Shepherd University's Lifelong Learning program will sponsor the one-act play "Mercy Killers" Wednesday, Apr. 2 at 12:30 p.m. in the Erma Ora Byrd auditorium.
The play, by Broadway actor Michael Milligan, presents the heartbreaking dilemma of a young couple when faced with a life-threatening illness. It opens just after Joe has been hauled into the police station and is being questioned about the death of his wife. In emotional statements to the officer, he reveals their deep love, their affection for the wild places of West Virginia, the anguish of her illness, and their inability to afford treatment. The audience will see how Joe's beliefs in self-reliance and the American dream are shaken.
"Over 60 percent of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are the result of medical debt--and in a majority of these, the person actually had insurance," Mulligan said. "I wrote 'Mercy Killers' to put a human face on those statistics."
In addition to the Lifelong Learning program, the play is also sponsored by the Eastern Panhandle Central Labor Council, Eastern Panhandle chapters of Physicians for a National Health Program and Healthcare-Now!, the Jefferson County Branch of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Jefferson County.
Shepherd's Lifelong Learning program is dedicated to meeting the interests of the mature members of our community who wish to engage in stimulating and fun discussions and activities in an academic setting.
A discussion with the playwright/actor is scheduled after the performance.
The play is open to the public and free though donations for the actor are welcome.