On the Verge will present Michael Milligan's new play, Mercy Killers, at the Van Fleet Feb. 20th thru March 9th. The Columbus run performed by the author is a part of the 'Mercy Killers Tour'- a collaboration with Single Payer Action Network. SPAN is organizing performances around Ohio to help raise awareness about the growing dysfunction of the American health care system.
Over 60% of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are the result of medical debt. "What most people don't realize is that in the majority of those bankruptcies, the person involved actually had insurance at the onset of their health crisis," says Milligan. "Mercy Killers is my attempt to translate those statistics into the human experience indicated by those numbers."
The play explores these themes through Joe, a man being interrogated by the police over the death of his terminally ill wife. A red blooded American, Joe is sympathetic to the Tea Party and the libertarian convictions of self-reliance and the free market. However, when his cancer-stricken wife has her health insurance revoked and they become trapped in the labyrinth of the health care system, Joe's faith in the American Dream is put to the test and he is driven to make a fateful act.
Milligan has toured Mercy Killers throughout Minnesota with Health Care for All Minnesota as well as a brief run in NYC with the Harold Clurman Lab Theater in affiliation with Health Care Now- NYC.
"Michael Milligan's Mercy Killers is a powerful play that illustrates the urgency of replacing our dysfunctional health insurance system. In this painfully accurate portrayal of the personal struggles of one couple, Milligan makes public the suffering that thousands of American families experience in private. I was inspired by the performance, and energized to move our state from health insurance for some, to health care for all." John Marty, State Senator, MN.
Milligan has worked on several Broadway shows including "August: Osage County" "La Bete," and "Jerusalem." He most recently appeared in the world premiere of Christopher Hampton's "Appomattox" at the Guthrie Theater. While studying at Juilliard he won the John Houseman Prize for excellence in classical drama subsequently performing Shakespeare around the country and as a part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works Festival in Stratford. His play, "Phaeton," will be included in the New Globe Theater in London's "Read not Dead' public reading series during the Globe's summer season. His other plays include: Phaeton, The Sea Wolf, The Sublet, Heroine, and Urgent: Aliens. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Michael is thrilled to be returning to the Van Fleet Theater where he made his debut as an actor at the age of 7 in Players Theater's production of 'Dragon Tale' directed by Steven C. Anderson.
All seats for the run of Mercy Killers will be free although reservations are strongly encouraged. The opportunity to make a donation is available online when making a reservation and at the door.