The realistic drama, set in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital in England in the 1970s, chronicles the efforts of Ken Harrison (played by Dalyn Pearson), a gifted young British sculptor paralyzed rendered quadriplegic in an automobile accident, to end his own life.
Set in his hospital room, the action revolves around Harrison’s determination to be allowed to die.
Playwright Brian Clark presents arguments for and against euthanasia, and explores the extent to which government should be allowed to interfere in the life of a private citizen.
The embittered Harrison feels utterly useless, both as an artist and as a human being, and rejects both his family's love and his caregivers’ ministrations.
He literally wants to die, but legally, that’s not possible.
As one critic pointed out when the play debuted in the 1970s, Whose Life Is It, Anyway? may be the only film in which a person's right to self-destruction is regarded as a happy ending.”
Strenuously opposing Harrison’s fight to end his life are his physicians, Dr. Michael Emerson (Bill Bottomly) and Dr. Joan Scott (Molly Harper), and nursing staffers Sister Anderson (Cynthia Robinson-Scherer), Kay Sadler (Shanna Syme) and an irreverent ward orderly named John (Nate Cretti).
Called in to represent him legally are Harrison’s lawyers (played by Kevin Cohenour and Nick Hoppner); gathering and presenting medical evidence is gathered is a social worker (Cheryl Capshaw); the hospital’s consultant psychiatrists are played by Rachel Deans Krute and Paul Lenihan.
The battle of opposing medical and legal wills is finally resolved by a bedside judicial decision, in what critics describe as “a stunningly profound and emotional climax.”
Director Ginny Spaven and Assistant Director Jane Gaston have assembled a diverse cast and a skilled technical crew for Whose Life Is It Anyway? Performances take place Friday and Saturday evenings, Jan. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain at 7:30 p.m., and with Sunday matinées, Jan. 15 and 22, with a 2 p.m. curtain.
Tickets are on sale at the Magic Circle Players Theatre box office, 420 S. 12th Street, Montrose, open Tuesdays through Thursdays, beginning January 10, 2-5 p.m. Phone 970/249-7838 for information or visit www.magiccircleplayers.com for information.