Hang & Focus

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Below is an archive of Hang & Focus Episodes.

To watch and listen to episodes, visit ATC’s YouTube Channel.

9/6/21 – Kait Kerrigan & Bree Lowdermilk

Join us as we talk to Kait Kerrigan and Bree Lowdermilk, longtime Lyricist and Composer duo, about our upcoming production of Justice!   

8/17/21 – Eliana Pipes, Tioni Collins, Elaine Romero & 2021 NLPA Award Winner, Rachel Lynett

Award Winning Playwrights Eliana Pipes and ATC’s Playwright-in-Residence Elaine Romero. Grab your chocolate de Abuelita (or have it iced like a true millennial) and get hyped for the weekend!
Join us as we meet the unstoppable, amazingly talented Rachel Lynett, ATC’s 2021 National Latinx Playwrights Award Winner.

8/11/21 – Hamlet and Matravius Avent

Hamlet from All Puppet Players joins us to talk about their new season and Matravius Avent is the voice of Audrey II, from ABT’s Little Shop of Horrors!

7/27/21 – TheatreWorks Artistic Producing Director, Chris Hamby & ATC’s New Director of Education, Chris Moseley

Chris Hamby is the Producing Artistic Director of Theatre Works in Phoenix! Christopher Moseley is ATC’s new Director of Education! Chris spent the last 15 years teaching with Tucson Unified School District. We are so excited to have him on the team!

7/20/21 – Performer Jen Cody

Jen Cody has been performing on Broadway for the over 25 years, originating roles in many shows including Seussical the Musical, Urinetown and Shrek! She is also the voice of Charlotte LaBouff in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog!

7/13/21 – Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Artistic Director, Brent Hazelton

In the spirit of our teams competing in the NBA Finals, Brent, Sean and Chanel discuss theatre and basketball in Arizona and Milwaukee, and the bet we’ve made between our two organizations!

7/6/21 – Multimedia Designer Jared Mezzocchi & Actor Robbie Tann

Hang & Focus Live featuring Director, Designer, Playwright Jared Mezzocchi and Actor Robbie Tann of HBO’s limited series Mare of Easttown

6/30/21 – ATC Staff Members Eddie Diaz and Stacey Jay Cavaliere

Hang & Focus Live featuring ATC Staff Members Eddie Diaz and Stacey Jay Cavaliere!

6/21/21 – ATC Artistic Associate christopher oscar peña

It’s our second installment of features from our upcoming season! Join us as we go in depth with Playwright and ATC Artistic Associate christopher oscar peña AND highlight the last show of our 54th Season, “how to make an American Son,” recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Grants for Arts Projects Award!

6/14/21 – Local Actors Veronika Duerr, Seth Tucker and Lena Quach

Meet your local talent! Arizona artists and cast members Veronika Duerr, Seth Tucker and Lena Quach join Hang & Focus Live to discuss ATC’s upcoming Holiday show, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.”

6/8/21 – Music Director Alan Plado

Join us for a conversation with Music Director Alan Plado! Plado is happy to return to his Arizona roots as the Music Director for ATC’s 54th Season opener, “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend.” You may know Plado from his work with local companies, including Childsplay, Arizona Broadway Theatre, Scottsdale Performing Arts and Phoenix Theatre Company.

6/2/21 – Director of Learning & Education, Jasmine Roth

Jasmine Roth joins the Hang & Focus team to reflect on this past year in the Learning & Education Department and looks at what the future holds! 

5/24/21 – Hear Arizona Podcast Producers, Scott Bourque & Anthony Wallace

Scott Bourque & Anthony Wallace of Hear Arizona join Sean & Chanel to share the insights they’ve gained in researching and talking with a diverse mix of Arizona’s arts organizations.

5/18/21 – Managing Director, Geri Wright

Join us as we walk through our 2021/2022 Season, a season to embrace the unexpected joy in everyday life!! ATC’s Managing Director, Geri Wright, joins the conversation with Sean and Chanel!

5/13/21 – Mother’s Day

It’s the MOTHER of all episodes! Join us as we get to gush over adorable baby pictures of our hosts and their moms AND highlight our latest Digital Offering, Somewhere Over the Border.
We reach into the Hang & Focus vault for a message from Brian Quijada about why he wrote the piece as a tribute to his mother, Reina!

4/27/21 – 1st Birthday Episode with Dan Bakkedahl & Lucky Yates

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hang & Focus!! We’re celebrating 1 year by bringing back our first guests ever!  Hang & Focus Live featuring Dan Bakkedahl and Lucky Yates!  
You may know Dan from VEEP, The Second City, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,  Life In Pieces, or HBO Max’s Made For Love! Lucky is an actor, voice actor, puppeteer and comedian known for voicing Dr. Krieger on FX Networks’ Archer!    

4/20/21 – Vichet Chum

Cambodian-American playwright and theater maker Vichet Chum!
Vichet Chum’s plays have been workshopped at Steppenwolf Theatre, the Magic Theater, the Alley Theatre, the UCROSS Foundation, Fault Line Theatre, Crowded Outlet, Second Generation Productions, Weston Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theatre, All For One Theater, Amios, Florida State University, Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the New Harmony Project.

4/13/21 – Lauren Gunderson & Danny Erdberg

Playwright Lauren Gunderson and Sound Designer Danny Erdberg talking about ATC’s upcoming Audio Play of Gunderson’s THE HEATH featuring Lauren as herself and Emmy and Tony Award Winner John Larroquette.

4/6/21 – Peilin Chou

Academy Award Nominated Producer Peilin Chou. Most recently, Peilin produced Over the Moon, an animated musical feature film directed by Glen Keane which premiered on Netflix in October 2020 and went on to receive Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Feature Animated Film. Peilin also produced Abominable, an animated feature co-production with DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio directed by Jill Culton, which launched theatrically worldwide in September of 2019. Join the conversation! 

3/30/21 – Some RomeroFest Favorites

A RomeroFest wrap up where we will reflect on an amazing festival celebrating our Playwright-in-Residence Elaine Romero.

3/23/21 – The Arizona Creatives involved in RomeroFest

Hang & Focus Live featuring the Arizona Creatives participating in #RomeroFest and the cast of ATC’s upcoming offering, Ponzi!

3/17/21 – Karen Zacarías

Zacarías is one of the most produced playwrights in the nation. She is one of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and is a core founder of the LATINX THEATRE COMMONS. She is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC.

You might remember Zacarías from her play Native Gardens! She was also the recipient of our National Latinx Playwright Award in 2004 for her play Mariela in the Desert!

3/9/21 – Jon Carr

Sean Daniels and Chanel Bragg discuss Jon’s new role at The Second City.
Prior to joining The Second City, he was artistic director for Dad’s Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia. A seasoned improviser, performer, and award-winning playwright with nearly 20 years of industry experience, Jon has been part of Atlanta’s creative community for more than 15 years, where, among his many creative accomplishments, he held the position of audience development manager at Alliance Theatre and founded United Atlanta Improv to help improv theatres around the city come together through collaborative works.

3/1/21 – Christina Ham

Playwright/Writer/Producer Christina Ham!    
Christina is the Playwright for ATC’s upcoming Nina Simone: Four Women. Join us for a sneak peek and to learn why she wrote it and what her process was! In addition to her plays being produced nationally and internationally, Christina is a writer/producer on HBO’s Emmy-Award winning series Westworld!  

2/23/21 – Kenny Leon

Hang & Focus Live, featuring Tony Award Winning Director Kenny Leon!
Kenny discusses his upcoming work, the responsibility of artists during this time and being a BIPOC voice in the American theatre. 

2/16/21 – Howard Sherman and Marshall Shore

Producer and Author Howard Sherman, and “The Hip Historian” Marshall Shore.

2/9/21 – Elizabeth Montgomery

Hang & Focus Live, featuring Elizabeth Montgomery, Arts & Culture Reporter for The Arizona Republic! Elizabeth was just elected as President of the Arizona Association of Black Journalists!

2/2/21 – Elaine Romero, Bryan Falcon, and Maria Caprile

Hang & Focus Live, featuring Elaine Romero, Bryan Rafael Falcon of The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre, and Maria Franco Caprile of Winding Road Theater Ensemble. Chanel Bragg discusses the upcoming RomeroFest with our guests!

1/20/21 – MCC Coronalogs Panel

Arizona Theatre Company’s Sean Daniels and Chanel Bragg discuss CoronaLogs with the artists, makers, and mentors behind it.
CoronaLogs: Explorations of Identity, Culture and Well-Being During COVID-19 is a community based project between ATC and Mesa Community College & Mesa Community College Theatre & Film Arts.

1/12 /21 – Steve Yockey

Steve Yockey is a Los Angeles based writer with work produced throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.  His plays Bellwether, Pluto, Afterlife, Octopus, Large Animal Games, CARTOON, Subculture, Very Still & Hard to See, Blackberry Winter, The Thrush & The Woodpecker, The Fisherman’s Wife, Wolves, Disassembly, and Niagara Falls & Other Plays are published and licensed by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals. His newest play Sleeping Giant was selected for the Center Theatre Group LA Playwrights Festival and premiered at the Assembly Rooms in the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Next season: Bleeding Hearts will premier in a co-production between Arizona Theatre Company (Phoenix) and Stray Cat Theatre (Tempe).  Steve holds an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He was a Co-Executive Producer on the television series Supernatural and is an Executive Producer and the creator/showrunner on HBO Max’s new darkly comedic thriller The Flight Attendant.

12/15/20 – Reginald Douglas and Brian Quijada

Reginald Douglas is a director, producer, and advocate dedicated to creating new work and supporting new voices. He has worked at theaters across the country, including directing work at Eugene O’Neill Center, TheaterWorks Hartford, CATF, Everyman Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Theatre Squared, Playwrights Center, Profile Theatre, Kennedy Center, The Lark, New York Theatre Workshop, and City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh, where he served as the Artistic Producer from 2015-2020. Reginald currently works as the Associate Artistic Director at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC and serves on the Board of Directors of the National New Play Network. www.reginalddouglas.com

Brian Quijada is an actor, playwright, and composer who’s original work has been developed and produced all across the country. His hip hop solo show Where Did We Sit on the Bus? has been produced at Victory Gardens, Teatro Vista (Jeff Award), Ensemble Studio Theatre (Drama Desk Nomination), Boise Contemporary, 1st Stage, and City Theatre Pittsburgh. His plays have been developed at The Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh CLO’s Spark Festival, Victory Gardens’ Ignition Festival, New Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Festival, and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Musical Theatre Conference. Commissioning institutions include Seattle Repertory Theater, A.R.T., and The Kennedy Center.

11/24/20 – Megan Sanderberg-Zakian and Camille Sledge

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a theater director with a passion for the development of diverse new American plays & playwrights, and a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. Her book There Must Be Happy Endings: On a Theatre of Optimism and Honesty is available from The 3rd Thing Press. Megan is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She lives in Jamaica Plain, MA, with her wife Candice. megansz.com

Camille Sledge is a singer, songwriter, lyricists/MC, and runway model. She currently sings as the lead vocalist for 16-piece big band The Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra in Phoenix, AZ. In 2012, Camille and two business partners developed the 501c3 School of HipHop PHX (SOHH). SOHH is a mentoring and music program which uses hiphop influence to reach underrepresented intercity youth.  Whether Sledge is teaching a runway workshop, or giving life through vocal lessons, she finds the fun in every situation. You can tell by her stage presence that she is always in the moment. Living in the present moment is one-way Camille describes her movement. From working closely with the youth, and building community relations, she finds peace in her surroundings, all over the world.

11/18/20 – Idris Goodwin and Paula Taylor

Idris Goodwin is a creative voice for change impassioned by the power of art for social good. He uses story to inspire and incite new audiences across culture and generation. His critically acclaimed plays like And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On  and Hype Man : a break beat play are widely produced across the country at professional theatres, college campuses and non-traditional spaces alike. He’s been honored to receive commissions and developmental support from institutions like The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’neill Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions Series, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor Residency. He’s currently writing Scarfoot Lives, a new play co commissioned by Arena Stage’s Power Play Program and The Playwright Center’s McKnight Fellowship. In addition to the recently released poetry collection Can I Kick It?, he’s had several publications with Haymarket Books including Inauguration, Human Highlight: Ode To Dominique Wilkins and the controversial play This Is Modern Art co-written with Kevin Coval. His words, voice and sometimes entire body, have shown up on HBO Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC radio, and the Discovery Channel. Idris is the Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. A frequent public speaker at conferences and educational spaces, Idris is one of the leading voices in his field, committed to using art to cultivate more diverse and equitable spaces. Visit Idris on the web and social media WWW.IDRISGOODWIN.COM

Paula Taylor, M.S., is a Retail Industry, Strategic Marketing and Business Development Executive, Event Producer, and Author.  For over two decades, Paula worked at all levels of the Fashion and business industry. She owned and operated highly profitable retail boutiques and a thriving production company.

11/10/20 – Tom Kirdahy

Tom Kirdahy is a Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer whose projects have spanned Broadway, off-Broadway, the West End, national and international tours. Select NY/London credits: Hadestown (8 Tony Awards, including Best New Musical), The Inheritance (11 Tony Nominations including Best Play), Terrence McNally’s Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune (2 Tony Nominations including Best Revival), Little Shop of Horrors (Drama Desk Award, Best Musical Revival). Additional Tony nominations: The Visit, Mothers and Sons, After Midnight, Ragtime, Master Class.

11/3/20 – Tamilla Woodard and Tucson’s All Souls Procession organizers

Tamilla Woodard, names Associate Director for Broadway’s Hadestown on March 22, is the Co-Artistic Director of Working Theater. This season her work includes American Dreams, By Leila Buck, Where We Stand by Donnetta Lavinia Grays for WP Theater and Baltimore Center Stage, Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls at American Conservatory Theater and direction and co-conception of Warriors Don’t Cry, a Co-production of The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and TheaterWorksUSA. Recently named one of 50 Women To Watch on Broadway, Tamilla is a graduate of Yale School of Drama where she also teaches. http://www.tamilla.com

Partners since the 1990s in art and life, Paul Weir and Nadia Hagen are founding Board Members for the umbrella non-profit, Many Mouths One Stomach, that produces the annual All Souls Processions. Nadia was born and raised in New York and has worked as a scenic painter and toured with the notorious Tribal Industrial Project, Crash Worship. Paul grew up in New Orleans and brings a background in mountaineering, Industrial Design and Butoh Dance to his work. Nadia took over The All Souls Procession as an Artistic Director in 1996, and founded Flam Chen Pyrotechnic Theater, which Paul joined 1998.

10/27/20 – York Walker

York Walker on his play Covenant.
York Walker is an award-winning writer based in Harlem, New York. He is the inaugural recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Colman Domingo Award. His work includes The Séance (Winner of the John Singleton Short Film Competition, 48 Hours… in Harlem), Covenant (Fire This Time Festival, Access Theatre’s 4 Flights Up Festival), White Shoes (Fire This Time Festival), Summer Of ’63 (The Actors Company Theatre’s New TACTics Festival, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s Apprentice Reading Series) and Of Dreams To Come (American Conservatory Theatre’s New Work Series). York received his MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

10/20/20 – Ben Scheuer

Ben Scheuer, performer and writer of the award winning one-man-musical, The Lion in a special interview that was recorded a few months ago, at the onset of the Pandemic shutdown.
ATC is excited to present Ben Scheuer’s recent London Concert for our ATC audiences from October 20-27 and wanted to offer our audiences a more intimate conversation with him in advance of showcasing his talent!

9/29/20 – Billie Jo Herberger

Billie Jo Herberger has been a Phoenix resident since 1969 and was named the 2013 Woman of the Year by Women of Scottsdale. According to a 2015 article highlighting her in the Phoenix Magazine, “Billie Jo serves as an inspiration to many – she’s survived cervical cancer, breast cancer and malignant melanoma without losing a sliver of her spunk or spark. She doesn’t cover up her scars, but displays them proudly as ‘badges of courage.’”

The Herbergers are well known in the Valley for their support of the arts. Just last year they were inducted into the Herberger Performing Arts & Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2019 and had a new Scottsdale arts award named after them –  the Herberger Award for the Arts. They have given generously to arts organizations including the Herberger Theater, the Phoenix Theater, Valley Youth Theatre, Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, Scottsdale Philharmonic, Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Center for the Arts as well as other important non-profits such as Release the Fear, Key to the Cure (TGen), Kids Read USA, and Phoenix Heart Ball.

9/21/20 – The Cast of Slow Food

Daina Griffith, Brian Beacock, and Joel Van Liew, the cast of ATC’s online presentation of Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod.

9/15/20 – Creative Team Behind My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend

Charissa Bertels, Christian Duhamel, and Ed Bell, the creators behind our first LIVE production of the 2021 Season, the new musical My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend.

9/8/20 – Wendy MacLeod

Wendy MacLeod, playwright of our upcoming Digital Reading, Slow Food, and our upcoming production Women in Jeopardy!

9/1/20 – Char Augenstein and Jasmine Roth

ATC’s Board Chair and Phoenix Philanthropist, Char Augenstein, and Director of Learning and Education, Jasmine Roth

8/25/20 – Elaine Romero, Benjamin Benne, and Eliana Pipes from ATC’s National Latinx Playwrights Award

Current winners of and the team behind ATC’s National Latinx Playwrights Award. Join ATC Playwright-in-residence Elaine Romero, ALMA playwright Benjamin Benne (winner of 2019 NLPA) and playwright, actor, filmmaker, and recipient of the 2020 NLPA Eliana Pipes.

8/18/20 – Revision, Healing: Featuring Cat Rodriguez and Benjamin Benne!

Playwright Benjamin Benne and Director Cat Rodriguez discuss ATC’s workshop reading of 2019 National Latinx Playwrights Award (NLPA), Alma, in anticipation of it’s virtual reading.

8/11/20 – Persevere, Empathy, Dedication, Humility, Growth: Featuring Summer OnStage Alumns!

Jasmine Roth and Summer OnStage Alumna Alex Alegria (2018,2019), Cassie Miller (2017, 2019), Melissa Arnaud (2013), and Tyler Gastelum (2009, 2010, 2011).

8/5/20 – Patience Persevere Community Listening Intentionality feat. Podcasts of Phoenix

Phoenix podcast hosts D. Scott Withers and Ashley Stults of Chewing the Scenery, and Ricky Araiza, Chandra Crudup, and Walter Belcher of Sippin’ Tea in the Balcony.

7/29/20 – Optimistic: Geri Wright

ATC’s Managing Director Geri Wright shares her optimism for the future

7/22/20 – Arizona Performers and Playwrights: Featuring 20 participants from the Arizona edition of the 24 Hour Plays

Playwrights and Actors from this ATC’s 24 Hour Plays Arizona Edition

7/15/20 – Community Resilience With Mark Armstrong & Ashley La Russa

Mark Armstrong (Artistic Director of The 24 Hour Plays ) and Ashley La Russa (Founder of Roux Events and BlaxFriday.com, and beloved member of the ATC family).

7/7/20 – Now & Commitment With Chanel Bragg and Jesse Sanchez

Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Development Operations Manager, Carley Elizabeth Preston, are joined by incoming Associate Artistic Director, Chanel Bragg to talk about ATC’s exciting future!
As a surprise bonus, we will also talk HAMILTON with Jesse Sanchez, Musical Director for Cabaret and creator of SUEÑOS: Our American Musical who was the Musical Director for the Angelica touring cast of Hamilton.

7/1/20 – Present, Synthesis & Strength With Megan Carney, Sharon Pasia, and Amy Young

Megan Carney (Artistic Director of About Face Theatre in Chicago), Sharon Pasia (Member of the Youth Ensemble and Youth Task Force at About Face), and Amy Young (Managing Editor of Echo Magazine, Phoenix’s longest-running LGBTQ publication)

6/26/20 – Explosion & Kindness with Joanie Drago and Oscar De las Salas

Hosts Sean Daniels and Carley Elizabeth Preston interview Joanie Drago (Creator and Playwright of HOT PINK OR READY TO BLOW) and Oscar De Las Salas (Community Leader) on their work, experiences and projects. Here are some of our favorite quotes from the interviews (you’ll have to listen to find out more!)

6/17/20 – Reggie D. White and Raymond Carr

Reggie D. White (Actor—The Inheritance [Broadway]) and Raymond Carr (Puppeteer—Jim Henson Studios)

6/10/20 – Larissa Fasthorse and Hana Sharif

Larissa Fasthorse (Playwright, co-founder of Indigenous Direction, member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation, and Vice Chair of Theatre Communications Group) and Hana Sharif (Artistic Director—The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis).

6/6/20 – Kent Gash and Carley Elizabeth Preston

Director Kent Gash and ATC Team Member Carley Elizabeth Preston

6/3/20 – Ralph Remington and Larry O’Keefe

A timely and important interview with Ralph Remington (Artistic Director, Tempe Center for the Arts) and Larry O’Keefe (Broadway Composer and Lyricist – Bat Boy, Legally Blond, Heathers)!.

5/27/20 – Jaime Dempsey and Mitch Menchaca

Artistic Director Sean Daniels talks with Jaime Dempsey, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Mitch Menchaca, Executive Director of the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. 

5/20/20 – Phoenix Rises (featuring Ricky Arazia and Chanel Bragg)

This week, Arizona Theatre Company Artistic Director Sean Daniels talks with Phoenix-based artists Ricky Arazia of Teatro Bravo and Chanel Bragg.

5/12/20 – The White Chip (featuring Ryan Hampton, Hank Stratton, and Joe Tapper)

In advance of Arizona Theatre Company’s benefit reading of Sean Daniel’s “The White Chip”, Sean Welcomes co-founder of The Voices Project, Ryan Hampton, to discuss the power of stories in removing the stigma of addiction and recovery as well as interviews with Arizona Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Hank Stratton and The White Chip’s lead actor, Joe Tapper.

5/6/20 – The White Chip (featuring Sheryl Kaller & Dan Bakkedahl)

Arizona Theatre Company’s Artistic Director discusses his play The White Chip written based on his personal journey of recovery. Joined by Tony Nominated Sheryl Kaller who directed the The White Chip Off-Broadway and will direct our online reading on May 11th, and Dan Bakkedahl: actor, comedian, former roommate of Sean, and fellow friend in recovery. Content Warning: Addiction, Sobriety, Recovery.

4/29/20 – Clowns, Odes, and Musical Mindfulness (feat. Lucky Yates and Brian Lowdermilk)

Sean chats with Lucky Yates from FX’s Archer, musician/composer Brian Lowdermilk, and ATC’s Costume Shop Manager Mary Woll about the things they love and whats on their mind right now. Enjoy this conversation that covers everything from fond memories of starting an improv troupe, writing songs about everyday gratitude, and making masks to donate to hospitals!