The stage version of Tuesdays with Morrie, adapted from a best-selling memoir by US author Mitch Albom, draws attention to the struggles of patients suffering from a fatal nerve cell disease.
In the 1997 memoir, Albom recounts the life lessons he learned from his visits with his former professor Morrie Schwartz, who was dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.
The book has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for TV and stage.
The local version of Tuesdays with Morrie is directed by Daniel Yang (楊世彭), formerly of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. It features veteran actor Chin Shih-chieh (金士傑) in the role of Morrie and Pu Hsueh-liang (卜學亮) as the student.
Yang, Chin, and Pu yesterday went to Taipei City Hospital to visit the 17 ALS patients there who are confined to bed.
“As an actor, I communicate through acting, but now I realize how valuable it is to be able to communicate,” Chin said.
Yang said that he hopes the play will increase public awareness of the difficulties faced by ALS patients.
There are about 1,200 ALS patients in Taiwan.