EST's new drama confronts the history of a great medical breakthrough by telling the forgotten story of a community of enslaved black women who involuntarily enabled the discovery. More…
In 1840s Alabama, Philomena assists a doctor - her owner - as he performs experimental surgeries on her fellow slave women, trying to find a treatment for the painful post-childbirth complications known as fistulas. Reframing the origin story of modern gynecology, "Behind the Sheet" tells how these women supported each other, and questions who, and what, history remembers.
See it if You are interested in a didactic telling of what I would expect to be a fascinating subject. Program notes made me want to learn more.
Don't see it if You want a fleshed our depiction of this subject.
See it if You understand we can’t wish the past away. You accept the collective guilt of slavery and medical experiments on enslaved women.
Don't see it if The screams of women undergoing painful operations without the benefit of anesthesia. You can’t climb one steep flight of stairs. You mind
See it if You want to learn about a sadly-undertold part of medical history
Don't see it if You are turned off by historical works or graphic medical work on stage
See it if you would enjoy a play where the history of medicine and the history of slavery intersect in America c. 1850.
Don't see it if you object to history plays that take significant liberties with the history they’re presenting.