Fragments and Uncle Gherkin's Magical Show

Fragments and Uncle Gherkin’s Magical Show offer young people and their families a safe context through which to process the loss of a loved one with the guidance of trained professionals.

As part of a continuing relationship with Willamette Valley Hospice, established in 2011, Fragments and Uncle Gherkin’s Magical Show has performed for dozens of families at Camp Mighty Oaks, a day-long camp for families who have recently lost a loved one. Fragments has also been performed for graduate-level Social Work class at George Fox University as a platform for discussing bereavement counseling for young people, and for the Hillsboro School District Flight Team.

ETP Northwest is currently exploring options to bring this program to more communities. If you are a trained mental health professional and are interested in hosting a performance of Fragments or Uncle Gherkin's Magical Show in conjunction with your other support services, please contact our Administrative Director, Kerry Ryan, at And read on for more info about each production!

Uncle Gherkin's Magical Show

Dates: Available upon request
Age Level: K-5
Performance Length: 30 minutes

“It’s ok to say the words.  It’s OK to talk about death.”  Young children watch—and empathize—with the puppet characters Pickle and Relish as they try to understand how their beloved Uncle Gherkin’s death has impacted their lives and friendship.  Children help Pickle and Relish learn ways to express their feelings, and discover coping tools for themselves, as well.  The performance ends with a joyous magic show in memory of Uncle Gherkin that helps Pickle, Relish, and the audience honor the memory of those they’ve lost while celebrating life.



Dates: Available upon request
Age Level: Grade 6 - Adult
Performance Length: 40 minutes

Fragments follows the story of Andrew, a young man whose brother has unexpectedly died, and Heather, a girl who is struggling to accept the death of her mother.  The audience observes the struggles—sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous—that the characters go through as they try to pull the fragments of their lives together again.  “Fragments” is a drama with humorous moments that illustrates common reactions, feelings and fears that often accompany the death of a loved one.

What a joy to partner with Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program. Fragments served to deepen the conversations with each grieving person, and helped them know that they are not alone in their unique experience of grief. The play had a tremendously positive impact, opening up dialogue in the peer groups and between parents and teens, offering strength, comfort, and insight for their journey.”
— Lori Esign, Camp Mighty Oaks Director