The sobriquet Typhoid Mary has endured as the concept of an individual who willfully or by fate is the source of spreading an epidemic.
In a compelling play by Mark St. Germain, in a theatre that bears his name, the sordid tale of the real Typhoid Mary, Mary Mallon (1869-1938), played with conviction by Tasha Lawrence, unfolds in two acts with a running time of some 90 minutes.
This is a revival of a 1991 play that has been tweaked by the playwright. Staging it again is a commentary on anti-science, fundamentalism and ignorance that pervades our socially and politically divided nation. Like the protagonist, who had no truck with science, medicine and its gibberish, parents refuse to inoculate their children with vaccines. In some cases they have all but eliminated devastating diseases. Such reactionary ignorance evokes key cabinet positions in the current federal government.
In a manner which we have come to expect of historical plays by St. Germain we learn a lot about the disease, its devastation, and efforts to cure and contain it.
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