Play Doctor

Article by Jen Bush

Is there a doctor in the house?  There most certainly is only it’s a theatrical house and she’s the playwright.  This practicing psychiatrist’s depth of knowledge of the human psyche allows her to seamlessly transition between the two fields.  Ms. Berman brings an expert behavioral perspective to the playwrighting table which gives her the ability to create highly developed characters.  She learned her second craft at prestigious institutions and obtained a professional membership at a respected arts establishment. On top of it all, she’s a visual artist as well.  I’ve been writing plays since 2000, before that I just worked as a psychiatrist.  Now I’m doing both. I also paint in oils and acrylics.  I studied playwriting at the Neighborhood Playhouse and then at Primary Stages.  I’m a member of the Dramatist’s Guild where I’ve taken some courses.”

This play is based on true events, and it involves corporations that have been fixtures in the news lately.  “This play is based on a real event, but the names and places have been changed.  Big Pharma is really behind a lot of evil.”

Ms. Berman’s creative process is taking a seed of inspiration and nurturing it as it grows with the input of other writers.  “I get flashes of ideas that I write down and then work into a plausible script.  I run it by a writers’ group I’m in (DGPG).”

 A serious work with topically charged subject matter undertaken by an artist sometimes comes with an added responsibility when presenting the material.  “I do feel responsible for exposing how big companies and industries have influenced the medical profession.  Doctors and hospitals have unknowingly become tools for corporations.”  

The pandemic has created an inordinate amount of stress in every walk of life.  One can’t be too careful.  Ms. Berman is taking an active role in ensuring the safety of the cast, crew and audience for her play.  “The pandemic has made life extraordinarily difficult for all of us.  We are lucky to be alive.  We have to be so careful now.  I am the Covid Compliance Officer for my play.  We test and test and worry about Covid.”

Ms. Berman has already written two more plays.  Her body of work encompasses current topics that are important to shed light upon.  From exposing big pharma to writing about transgender issues perhaps her work can start conversations that enact positive change.  “I have written two plays since DOUBLE BLIND.  One is about a family dealing with a son transitioning into a daughter called TRANSNORMAL.  The other is called CLAUDIA LIVES AT THE SENECA about an older woman struggling with alcoholism and aging.”  Whether Ms. Berman is helping to heal the minds of patients or “doctoring” scripts, she plays an important role in the two worlds of her chosen professions.

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