About Tangles In Time

Building Empathy Through the Arts.

Tangles in Time is the culmination of Building Empathy Through the Arts, a two-year collaborative project between Jefferson, ARTZ Philadelphia and Theater of Witness of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia.

Support for Building Empathy Through the Arts has been provided to Thomas Jefferson University by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.


About Tangles In Time


Tangles in Time is an original Theater of Witness performance created and performed by people living with dementia, care partners and health professionals. Based on the performers’ own true stories of love, loss, illness and caring, the production weaves together live performance with original music, film and visual imagery. Co-produced by Thomas Jefferson University and Theater of Witness, the development of Tangles in Time is led by Teya Sepinuck, founder and artistic director of Theater of Witness.

Since 1986, Sepinuck has directed more than thirty­ five original productions with people living through traumatic circumstances in Philadelphia, Poland and Northern Ireland. Her unique method of performance works to amplify the voices of people who have been marginalized in society and often brings together participants across divides of difference. Performed by the people themselves, Theater of Witness productions invite audiences to bear witness to real stories of suffering, transformation and peace.

About HeART Stories


Before joining the cast of Tangles in Time, some participants took part in a program called HeART Stories.

Through HeART Stories, members of the Philadelphia community living with dementia and their care partners became mentors to Jefferson health professions students during a ten-session program. Over two academic years, fifty-six Jefferson students and twenty-nine community mentors participated in the program, which was co-facilitated by ARTZ Philadelphia and Theater of Witness with support from Thomas Jefferson University.

Sessions included art museum visits, one-on-one mentor-student conversations and group debriefing led by ARTZ Philadelphia founder and executive director Susan Shifrin and Flo Gelo, associate professor of Family, Community & Preventative Medicine at Drexel University. Subsequent sessions, led by Teya Sepinuck of Theater of Witness, guided students through reflection on the program experience and its connections to their own life stories.

Building Empathy Through the Arts.




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