An important medical breakthrough has a shameful history. In 1840’s Alabama, a slave-owning doctor performs medical experiments on involuntary subjects – enslaved women – in an effort to solve the problem of fistulas, a post-childbirth anomaly. As the experiments proceed, and he gets close to a solution, the women try to survive and even find dignity in the face of inhuman treatment.
Includes conversations with playwright Charly Evon Simpson and Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens, author of Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology.
Behind the Sheet is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series of science-themed plays. Lead funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bridging science and the arts in the modern world.