For Discussion: DEATH TAX

Pillsbury House Theatre hopes you continue the conversations that our productions inspire. After you’ve seen Death Tax, share your thoughts with us online (email Kelsye, post on our Facebook page, or Tweet us); attend a post-show discussion; or consider the following discussion questions wherever you wind up after the show:

  1. Each character has her/his own version of the “truth.” Who—if anyone—do you think is telling the truth? What is the difference between the characters’ perceptions and reality, and how does that play into their definition of “truth?”
  2. In scene 2, Tina tells Todd, “A person can live a long time, if you help them live a long time,” to which Todd responds, “But it’s…expensive.” What is the value we put on human life? How long should a person live? Who should decide that?
  3. How does money affect the characters’ relationships and the power dynamics? What can money buy?
  4. Many “white lies” are told in this play, some with more significant consequences than others. Do you think it’s wrong to tell a “white lie?” Why do you think we tell them?
  5. Lucas Hnath’s script incorporates many poetic elements such as repetition, rhythm, and symbolism. What effect does this have on your experience of the play? How does it affect the language?
  6. If you were in Tina’s position, how would you have handled Maxine’s offer? What would you have done?
  7. Maxine says that “No one does something for nothing,” but 80% of long-term care in the US is provided by families. Do you have a long term care plan and/or do you think you need one? Who should pay for long term care?
  8. What do you think happens to Maxine at the end of the play? How do you want to spend your final days? Have you discussed your end-of-life care wishes with your family and/or doctor? Do you have a health care directive?

Does Death Tax have you wondering about your own end-of-life preparedness? Check out these free upcoming workshops at Pillsbury House + Theatre on health care directives and basic estate planning.

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