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Award-Winning Boston Author Explores Cancer Recovery Contemplations in Original, One-Woman Play October 16th in Irvington

Irvington Town Hall Theater (ITHT) launches the third season of its Stage Door Reading Series on Sunday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m. with a reading of the highly acclaimed one-womHarvard University Medical School Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Nancy Rappaport, pictured at her Cambridge home with dog, Penny, (with co-author Jessica Minahan) wrote, "The Behavior Code," based on a collaboration dating back nearly a decade, the authorsóa behavioral analyst and a child psychiatristóreveal their systematic approach for deciphering causes and patterns of difficult behaviors and how to match them with proven strategies for getting students back on track to learn. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographeran show, Regeneration by Dr. Nancy Rappaport followed by a Q & A with the audience.

Until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 2015 at age 55, Rappaport was used to tending wounds—just not her own. Rappaport said the experience was an arresting reversal of roles– from veteran doctor to uncertain patient.  Regeneration is the product of recovery contemplations by a doctor, wife, and mother of three– presenting a compelling range of emotions and perspectives.

““It was extremely comforting to feel that as my body was faltering, my imagination, and my commitment to communicate to other people the journey that I was on, was alive and vibrant,”” Rappaport said.

Dr. Rappaport is an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a child psychiatrist at the Cambridge Health Alliance. She has worked for 23 years with the Cambridge Public Schools at a school-based health center, where she develops concrete strategies for struggling students and offers professional development for teachers.

Irvington Town Hall Theater Commissioner Laurie Chock said, “Harvard professor, psychiatrist, poet, author, and now breast cancer survivor and playwright, Nancy Rappaport, in her one-woman show, astounds us with her ability to find the absurd, the funny, the profound, and the heart-warming in her journey from cancer back to health.”

Rappaport’’s memoir, In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide, received the Julia Ward Howe Book Award from the Boston Authors Club.  She is co-author of The Behavior Code, a guidebook for teachers who work with challenging kids.

Rappaport said she is learning “to “make an investment in being present in the life I am living” after decades as a hard-charging New England professional (and a marathoner, as well). “I hope this is not just about being sick and having breast cancer and then healing, but it’s also about mortality and what do we do when we get to look on the other side, and how do you make meaning of that?”” she said. “”I’m trying to capture that process of weaving back and forth between fear and serenity.””

Rappaport acknowledged that she may be tempting fate by taking her tender recovery so public with Regeneration —in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Yet she said, “”This is what the living do.… I live in my body. My body tells the story.”” She believes that “creating a narrative of our trauma is a necessary part of healing.”

Following the reading, there will be a Q&A with the audience. All tickets are $10 and can be purchased online in advance, or at the door.  The Irvington Town Hall Theater is located at 85 Main Street in Irvington, New York.  Visit www.irvingtontheater.com for more information.

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