First, Do No Harm


First, Do No Harm is an intimate journey of personal loss, love, life and death, bringing awareness to compassion fatigue, burn-out and the often unfriendly and impersonal nature of our healthcare system.

In response to the epidemic of compassion fatigue and burnout in the nursing profession, Denver based artist and registered nurse Tara Rynders worked with co-directors Jadd Tank and Lia Bonfilio, to create an immersive theater performance for the community called First, Do No Harm.


The multi-disciplinary production was developed to be performed for the public inside hospitals and health care facilitaties. The debut performance took place at Rose Medical Center, located in Denver, Colorado, in October, 2018.


A cast of 16 dancers, artists and musicians explore themes of grief, loss, compassion fatigue, and burn-out, from the perspective of nurses, patient’s family members and loved ones.  


Guests were walked throughout Rose Medical Center - a fully functioning hospital - to various locations where they witnessed first-hand the complex and difficult emotional challenges that nurses endure on a daily basis. 


First, Do No Harm is bringing awareness to compassion fatigue, burnout and the often unfriendly and impersonal nature of our healthcare system.


The premiere and first set of performances were extremely well received by the general public, nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers.


The run of performances were sold out, including two additional shows to accommodate the high demand, rendering First, Do No Harm a successful attempt at bridging two seemingly unexpected worlds: Performance Art & Health Care. 


Throughout the tender span of 90 minutes, participants are guided throughout the hospital by dancers, actors and musicians. Themes and stories are explored through the eyes of both the caregivers and the cared for.


Absurd, raw and creative to the very last detail, First, Do No Harm takes audiences on a pendulum swing, back and forth, until collectively we reach the very core of our human condition - sharing an experience which shapes our interactions and the way we experience each other.



A Blade of Grass Fellowship was awarded to Artistic Director Tara Rynders in 2018, which helped to support and fund the debut productions of First, Do No Harm and The Clinic. Both projects will be offered again to the public at two Denver hospitals in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020. 

Click the images below to read interviews and media coverage of First, Do No Harm and The Clinic

RedLine Contemporary Art Center
Arts in Society Social Change Grant Program | Colorado
Tara Rynders Awarded a Blade of Grass Fellowship
Podcast interview with Tara Rynders
Nightingale Luminary Award
The Clinic featured on Colorado Public Radio
CBS video Denver Nurse and Dancer Creates Immersive Performance in Workplace
Cast & Crew


Tara Rynders


Lia Bonfilio


Jadd Tank




Local & Rotating

Denver Cast


Immersive Theatre


Live & pre-recorded


90 minutes




Performing Arts Venues


Open To All Ages