by Ellen Mahoney Crouse
Directed by JoAnn Gracey


October 12, 2018 - October 28, 2018
(Friday - Sunday @ 8:15 PM)

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Author’s Statement

In late August 2014, I found changes in my breast that eventually proved to be Stage IIB cancer. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and completed chemotherapy in March 2016. Not everyone makes it through breast cancer treatment, and I count myself as very lucky to have had access to excellent care. My goal with “Thrive” is to provide audiences an inside peek into one woman’s experience, with recognition that the conversations, thoughts, laughter, and poignant moments portrayed are echoed everyday by hundreds of thousands of women (and men) undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Director’s Note

This show is about Ellen’s journey through breast cancer, and I hope I have staged it to speak honestly and kindly to those who are on that same journey. But even if you are not, perhaps you recognize the moment where your life went out of whack and your “map” no longer fit. Our lives have a way of shifting out of our control. I think what Ellen is reminding us is that even when everything else is out of Pandora’s box, there is always hope.

Many thanks and much love to Johnny for trusting me with this play.

For D’Ann H, who is on that breast cancer train - may you thrive.



Ellen Mahoney Crouse

Frieda Austin
Jozy Camp
Lori Fox
Paul Logsdon
Kristi Ramos Toler


Production Staff


Stage Manager
Lighting Designer
AV Designer
Set Designer
Wardrobe Supervisor
Wardrobe Assistant
Dancing Breasts & Mouse Masks

Light Board Op
Sound Board Ops

Publicity Photography/Videographer

Ellen Mahoney Crouse
JoAnn Gracey
Jeff Stanfield
Nikki DeShea Smith
Ellen Mahoney Crouse
Alan Dean
Frieda Austin
Elise Worcester
Lori Fox
C. Lee Gibson
Tricia Franks
Ryan Riley
Louann Chapman
Ken Mack
Robert Bourdage

Theatre Staff


Artistic Director
Executive Director
Technical Director
Concessions Manager
Concessions Assistant
Office Manager
Grants and Outreach Coordinator
Backyard Music Coordinator
Artistic Associates

Johnny Simons
Linda Whittington
Robert Bourdage
Michele Bourdage
Mallory Bownds
Rebo Hill
Peggy Bott Kirby
Chris Curtis
Lorca Simons
Lake Simons

Special Thanks To

Hip Pocket Theatre would like to thank NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) for granting permission to use images from the Hubble Telescope in the current production. More images are accessible at We would also like the thank the following individuals: Johnny and Diane Simons for the opportunity to present this story, Elise Walker for helping in painting, Paul Hamilton for assisting with lighting, C.Lee Gibson and Tricia Franks for helping with the large breasts and mouse masks, respectively, Frieda Austin and Kristi Ramos Toler for being knitters extraordinaire and Rob Walker of DFW Flooring Warehouse for the carpet.


Author’s Special Thanks

The RNG, for everything; the Jewel, for, gosh, you know already; the Old Coot and Ms. D, for believing in me before I knew enough to believe in myself; Randi, for planting a seed; Linda Loo Who, for being one of the dearest friends ever; Janis and Good Tom, for tattoo B&B; all of the D4s, including my thriving sister, Alison; CLee, for being so reliably CLee; the Red Terror of Arkansas, for getting me through Dartmouth and other insanity; BP, for many profound discussions in complete darkness; Art, for putting up with all of MY hair-brained schemes; my VA colleagues, for supporting me throughout treatment; Shawn Hayden, for being a calm, rational voice when I needed it most; Greg Vidal, for his huge smile and warm hug at every chemotherapy visit; Marlene, Nef, and all of my chemotherapy nurses; Christopher Solow for numerous sunrise photographs included in the closing song; and the three Southgate girls, for everything they taught me about what was and was NOT necessary if I wanted to be a strong female.

Finally, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to photographer, Angelo Meredino and his late wife Jennifer. This extraordinary couple collaborated to create a series of images that is both raw and touching to document her diagnosis with, treatment for, and eventual death from breast cancer at age 40. Angelo graciously permitted me to include numerous black and white images in “Thrive.” You can see more of his work at Jennifer lives on not only through this remarkable body of work but also through the foundation they created, “The Love You Share,” which passes all money donated directly to people who have cancer in the Cleveland area.

  •  Ellen Mahoney Crouse

    Ellen Mahoney Crouse

  •  Ellen Mahoney Crouse

    Ellen Mahoney Crouse

  •  Ellen Mahoney Crouse

    Ellen Mahoney Crouse

  •  Ellen Mahoney Crouse

    Ellen Mahoney Crouse

  •  Jozy Camp and Ellen Mahoney Crouse

    Jozy Camp and Ellen Mahoney Crouse

  •  Jozy Camp

    Jozy Camp

  •  Ellen Mahoney Crouse and Frieda Austin

    Ellen Mahoney Crouse and Frieda Austin

  •  Lori Fox

    Lori Fox

  •  Lori Fox

    Lori Fox

  •  Lori Fox and Paul Logsdon

    Lori Fox and Paul Logsdon

  •  Kristi Ramos Toler and Frieda Austin

    Kristi Ramos Toler and Frieda Austin

  •  Froeda Austin

    Froeda Austin

  •  Frieda Austin

    Frieda Austin

  •  Kristi Ramos Toler

    Kristi Ramos Toler

  •  Paul Logsdon

    Paul Logsdon

  •  Paul Logsdon

    Paul Logsdon

Some Local Cancer Support Services

Joan Katz Cancer Resource Center
Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center - Fort Worth

Careity Foundation

Cancer Care Services

Moncrief Cancer Institute

Backyard Musicians
October 12
Melinda Wood Allen

October 13
John and Glenda Walker

October 14
Darrin Kobetich

October 19
Mike Kelley

October 20
Don Burke

October 21
Bruce Payne

October 26
John Jenkins

October 27
Breaking Light

October 28
The Shameless Boohoos
A Remembrance of Michael will be held at the close of the performance season on Saturday, November 3 from 6 PM to Midnight at the Hip Pocket Theatre. We’ll remember Michael and plant a tree so he is always with us.