Seattle Repertory Theatre Seattle Center
Wednesdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 13 2016
Recommended by Rich Smith
Local playwright Karen Hartman's medical thriller is about twin boys born with hemophilia. The disease puts the kids at a high risk for contracting AIDS, which in 1976 is starting to spread more widely in America. The boys' father, Ray, is a single parent who obviously wants to keep his boys alive, and Dr. Roz is the pediatrician with a miracle cure: Factor 8. Something goes wrong during the administration of the drug, forcing Dr. Roz and Ray to deal with an increasingly bleak future.
Roz and Ray features only two actors, but this quiet little medical drama is probably the most intersectional show in Seattle theater right now. The story of Roz and Ray dramatizes something we don't often see dramatized: victims of racism, sexism, and homophobia falling in love and clashing, all while being taken advantage of by big, evil pharmaceutical corporations. That's race, gender, sexuality, and class all very much in the foreground of what is essentially a delicately done (if 15 minutes too long) love story. This is the kind of play that sends you down a Wikipedia rabbit hole for hours after you see it. Did pharmaceutical companies really commit genocide against hemophiliacs in the 1980s? And what are those big pharmaceutical companies doing now? And why aren't they paying for everyone to go to college? And was the Reagan administration the absolute worst administration the country has ever known?