The Stages of Nursing

Sophomore nursing student connects with a new audience in Merrily We Roll Along

Posted 11/14/13

Wednesday nights, Alexis Attinoto is in character, taking thestage for rehearsals with the Case Footlighters. Thursday mornings, she heads to her nursing clinical rotation on the Neuro floor of building H60 at the Cleveland Clinic. The scenery is different, but for Attinoto, it’s about connecting with her audience.

“In the hospital, you have to put on a brave face sometimes -- you have to mold to the specific patient,” says Attinoto, a sophomore in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. “Being able to act, in a way, really does help.”

This semester, Attinoto plays Mary Flynn in the Case Footlighters production of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. The play follows composer Franklin Shepard, starting at the height of his career in 1976 and moving backwards to 1957. Merrily shows how the single-minded pursuit of success has on Frank’s closest friendships with Flynn and playwright Charley Kringas.

“Mary Flynn is really motivated and passionate about what she does,” says Attinoto, who is also the Footlighters’ treasurer. “But she’s also a motherly figure. She cares for people she loves and she puts other people first – I guess she’s like a nurse in that way.”

Attinoto isn’t a stranger to the stage. In her hometown of Lake Orion, Michigan she acted, directed and was president of her high school’s Thespian Society. Almost as soon as she was on campus her first year, she joined the Footlighters.

“It’s a release, because some days are stressful,” she says. “To be able to submerge yourself in a totally different place is refreshing I think.” While sophomore year has been packed with classes and new clinical challenges, Attinoto says she’s become more confident and comfortable about being a nurse – and can’t wait for next semester’s clinical rotation.

“I love kids and I love psychology, so psychiatric nursing would be interesting to me,” she says. “Nursing is so versatile and so open, much like theater – you can go anywhere you want to go.” 

Show Dates:
Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 8:30pm
Friday, November 22, 2013 at 8:00pm
Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 8:00pm and 11:59pm
Ticket sales and donations available at 

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Source: Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing