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, and is now looking for a theatre for its premier.
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.
Since the COVID 19 shutdown, Honoring Choices has been performed on Zoom numerous times with three different casts including an all African-American cast and a Latinx cast (in Spanish). During the COVID 19 shutdown (2020-2021), several of Elizabeth’s other plays were produced internationally via Zoom including Hospice: A Love Story and Untold.
Several of her plays were also produced for Reimagine and for Beautiful Dying Expo among other organizations.
Her newest play, Independence Day, a collaboration with playwright/actor Jeffrey Grover, will be filmed in July 2021 and performed live in Seattle in September 2021.
Elizabeth has also collaborated on the play Better Together for a live performance in October 2021 in Southwest Texas.
She is now working with Dr. Jessica Zitter on a new play. Extreme Measures is an adaptation of Dr. Zitter’s book by the same name.
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.
She serves as Editor of Grief Dialogues: The Book, hosts the Compassion Culture Series Podcast, and is a frequent guest speaker on Beautiful Dying Insights and The Conversation Project among other shows.
Elizabeth also writes a monthly blog post for The Journal on the Grief Dialogues Health Care Education website.
Finally, as the Strategic Planning Chair, Elizabeth proudly sits on the Intiman Theatre Board of Directors in Seattle, WA.
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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