Help heal the heart of American healthcare.

Support the dialogue: healthcare plays make politics personal through gripping narrative.

Poor Box Theater- American Mercy Tour A Project of Other Projects


The Poor Box Theater
An actor, an audience, and an empty space.
Keeping overhead low, we reach high.
Through simplicity, we delve into complexities.
Limiting spectacle, we expand imagination.
A light in dark corners reveals hidden treasures.
One vulnerable heart redeems the whole world
and the greatest revolution in the world is sympathy....

American Mercy Tour
The Poor Box Theater's barnstorming tour of America presents the award winning plays of Michael Milligan in unexpected places. By claiming unconventional spaces for performance, Poor Box sparks dialogue about the healthcare system where it is needed most. Over 200 churches, community centers, lecture halls, classrooms, theaters, dance studios, union halls, hospitals, living rooms and libraries around the country have been transformed into impromptu performance spaces. In addition to tours of West Virginia, Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and New York, Mercy Killers and Side Effects have played at hospitals and medical schools like the Mayo Clinic as well as the House of Representatives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

By supporting the American Mercy Tour you will share the Gift of Art with strangers in diverse American communities by keeping all performances in the tour free to the public. Grass roots organizers continue to request performances all over the country- your support will help make these shows possible.

About Mercy Killers
Blue collar 'Joe' grapples with his red state ideals when he realizes the measures he must take to care for his beloved wife. A surprisingly tender love story, Mercy Killers is an unblinking look at health care in America.


'Milligan's high-octane performance is raw with grief, rage and incomprehension. The stark set—a chair, a bright light and a table—highlights Joe's loneliness, inadequacy and abandonment. And by the end of the play, a for-profit health care system that is responsible for more than 60 percent of all U.S. bankruptcies is no longer just a matter of statistics. Its reality is felt like the blast of a furnace." Chris Hedges, TruthDig

"The Play Obamacare Needs." The Daily Beast.

"Riveting." The Chicago Reader

"Five Stars." The Scotsman

"Milligan does not so much play the role of Joe as he becomes Joe. The intensity of both the acting and the play's themes packs a serious punch into a short amount of time. As the self-made man is confronted by a merciless socio-cultural machine, the political message is strong and timely – but the human implications are what knock us off our feet." Aisle Say Twin Cities.

About Side Effects

More than half of physicians in America struggle with burnout according to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic. Playwright Michael Milligan spent the last couple years asking doctors around the country "why?" In his new play, Side Effects, Milligan shares the answers he received through the fictionalized account of one doctor's struggle.

No one ever told Dr. William Macqueen about the "side effects" of practicing medicine. As bureaucratic and financial pressures collide with his professional standards, William must reconcile the art and business of medicine.


"Michael Milligan delivers a deftly calibrated emotional performance. The play offers a multi-layered perspective of a physician in crisis, caught between a desire to serve his patients and the demands of the current health system."
Johanna Rian, Mayo Clinic, Program director, Center for Humanities in Medicine

"Magnificent performance… Milligan has captured the emotional and ethical dimensions of primary care practice in the United States." Oliver Fein, Physicians for a National Health Program

"The changes in health care have effected all of us, including the providers. This play demonstrates this in a personal way. Excellent." Doreen McIntyre, Minnesota Nurses Association, Board of Directors




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