it. The [discussion] experience was really cool. I thought that the questions were very emotional. It let me relate to the people and the story better.
- The performance was very heartfelt and inspirational to me. The [discussion] experience was one of a kind and extremely helpful in learning how some people cope with the loss of a significant other, and the step that they take before losing them.
- The story itself was beautiful. I found myself crying most of the time. The story showed true love and how difficult it is letting them go, but helping them leave can also be a reward. I thought the piano added a touch of surrealism and the light truly brought a piece of Chris into the room. I loved the performance and would love to see it again. The post-performance discussion was very enlightening. We got to hear others and some of their stories and how to cope a different way with death.
- [The discussion] brought back a lot of feelings for me of when I lost my great, great grandfather. It was really hard when I lost him. Talking about it more I got really to understand more about how other people are affected by similar things. When we were talking I started to share but it really got me teary eyed thinking about what it was like when he passed.
- It was an amazing performance and I was really moved by this, I don't know how I could handle a thing like that. It was nice asking questions on how you felt and how you got through this.
A Finished Heart is Easy to Book and Produce
- No need to organize travel and accommodations. Performer takes care of it all.
- Simple contract. One flat fee covers everything: performance, travel, hotel.
- Can be presented in spaces ranging from small classrooms to full-size theaters. No stage required.
- Production needs are audio hookup from performer's laptop and wireless mic to your sound system, and basic illumination for performer. Performer brings a simple lighting effect. No special lighting required.
- "Working with Eliott was a wonderful experience -- he was a consummate professional and cared deeply about every aspect of the event. I cannot say enough about his devotion to his art and to this piece. I recommend both the art and the man behind it with the warmest regard and appreciation." Susan B. Sepples, RN, CCRN, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Southern Maine [read letter here]