Renowned Speakers

on the Saroyan Stage

Dr. Abraham Verghese

Physician, Best-selling Author, Professor

The Patient is the Story

November 17, 2021 | 10:30am | William Saroyan Theatre

Dr. Verghese, a physician and Stanford University School of Medicine professor, eloquently draws on history, literature, and medical experience to reveal why human touch and the patient’s story are vital to doctor-patient relationships. His family forced to leave Ethiopia due to political unrest, Verghese worked as a hospital orderly in the United States, an experience that reinforced his desire to become a doctor and heightened his empathy for patients he observed receiving varying levels of care. Years spent as a doctor working in Tennessee with AIDS patients led to Verghese’s first book My Own Country​ and a hiatus from medicine spent earning an MFA at the esteemed Iowa Writers Workshop. Numerous books followed, including​ Cutting for Stone,​ a ​New York Times​ bestseller included on Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.” Ultimately becoming a Senior Associate Chair at Stanford, Verghese returned to medicine and continues wielding both the pen and the stethoscope in an exploration of how bedside medicine, the human touch, and the patient’s story matter in an increasingly technological world. A National Humanities Medal recipient, Verghese’s uniquely humanistic approach to medicine resonates with the patient in all of us.

Special Event


Written by Eric H. Weinburger and Elaine Bromka

October 13, 2021 | 10:30am | Online

Exclusive for Early Season Ticket holders and Sponsors

Tea for Three is an online Vimeo play followed by a live Q&A with Elaine Bromka, Emmy® award-winner, star and co-writer. A witty, charming recreation of the reminiscences of three memorable First Ladies, Tea for Three chronicles the legacies of Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford as they prepare to leave the White House.

Season Ticket holders who purchase by September 22, 2021 will be contacted via email to register for the show. On the day of the presentation (October 13, 2021), registrants will receive a non-shareable link to the Vimeo play and directions for getting on the Question-and-Answer Webinar with Elaine Bromka following the play.

Acclaimed American actress Elaine Bromka is known for co-writing the one-woman play Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty with Eric H. Weinberger, in which Bromka portrayed First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford. Her thirty-plus year career has included appearances in numerous movies and television programs as well as on and off-Broadway productions. Bromka is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College and a faculty member at Smith and NYU.

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