College of Visual and Performing Arts

Health Care Takes Center Stage in Moving Production: A Q&A with Theatre Faculty Member Wolf Sherrill


Michael Milligan in Mercy Killers

By Madeleine Chalk (’18)

JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance welcomes acclaimed actor and playwright Michael Milligan. Milligan presents Mercy Killers, a “raw, emotional and devastatingly honest” portrayal of the U.S. health care system. This one-man show follows blue-collar, American “Joe” and his struggle to overcome being hit with a medical catastrophe. Mercy Killers takes place at the Forbes Center on Saturday, October 17 @ 7:30 pm.

Q: What about this production makes it unique?

A: Mercy Killers is a compelling one-man show that examines the state of health care in America. Part love story, part political commentary, this riveting evening of theatre shouldn’t be missed.

Q: What made you want to host the production?

A: The health care debate/battle continues to be an issue that doesn’t seem to be going away. We wanted another chance for our students and the general public to experience Michael’s work.

Q: What do you hope the theatre students who attend will learn from it?

A: Michael is an expert storyteller. He has created a specific and likable character and thrown him into a high-stakes world. The craft that students will see in Michael’s work is an outstanding example of what our students strive for in the classroom.

Q: What do you think those who attend (non-theatre students) will get out of it?

A: They will experience a moving and thought-provoking evening of theatre.

Q: How might this play challenge or expand students’ current perception of theatre?

A: Some students haven’t had much experience with the format of solo performance. Few actors can command the attention of an audience by themselves. Michael is one of them.

Q: What is special about Michael Milligan’s acting?

A: Michael brings an urgent passion, a need to communicate, and genuine vulnerability to his work. His characters are accessible - you feel as if you know them from someplace.

Q: What about this play do you feel is important for viewers to understand?

A: If you are human and have loved, you are ready for this night of theatre! Michael deftly takes care of all the rest.


Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 9, 2017

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