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Jade Angelica



The Forgiving and The Forgetting: Hope and Healing for Alzheimer's

By Jade Angelica 
With Gail Gallagher, Darrick Jackson, and Amy Ressler
Lyrics by Gail Gallager and Jade Angelica; Music by Gail Gallagher and Kat Kidwell

About the Play

The Forgiving and The Forgetting by Jade Angelica follows Lizzie, her estranged daughter Eva and her son, Tom a priest, as they all learn of Lizzy’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. The siblings work to manage their mother’s illness despite years of bad blood and vastly different ideas of what sort of help Lizzie will need.  They are aided in their treatment by a troupe of medical professionals, nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s, and the occasional game show host. Together, they learn to accept that their lives and family roles are forever changed.  Moving through stormy emotions, they discover that they are more capable of adapting, understanding, and transforming than anyone of them realizes. 

What sets The Forgiving and The Forgetting apart is the focus the author has placed in making the experience not just an entertainment, but an opportunity to educate and raise awareness for the audience. Providing the best treatment for persons with Alzheimer’s, means reaching out and joining them in their worlds, Jade Angelica and countless medical experts posit. For example, when Lizzie mistakenly claims that the flowers her son brought her were picked from her garden, we see the stress she experiences when her son negates her strong recollection.  No amount of reason can bring Lizzie around, and she lashes out at her children.  Stark in contrast, Lizzie mistakes her daughter for a beloved cousin, and Eva plays along, diffusing her mother’s tension instantly.  The message is about hope and healing.  Audiences open their hearts and minds right alongside the characters.

​* Adapted from the Spork review by Sean Margaret Wagner.

"Jade Angelica is a sojourner from the land of Alzheimer's bearing witness that all there is not lost. Her testimony is even more outrageous: We can experience in that far country depths of being alive, and in love, that the worlds of perfect health may never understand. Her work is a treasure chest of spiritual gems, the boon of an adventure into and out of the valley of the shadow of death. If you or someone you love are in the land of Alzheimer's, enjoy this spirited-inspired travel log and find your way home." 

~Michael Verde
Founder and Director,
​Memory Bridge

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Education, Advocacy & Ministry