Within Medical Contexts

Within Medical Contexts

“Kali Quinn took the audience on a wild and profound journey through the arc of a life. Her performance carried me to a deep inner space that resulted, paradoxically, with a feeling of great connection with those around… We need more creativity in medicine because it focuses our attention towards process, expects us to make surprising connections, demands that we understand ourselves… Creativity and innovation requires courage and vulnerability, a willingness to take chances, embrace discomfort, and risk failure. That is, creativity invokes those parts of us that make us human. I can’t examine the complex challenges facing patients and healthcare providers today without believing that medicine needs artists and creative thinkers, people who look and think about the world differently, fueled by Compassionate Creativity.”Read More…   – Jay Baruch, MD Brown University

As a theater practitioner, my research as been through hosting challenging conversations through performance “case studies.” I have spent the last fifteen years creating multimedia performances that deal with dying, grief, and memory loss. My research aims not to answer questions but rather to creatively explore eternal questions embedded within these themes and create new vocabulary around them. When I offer up my own discoveries in the form of a performance, audiences are able to start an empathetically driven dialogue.
I now offer these performances and my process/philosophy of Compassionate Creativity to medical students, practitioners, chaplains, and caretakers.

This experience empowers clinicians of every level to reconnect with and practice their own strengths of compassion and creativity. This “Medical Humanities” approach has helped with compassion fatigue, patient/provider communication, work/life balances, and it creates a new vocabulary around dying and grief processes.

“Kali’s performance allowed me to be a witness to the complex stories and changes in stories that surround suffering and loss – without being in the role of a physician. There was an intimacy to your performance that allowed me to be close, without trading on my profession as the condition for this invitation to closeness. This was a reminder of my own humanness, and of the reality that I share the human condition with my patients and their families. Often enough, physicians are either not invited to be human, or they cannot endure their own vulnerability in the middle of so much suffering. Kali’s performances offered layers of generosity to someone like me.”

– Raymond Barfield, MD, PhD, Duke University, Director, Medical Humanities, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities

I have recently created experiences in Compassionate Creativity at:

Here are some ways that your clinic, school, or community group can engage with Compassionate Creativity…



An interactive workshop including mapping assumptions around age and aging, along with possible role-play after seeing Kali transform from being 37 to playing a 91-year old woman moving through a dementia test…

” VAMPING is a beautiful and moving theatrical work, and requires us to re-think our feelings and beliefs about patients who face the complex problem of memory loss. I recommend it highly.”

– Neil S Prose MD Duke UniversityCo-Director, Health Humanities Lab



An Interactive Workshop including the following performance around a personal end-of-life story:

My full two original solo shows, that include live music and multiple characters, are available for tour. These shows give communities the opportunity to go in-depth with complex issues such as inter-generational care, Alzheimer’s Disease and bereavement by reconnecting to the power of their own story and imagination. These performances always include facilitated discussions after the show and could include a panel discussion with different stake holders.

I create workshops tailored to the specific needs of your group. Possible components include: storytelling, engaged listening with the whole body, personal interaction and better communication, how to be playful, and gaining perspective through various ages. These workshops could directly employ mask or clown techniques as well.

My community based art -installations get participants to tell their own birth stories and engage with others or to empathize with other ages by seeing what people 0-100 associate with being their current age.

I mentor practitioners individually in-person or via Skype.

Kali Quinn generates a powerful magnetic field. One is overwhelmed with sheer awe at the range of her creativity, then captivated by the personalities and stories of her characters. Combining the joy and playfulness of a child with the wisdom of an ancient, Kali opens every heart in the room to a new level of compassion and understanding.”  ~ Camilla Rockwell, Founder & Co-Director, Full Circle Festival 2014

Contact Kali Now to book a session for your group.