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“Typhoid Mary & Patient Zero” by TAPIT/new works

September 7, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on September 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm


Type: Theater

This Event: May be of interest to the LGBTQ community

The Wisconsin Humanities Council has awarded TAPIT/new works a grant to present a new play that explores public health vs. personal freedom. TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater brings to life the true stories of “Typhoid Mary,” and Gaetan Dugas, the infamous “Patient Zero,” in the play, Typhoid Mary & Patient Zero: A play set at the intersection of public health and personal freedom.


Early in the 20th century, a cook suddenly found herself targeted, arrested, and put in isolation. She was told she’d made people sick and killed them, but she couldn’t see how. Decades later, a French-Canadian flight attendant is vilified and blamed for spreading AIDS throughout the United States, even though genetic tests eventually prove he couldn’t have.

They are Mary Mallon, better known as “Typhoid Mary,” and Gaetan Dugas, the infamous “Patient Zero,” and their stories are brought to life in an upcoming production from TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater, Typhoid Mary & Patient Zero: A play set at the intersecti on of public health and personal freedom .

“Were these people treated fairly? Could something similar happen today? What can their stories tell us about how our responses to disease reveal our values? These are the questions at the heart of the play, and they’re really important for us to talk about,” said playwright and project director Danielle Dresden.

Thanks to a recently awarded $2,000 grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, these discussions will take place this fall, at Edgewood College in Madison, the AIDS Resource Center of Milwaukee, and after public performances of the play, September 7 – 23, at TAPIT/new works in Madison.

Experts say it’s a question of when, not if, the country faces the next major epidemic. Such major diseases challenge individuals as well as society, calling into question ideas of right and wrong and overwhelming institutions.

“It’s a good idea to confront these issues now, before there’s an emergency,” Dresden said, “And thanks to support from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the guidance of Dr. Judith Leavitt, an expert on medical history and public health, that’s what we’ll do.”

The Wisconsin Humanities Council has the only grant program in the state devoted to the public humanities. The Council provides matching grants to communities, schools, civic groups, historical societies, museums, libraries, and other non-profit groups throughout the state. Ninety percent of WHC’s funding comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information regarding the play, visit www.tapitnewworks.org. For Wisconsin Humanities Council’s Calendar of Events, please see: http://www.wisconsinhumanities.org/calendar.


September 7, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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TAPIT/new works


Edgewood College
1000 Edgewood College Dr.
Madison, WI 53711 United States
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