These three plays catch the light and shadow that play across the lives of people with dementia, and of our own along with theirs. Dr. Margaret Noel’s playwriting competition was an inspired act of compassionate creation, and she deserves our deepest thanks: these plays get under our skin, when we might prefer the illusion of a cure that’s right around the corner. We “steer into the skid” with Tim and Amanda as the intimacy of everyday forgetting shades imperceptibly into early Alzheimer’s - and suddenly their private world is on display, made public by the act of diagnosis. We, too, are confused as Arthur comes untethered from the world of every day, but we ground ourselves again in his deep connection to those he loves if they can but join him in the beauty of the world he used to paint. And we ourselves enter into the watery ebb and flow of past and present that Isabel inhabits, so beautifully rendered in its unbounded time and its challenge to her children’s own identity. These plays can help to make our communities more ‘dementia-friendly’, and they should be seen, or read at least, by everyone with a heart to make that happen.

Soo Borson, MD, Professor (Emerita), University of Washington School of Medicine