PURE Theatre continues its VIRTUAL Season 18: Season of Hope with Stages by David Lee Nelson

March 1, 2021

A hero’s journey through the medical wilderness. The final performance of writer/performer David Lee Nelson’s inspirational, funny, and unflinching story of being diagnosed with early-onset colorectal cancer was captured on film and is now available to stream for the first time.

In 2017, award winning performer David Lee Nelson received news that would change his life. At 38 years old he was diagnosed with Stage Four Colon Cancer. He kept a blog of his time in chemotherapy – a heartbreakingly funny chronicle of a disease which affects over nine million Americans. This material became the basis for his solo play. Stages is not simply a play about sickness: it’s a story of life’s setbacks and surprises, and about searching for hope in the most unlikely of places.

Stages will be offered virtually via a streaming link, which viewers can obtain through a pay what you will donation. Ticket buyers can visit PURE’s website to make their donation and register for a viewing link. Virtual performances are available for a set period of time and ticket holders must view the play within the performance window. Stages will be available for viewing from March 5, 2021 through March 20, 2021. Each ticket holder will receive a unique viewing link that can only be used once.

The Stages creative team includes Adam Knight, Artistic Director of Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, as director, Chris Rich as scenic designer and technical director, Lauren Duffie as lighting designer, Miles Boinest as sound designer, and Olivia Leslie as stage manager.

Tickets for Stages are available now at puretheatre.org and at the PURE Theatre box office. Tickets are offered as a Pay What You Will donation, and any amount starting at $1 will be accepted. The show is also available to Season Subscribers through the PURE All-Access Flex Pass, which provides access to all plays in PURE’s Season 18,  as well as a multiple other virtual offerings. Remaining plays in PURE’s 18th season include Constellations by Nick Payne and The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne.

Additional information about Stages and the All-Access Flex Pass can be found on PURE’s website at puretheatre.org or by calling the box office at 843.723.4444 (available Tuesday through Friday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm).



Since 2003, the ensemble actors of Charleston’s acclaimed PURE Theatre have built a solid reputation for artistic excellence in provocative contemporary theatre. In 2019 The Washington Post said PURE “is where theatre gets real in Charleston” with a Core Ensemble that is “brilliant and engaging.” Accolades include 7 Best Actor/Actress awards, Best Play/Best One Person Play awards, and 2 Artist Fellowships in Acting and Playwriting from the SC Arts Commission. As the producer of 20+ world premieres and 70+ regional premieres, PURE has been praised for its exceptional programming and diversity in casting.

PURE Theatre’s mission is to create exceptional theatre experiences that enliven thought, ignite dialogue, and expand consciousness. PURE seeks to be a model for excellence in regional professional theatre striving to lead in the creation and production of new work, and the interpretation of established plays. PURE Theatre is a company that draws upon  love of story, history, and the energy of the human spirit, where diverse gatherings of theatre artists and audiences come together to experience their world through exceptional theatrical performance.

PURE’s staff includes Sharon Graci (Artistic Director), Rodney Lee Rogers (Producing Director), David Mandel (Associate Artistic Director), Joy Vandervort-Cobb (Associate Artistic Director), Megan Wildebour (Managing Director), Richard Heffner (Technical Director) and Meagan McMahon (Patron Services Assistant). Serving on the PURE Theatre board are James Marino (President), Barry Abrams (Treasurer), Michael Culler (Secretary), David Albenberg, Chris Burgess, Peter Calcagno, and Amy Gaffney.


The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, South Carolina Arts Commission, Iowa Cancer Consortium, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center