Hello! I'm Beth.
I'm an author, theatre artist, and educator, and I also happen to have cystic fibrosis. I received double lung transplantation surgery about ten years ago, which transformed my life and health but did not "cure" me of having CF, diabetes, or any other health concerns. I have turned what was a common practice in my life, helping friends, family and even strangers navigate the complicated world of medical life, into a true passion and study. As a patient advocate, I hope to help people with chronic illnesses empower themselves through education, confidence and self-advocacy.
My core belief as a patient advocate aligns with my philosophy as an educator and theatre artist - that each individual voice matters. Your voice matters. Your beliefs matter. Your life matters. As a playwright, theatre director and administrator, I believe that individual stories, successes and tragedies, told in their whole truth, are what connects us. I seek to direct, write and produce work that tells the truth, that asks questions without giving easy answers.
As an educator, I believe that my job is to teach children and adults that their creative voice and expression matters, that individual and collective creativity is important, and that it can be used to empower yourself or those around you. I seek to increase equity in the classroom with a particular focus on trauma sensitive teaching and learning, and bullying intervention and prevention. I seek to create and reinforce environments and teaching relationships that are anti-racist, anti-sexist, and work actively against any biases that prevent growth and learning.
Don't Let Them Kill You:
10 Rules for Navigating Chronic Illness
My book is about navigating the medical landscape in American healthcare. Woah, big topic! This book is written from my 40 years of experience living with chronic illness and disability while living a full and complicated life. My book is an honest, informative guide to surviving and thriving with chronic illnesses through 10 applicable rules. Whatever chronic illness (or issue) you have, this book will help you. Want more information? Subscribe to my site below or send me a message HERE!
Coming soon! A Virtual Book Club!!! Subscribe below to get a discount code for my virtual book club!
"Jonathan." produced by Moonbox Productions
Moonbox Productions will be producing my play "Jonathan" at the Boston Center for the Arts in their next season! Originally planned to open in June of 2020, "Jonathan" was waylaid by the COVID-19 crisis. However, the show will go on!
“Jonathan” is a play about a young man living with autism who is working at a big-box store during the busy holiday season. This play asks audiences to consider their beliefs about disability, employment and education, and to take a real look at how we all treat each other.
I will also be participating in Moonbox's "Homebrew" series! Look for my performance coming soon.
"Change the Stage" Conference Goes Virtual
I was so glad to be asked to participate as a dual panelist for the "Change the Stage" conference in Boston this spring, in association with Emerson College. This conference had a wide ranging aim to address issues of equity and inclusion in professional theatre and education. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held virtually and broadcast on YouTube.
Our conversation focused on Disabilty, Deafness and Hard of Hearing issues, and racial, gender, and sexual equity in the professional theatre. The conversation was interepreted in American Sign Language and is Close Captioned.
Click here for: "A conversation with Boston area theatre-makers Jessica Ernst, Betsy Goldman, Elbert Joseph, and Mary ElizaBeth Peters. Moderated by Tim Bermudez Sanders and Em Rihl. Interpreted by Adrianna Neefus and Rachel Judelson."
Some of my words from our discussion . . .
25:30 - "Identity and Artistry . . . how to get work and keep work as an artist while keeping your true identity . . . People are tired of fighting to see their identity onstage and trying to be their identity onstage . . . Be more fully yourself and be more authentic in your representation of who you are on and off stage, in the way that you market yourself, in the way that you shoot your headshot, in the way that you do your website, in the shows you choose to audition for, the artists you choose to work with . . . being more fully authentically yourself in all of the realms is the biggest piece of advice to serve who you are as an artist."
33: 45 - "It's about hiring . . . on a micro level in our industry we are talking about casting and designers, but on the bigger level we're talking about who heads our companies, who heads our theatre companies? Who are the heads of our museums? What are their identities? What are their intersectionalities? Where do they fall on activism? It's one thing to have an identity and keep it to yourself, but it's another thing to have an identity and to recognize other identities and to fight for those identities . . . You can own an identity and fight for no one, and that doesn't do any good."
53:30 - "Find your tribe. If you are a young artist or a new artist of any age coming into this realm . . Find your tribe. It might not be the majority tribe, it might not be the biggest tribe, or the prettiest tribe, or the tribe making the most money, but find your peers, and find the work that fits you, and if you can't find the work, make the work . . . Create the work yourself."