Joanna Glum

Discipline/Field: Playwright 

Based in: Sacramento, CA

About: Joanna Glum has unequivocally devoted her career and writing to social justice issues with a local focus. She has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Playwriting from the University of Edinburgh. In her 20s she was part- and then full-time caregiving for the grandparents who raised her. Some of her writing covers issues of geriatrics, familial caregiving, and shifting Northern California landscapes. 

Project Title: At Yefe Nof, Glum aims to finish Gomers, which she describes as an absurdist hospital play.  Two recently-admitted patients receive different versions of the same kind of not-quite-healthcare on a stage split laterally (top floor; bottom floor). On top, a woman pushing 64, but worse for the wear of addiction and Stage 4 ovarian cancer. On bottom, a man in his 90s who, despite being labeled, “good for his age,” by his primary care physician, is riddled with an unidentified number of issues. Throughout, a Young Lady toggles between both floors of the same hospital, between Mom and Grandfather, without telling either about the other.

In many ways, this is a play of translation – translating a system, bedside manner, medical speak. Beyond language, this is a display of pandering private health care attentiveness in contrast with polite MediCare neglect. And California looms in the distance making an imagistic counterpoint to popular tragedies. A natural death seems anything but natural in a system built to prolong life rather than support living. 

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