Ether Dome Humanities Forum
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Dr. Warren M. Zapol, MD, director of MGH’s Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research, will speak about the history of ether in the medical profession and engage in a conversation with the audience moderated by Huntington staff member Charles Haugland following the 2pm matinee performance on Sunday, November 2. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to any performance of Ether Dome.
The Humanities Forum explores the context and significance of the play with a leading expert. Past forums have featured historians Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) and Beverly Morgan-Welch (Museum of African-American History), playwrights Paula Vogel and Lydia R. Diamond, Boston Globe columnists, and accomplished scholars. The Humanities Forum is presented following a select Sunday matinee performance.
Dr. Zapol is currently the Director of the MGH Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he collaborates with many researchers to explore the pulmonary circulation of mammals in normal and disease states. Over the last 20 years, his laboratory has focused upon the physiological and pathophysiological roles of nitric oxide (NO). Based on his lab's pioneering studies, inhaled NO (INO) is now used to treat approximately 30,000 patients per year in the USA to vasodilate the pulmonary circulation and augment arterial oxygenation. For many hypoxic infants and for children after heart surgery, this inhaled therapy is life-saving. In December 1999, the FDA approved INO therapy to treat term newborn infants with hypoxic respiratory failure; a therapy was developed in his lab.
About Ether Dome
A new treatment promising to end pain pits a doctor and his student in an epic battle between altruism and ambition. Based on the true story of the discovery of ether as an anesthetic in 1846 and set in Boston's own Massachusetts General Hospital, this fascinating new play explores the ecstasy of pain, the sweetness of relief, and the hysteria that erupts when healthcare becomes big business.
Produced in association with Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage, and La Jolla Playhouse.
Approximate run time: two hours and forty minutes including two ten-minute intermissions
"Elizabeth Egloff's thrilling new exploration of a revolution in modern medicine unfolds in our own back yard, and our collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital will illuminate a lesser-known chapter of our city's rich history. As our nation grapples with a healthcare overhaul, now is the perfect time for Elizabeth and gifted director Michael Wilson to connect the ramifications of this fascinating event to the world we live in."— Peter DuBois
"I an excited to return to the Huntington with Elizabeth Egloff's exhilarating play about America's greatest medical discovery — anesthesia — and the lives destroyed in the wake of creating a new world without pain. Liz is a fiercely intelligent and deeply human writer who has woven a captivating narrative from true events. Ether Dome holds an unflinching mirror up to our ambitious American character and the ways in which class, greed, and prejudice form a twisted path to innovation."— Michael Wilson
Funded in part by The Ensemble Studio Theatre /
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project