Balm in Gilead

By Lanford Wilson

Directed by Micheal Herman

The setting is an all-night coffee shop near New York‚s infamous Needle Park in the early 1960s where a group of bums, drifters, pushers, prostitutes and lost souls search for hope and opportunity through their despair as the evening unfolds. Somewhere at the center of this mosaic of sound and movement, Joe (a heroin pusher) and Darlene (a young prostitute from the Midwest), two young people, appear to build a foundation of love and hope. However, their dreams are short lived, as they find in this world, the wake of past mistakes is too much to escape. In the Lanford Wilson tradition, a dark and vivid portrayal of what happens when hope is lost - leaving people to face the ridicule of society while trying to accept their own sense of failure.

Mercury Players Theatre brings together nearly 50 local artists for this ambitious and daring production. With Lanford Wilson employing a fresh style in the early 1960's that involved overlapping and interlocking dialogue, direct address to the audience, and long flowing monologues, "Balm in Gilead" and other Wilson plays of the time, mark a distinct progression in style from the movements of Naturalism and Realism, proving his work a touchstone of experimental theatre as we know it today.

Produced by Mercury Players at the Bartell Theatre, 113 E. Mifflin Street, Madison, WI

Performances: September 26-October 11, 2003

Opening- 26 Sept., Fri  8PM
27 Sat 8PM
2 Oct. Thur 730PM
3 Fri   8PM
4 Sat 8PM
5 Sun 3PM

8 Wed 730PM (student discount night)
9 Thur 730PM
10 Fri 8PM
11 Sat 8PM (closing night)

Prices: All Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows: $15.
All Thursday shows: $12.
Wednesday, Oct. 8, Student discount night:  $8 with student ID, $12 for non-students.

Reservation Line: (608-242-0150). Please leave your name, the date of the show, the number of tickets you wish to reserve and a phone number. We will call you only if the show you wish to see is sold out. You can pick up tickets at the box office beginning 1 hour before showtime. Tickets will be held till five minutes before showtime. All seating at the Bartell is on a first come first served basis. We encourage you to come early.