Since its Off-Broadway mounting at NY Theatre Workshop two seasons ago David Rabe's A Question of Mercy has received numerous regional productions, including one at Philadelphia Theater Company and a Long Wharf staging that transferred to the UK in an exchange with London's Bush Theatre. Now Seattle's Intiman Theater begins its 1999 season with this drama about medical ethics and euthanasia. Performances began May 7 for an opening May 12 and run through June 5.
Based on a New York Times essay by Richard Selzer, Mercy looks at a doctor troubled by an AIDS victim's request for help in committing suicide. He agrees to help the young man and his lover but finds his conscience -- and license -- on the line when things go wrong (or, depending on your point of view, right).
Rabe won the 1972 Tony Award for Sticks and Bones, an examination of the effect a blinded Vietnam veteran has when he returns home to his middle-American family. Rabe's other plays include Hurlyburly, a Hollywood tale that boasted an all-star cast on Broadway, and Streamers, set in an Air Force barracks. Before Mercy, Those the River Keeps starring Paul Guilfoyle and Annabella Sciorra, had a brief run Off-Broadway in early 1994.
Starring in Mercy at Intiman are Jeffrey Hayenga (Dr. Chapman), Jos Viramontes, Mark Sturgeon, Amy Thorne, Ray Gonzalez, David Quicksall and Edward Symington. Associate artistic director Victor Pappas directs.
Designing Mercy are Robert A. Dahlstrom (set), Deb Trout (costumes), Mary Louise Geiger (lighting) and Stephen LeGrand (sound). For tickets and information on A Question of Mercy call (206) 269 1900.
-- By David Lefkowitz