American Theater Company Announces Michael Milligan's MERCY KILLERS, 10/30-11/3
American Theater Company announces Town Hall, a series of interdisciplinary artistic events that spark debate on a national issue. In collaboration with Stella Adler Studio of Acting's Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater Company and the Illinois Single Payer Coalition ATC proudly presents Mercy Killers, written and performed by Michael Milligan, directed by Tom Oppenheim. Mercy Killers is the winner of a prestigious First Fringe Award from The Scotsman for best new writing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, receiving rave reviews calling the play, "...shattering" (The Stage) and "...theatre distilled to its most basic essentials" (The Scotsman).
Mercy Killers is a one-man theater piece taken from the collected stories of people suffering financial disaster on top of chronic illnesses. After hearing many horror stories of the American health care system, Michael Milligan (whose Broadway credits include August: Osage Country, La Bête, and Jerusalem) works to put a human face on what he perceives to be a national tragedy.
The play takes on the broken system through Joe, a working-class American interrogated by the police over the death of his terminally ill wife. He starts out sympathetic to the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement and the libertarian convictions of self-reliance and the free market. However, when his cancer-stricken wife loses her health insurance, his patriotic feelings are put to the test. Trapped in a labyrinth of bureaucracy and debt, Joe's faith in the American Dream is pushed to the limit when he is driven to a fateful act.
"Having worked with Michael in the early days of columbinus, I know he has a deep passion for creating theatre that inspires dialogue on national issues." said PJ Paparelli, Artistic Director, "This powerful theatrical event embodies the heart of American Theater Company's mission and is a great contribution to the national dialogue on healthcare reform."
There will be a talkback hosted by the Illinois Single Payer Coalition after every performance to promote dialogue around the issue of healthcare cost in the United States.
"The Town Hall Seres allows theater and non-theater artists to engage in debate on a national issue in short form," said Paparelli. "Rather than spend years developing a piece of art, Town Hall allows artists a chance to immediately respond to those issues."
The show will run from October 30th to November 3rd. Evening performances at 8pm on 10/30, 10/31, 11/1, and 11/2. Matinee performance at 2pm on 11/3. Admission will be free and ticket reservations should be made on ATC's website: atcweb.org. At the end of the performance, the audience is encouraged to pay what they can or what they think the performance was worth.
American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?"
Michael is a performer who has been writing and acting for the theater for almost two decades. Milligan has appeared on the Broadway stage as Little Charles in August: Osage County, De Bries in La Bête, and as a 'raver' and understudy on Jerusalem. No stranger to the one man show, Milligan performed Will Eno's Thom Pain Off Broadway. Milligan received his training from Juilliard where he won the John Houseman Prize for excellence in classical drama. He has performed the Bard's works with the Shakespeare Theater, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare and Company, Cincinatti Playhouse, Shakespeare Sedona and Santa Cruz, St. Louis Rep, the Utah, Alabama, Illinois, Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, Milwaukee Shakes, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, and New Jersey Shakespeare in roles as diverse as Hamlet, Mercutio, Romeo, Angelo, Cassio, Dromio, Lucentio, Antipholus, Mark Antony, Edgar, Orlando, as well as many spear carriers and various shrubbery movers. Milligan is a sometime instructor of Shakespeare at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. He has also appeared at many of the nation's top regional theaters including the Guthrie, Westport Country Playhouse, Charlotte Rep, The McCarter Theater, and Folger Theatre in Washington D.C.