Elizabeth Coplan is a 40-year marketing and public relations veteran who turned her personal loss and grief into the groundbreaking play, Grief Dialogues. She is an award-winning playwright, author, educator and speaker, subject matter expert and curator.
Elizabeth is also the founder of the non-profit Grief Dialogues, a theatrical movement to create new conversations about dying, death, and grief.
Her plays and productions include: Hospice: A Love Story (performed in Seattle, WA; Sedona, AZ; and in LA at The Group Rep), and Death, Doctor, commissioned by Virginia Mason Hospital. Death, Doctor was performed both in Seattle and in LA February 2020. Her post-election 2016 play Something Wicked enjoyed multiple performances in the Seattle area and in LA in 2016, 2017, and 2019. Elizabeth workshopped her full-length play Hospice at 18th & Union theatre (Seattle) in 2017. Now titled Over My Dead Body, the play is set to open Off-Broadway in 2023.
Grief Dialogues: The Play opened the Seattle Death Salon in September 2017. In June 2018, the original cast performed the show in the Seattle area to sold out crowds. Since then the play, or a portion of the play, has been performed in New York, Las Vegas, Portland, Pittsburgh, Memphis, and Los Angeles.
Elizabeth’s one-act Untold was performed in October 2019 at the Overcoming Womxn Play Festival in Seattle, WA and for the University of Washington Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research, & Practice in February 2020.
In 2019, Honoring Choices PNW commissioned Elizabeth to write the play Honoring Choices for a live performance in February 2020. The universality of the story lent itself to successful productions with BIPOC and multilingual casts. In 2022, due to demand for performances, development began on a film with Elizabeth writing the screenplay. Honoring Choices is now available for licensing. It is also an official selection of the Legacy Film Festival on Aging and Doctors Without Borders International Film Festival, where it won the Exceptional Merit Award in the Viewer Impact Category for its “Motivational/Inspiration Content/Message Delivery.”
Several of her plays were also produced for Reimagine and for Beautiful Dying Expo among other organizations.
Elizabeth is the Executive Producer of the film 8 AM, based on the play by Mark Harvey Levine. 8 AM won several awards for selection including the Seattle International Film Festival, Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, Anchorage Film Festival, Byron Bay Festival (Australia), Cleveland International Film Festival, and YES Film Festival in Columbus, IN.
Currently Elizabeth is working on a play based on Dr. Jessica Zitter’s book Extreme Measures and on a TV sitcom pilot Act Three, a coming-of-age story about a late-in-life emerging playwright.
Through a collaboration with many partners, Elizabeth gives voice to individual grief experiences and to organizations that help people in the process of dying. She believes that using theatre to start an honest conversation about death is one of the most effective and culturally appropriate ways to deal with loss.
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