5 October 2023

Hearty production poses questions about whose life is worth saving

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The cast of The God Committee on stage

Who gets the heart? The cast of The God Committee, Wollongong Workshop Theatre’s last production for the season. Photo: Emma Korhonen.

The latest production of Wollongong Workshop Theatre poses an ethical dilemma – if you had the power to choose who would live and who would die, how would you make that decision?

The God Committee highlights not only the value of a human life but also the importance of organ donation in saving lives.

It’s described as a Grey’s Anatomy-style medical drama that asks the audience to consider what a human life is worth and who makes that determination.

Written by Mark St Germain and directed by Suzi Villeneuve-Smith, The God Committee is the Theatre’s final production for 2023. It opens on Friday, 6 October, and runs until 21 October.

St Patrick’s Hospital’s Heart Transplant Selection Committee has only minutes to decide which of three patients will receive a heart that has suddenly become available.

Seven committee members, each with their own agenda and personality, try to work together to decide who will receive the gift of life – and who will miss out.

It’s a subject close to Suzi’s own heart, as she has worked for many years in the healthcare system.

“The real dramatic part of the show comes in because everyone’s values and beliefs are challenged,” she said.

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“Who gets the heart? Do we go with science, or do we go with how you feel? Do we go with a person’s life and the value that person has held in that life, or should we get the heart and put it into someone who may live for the next 10, 15 years?

“It’s a real clash of values. It’s a real clash of personalities. Does the ‘right person’ get the heart?”

The cast consists of eight seasoned performers, including several professional actors.

Established in 1952, Wollongong Workshop Theatre is the longest-running community theatre group in Wollongong.

It aims to foster, encourage and support local talent by offering opportunities for performers, writers, directors and production crew to get involved in shows.

The God Committee opens at the Wollongong Workshop Theatre, 190 Gipps Rd Gwynneville (behind the Senior Citizens Centre) on Friday, 6 October. Performances are at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 pm on Sundays. To book, visit the Theatre.

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