Award Winning Play about Health Care

Norman Oliver, MD, Chair of Family Medicine and Director of the Center on Health Disparities at UVA to host a discussion about health care in America with the Writer/Actor Michael Milligan after the October 5th show.

Award winning play about Health Care in America coming to Live Arts in Charlottesville, Virginia for 2 days only:

  • Mercy Killers

  • Fri, Sat, Oct. 4th and 5th
  • Live Arts, Gibson Theatre
  • Written and Performed by Michael Milligan
  • Winner of a “Fringe First” for Best New Writing at the World’s Largest Arts Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • After the performance, on Saturday October 5th, UVA’s Dr. Norm Oliver will host a discussion about health care in America.

Mercy Killers – trailer 1: Dancing in the Dark from Michael Milligan on Vimeo.

About the Show:

(go to show website here) “When Joe’s wife is diagnosed with cancer and the health insurance company refuses to pay, his life and his beliefs begin to fall apart.

Broadway actor Michael Milligan’s solo show gives an insight into the destructive personal impact of the American health care system.

It makes public the private stories of thousands of Americans and shows an urgent need for change in a system failing so many.

His performance is incredibly powerful and passionate, sweeping the audience up in Joe’s story; making them laugh sometimes and bringing them to the edge of tears at others.

Milligan has written a beautifully moving and thought-provoking piece that will leave you feeling a mixture of thankful, angered and saddened.”

– The Scotsman, The Leading Paper of Scotland, in Edinburgh, home to the world’s largest international arts festival, The Fringe Festival.

About Dr. Oliver

Norm Oliver, MD, MAM. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A., a founding member and current Director of the University of Virginia Center on Health Disparities (CHD).  Dr. Oliver, is the Spencer P. Bass Twenty-First Century Professor and Chair of the University of Virginia Department of Family Medicine, with joint appointments in the UVA departments of Public Health Sciences and Anthropology.

He has extensive experience in the area of racial and ethnic disparities in health, particularly in cancer health.  His research focus is on the social determinants of racial and ethnic health disparities, using geographic information systems technology and spatial analysis.

His most recent research projects involve investigating the role of implicit racial bias in the delivery of health care.

He author’s a blog about health disparities called Oliver’s Twist.

About the Writer/Performer

Michael Milligan has appeared on several Broadway shows including August: Osage County, La Bete, and Jerusalem.  While studying at Juilliard he won the John Houseman Prize for excellence in classical drama. A reading of his verse play, Phaeton, featured Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley.

He has previously received Four Stars for his performance of Lanford Wilson‘s one-man show, Poster of the Cosmos, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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 actual 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 man, 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 when he is driven to make a fateful act.

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