Medicine, Money, and Morality clash when the Heart Transplant Selection Committee of St. Patrick’s Hospital has only minutes to decide which of three patients will receive a heart that has suddenly become available. A cross between Twelve Angry Men and ER, The God Committee takes us into the inner workings of a transplant program and a decision, for both their candidates and their program, that is a matter of life and death.
The performance runs 90 minutes including an intermission.
The God Committee, a medical drama that explores the moral, ethical and emotional issues surrounding decisions about organ transplantation, is the next presentation for Glenview’s Oil Lamp Theater.
On any given day in the United States, about 120,000 people need life-saving organ transplants. Approximately a quarter of those will ultimately die for lack of donor organs. Playwright Mark St. Germain takes us into the boardroom of a major urban hospital for a meeting of the Transplant Selection Committee, a small group tasked with making a wrenching decision: who, from among the several candidates, will receive a donor heart that has just become available? And who won’t?
The God Committee explores this gathering of seven professionals — three doctors, a social worker, a psychiatrist, a nurse, and a priest – as they wrestle with their not only this profound question, but also with their professional responsibilities, their personal ethics, and their own emotions. Who should live? And who will die? And how would you decide?
The seven members of The God Committee include Dr. Alex Gorman, a surly and opinionated cardiac surgeon (Wendy Hayne); Nurse Neil Larkin, a down-to-earth registered nurse who is the transplant coordinator (Anthony Harden); Dr. Jackie Klee, a cardiologist who heads the hospital’s transplant unit and who may have her own agenda, (Madeline Bunke); Dr. Andy Ross, a psychiatrist working hard to hide his own personal stress (Dennis Schnell); Dominique Piero, the eccentric and well-intentioned head of Social Services at the hospital, (Deveon Bromby); Father Charles Dunbar, a Catholic priest who is also the committee’s lawyer (David
McNulty); and Dr. Kenneth Banks, a young surgeon filling in as proxy for another doctor, who must learn to vote his own conscience in this unrelenting environment (Mark Tacderas). The understudies for this production are Whitney Minarik, Rachel Silvert and Steve Smith.
Each one of these people is a qualified professional. Each is driven by the desire to achieve the best outcome possible for their patients in their care. But St. Germain’s play reveals that those who “play God” are also complex individuals driven by ego, delusions of grandeur, ticking clocks… and the knowledge that their decisions are irrevocable.
With shades of Twelve Angry Men, Grey’s Anatomy and ER, The God Committee will keep you on the edge of your seat as the committee argues, accuses, and moves inexorably toward its fateful decision.
Directed by Josh Johnson
Dr. Jackie Klee
Nurse Neil Larkin
Dr. Alex Gorman
Father Charles Dunbar
Dr. Andy Ross
Dr. Kenneth Banks