for more info call: 888 860 2780

or email:

New Home page logo-page-001

“One man theater at its very best.” Broadway Baby

“Five Stars.” The Scotsman

Edinburgh “Fringe First” award winner

Click here for upcoming performance details.

Audience Testimonials

“Michael Milligan’s Mercy Killers is a powerful teaching tool to deliver the emotional impact of how our healthcare system chews up and spits out so many Americans. This masterfully written and performed play displays the agonizing, dehumanizing suffering needlessly imposed on decent people by a system that turns healthcare into a market commodity instead of a basic human right. Mercy Killers poignantly demonstrates how rugged individualism can’t compete with diseases and expenses that can strike down anyone.”
Buddy Robinson, Co-Coordinator, Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition

“As a longtime advocate for meaningful healthcare reform, I found a refreshing perspective in Mercy Killers. When focusing on policy, it can be easy to lose sight of the actual plight faced by real people. The play provides a very personal look at the blameless catastrophe many average Americans face when they become ill. As a doctor, I have amassed plenty of my own horror stories of patient suffering. I was surprised I could be this affected by yet another. However, Milligan’s acting is superb, and I was completely engrossed in the story from beginning to end. The tale he weaves brings you into the middle of a needless, mind-numbing tragedy that should never happen in a country as wealthy as ours. It has power that facts and figures will never offer. Regardless of political persuasion or beliefs about how to fix the healthcare mess, audience members will leave the performance deeply moved and in agreement that we simply cannot leave things as they are.”

Ann Settgast, M.D., Co-Chair, Minnesota chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program

“It’s an emotionally compelling rollercoaster of a ride, thoroughly convincing in its evocation of Joe, a good-old boy auto-mechanic from small-town southeastern Ohio who has pretty much always played by the rules, never asked for hand-outs, prided himself on his independence and, as his buying into the auto-shop makes clear, has been fueled all along by his determination to make something of himself for the great love of his life, his wife Jane. Until, that is, Jane is diagnosed with cancer and everything starts to unravel. The human cost of this devastating development is wrenching as Michael Milligan explores Joe’s feelings of guilt for having somehow not done enough to prevent things unfolding as they did, but the dramatic momentum of the monologue derives from its ringing indictment of the American healthcare system, which bankrupts the couple.”
Andy Spencer, Editor, Communications from the International Brecht Society

“Michael Milligan’s breathtaking performance of a shattered man in the throws of a healthcare nightmare, made only worse by the twists and turns of insurance companies, truly humanizes the vast inequities of America’s for-profit health insurance system. You will be talking about Mercy Killers long after the curtain draws.”
Josh Starcher, Healthcare-NOW! NYC

“In one spellbinding hour, Milligan manages to spotlight what is wrong with our health care system: capricious coverage, error-prone treatments, and unreasonable costs that ultimately affect us all.”
Jacqueline H. Wolf, Department Chair, Department of Social Medicine, Ohio University

“There’s a marvelous and mysterious kind of alchemy at work in author and actor Michael Milligan’s mesmerizing, harrowing indictment of US healthcare. Not only is it theatre distilled to its most basic essentials — one ordinary individual telling his story, as if to an invisible interrogator, his only props a table and chair — but it’s unambiguously specific in its objectives to attack a system responsible for more than 60 percent of US personal bankruptcies … It’s also fuelled by profound outrage, and yet all these elements are so skillfully and meticulously controlled, in both the writing and performance, so thoroughly transmuted in service of storytelling, drama, and characterization, that the effect is gripping first and foremost on a painfully human level, even as Milligan simultaneously delves beneath the foreground issues to the personal and national philosophies underlying the debate Stateside … Despite flashes of righteous anger, too, among the myriad emotions at work in Milligan’s superbly nuanced portrayal, it’s perhaps most heartbreaking of all that Joe’s adherence to the traditional US credo of self-reliance leads him ultimately to blame himself.”
The Scotsman, 5 Stars

“Boldly and wonderfully acted, the play left many audience members in tears, inspiring both compassion and a sense of the need for change. Milligan, a Broadway actor and Ohio State University alum, is currently on tour performing his act in cooperation with SPAN Ohio in order to advocate health care reform in the United States. His play, first and foremost, is an attempt to speak out on behalf of the gross numbers of individuals who have spiraled into bankruptcy as a result of medical debt. In performance, however, Milligan does much more than this. With an eye toward individualism and the American dream, Mercy Killers ultimately calls for much more than medical reform — reform of the values that comprise our culture today.”
Aaron Smith, ARTS/West

“Raw, emotional and devastatingly honest. When Joe’s wife is diagnosed with cancer and the health insurance company refuses to pay, his life and his beliefs begin to fall apart. Broadway actor Michael Milligan’s solo show gives an insight into the destructive personal impact of the American health care system. It makes public the private stories of thousands of Americans and shows an urgent need for change in a system failing so many. His performance is incredibly powerful and passionate, sweeping the audience up in Joe’s story; making them laugh sometimes and bringing them to the edge of tears at others. Milligan has written a beautifully moving and thought-provoking piece that will leave you feeling a mixture of thankful, angered and saddened.”
5 Stars, Three Weeks

“Michael Milligan’s Mercy Killers is a powerful play that illustrates the urgency of replacing our dysfunctional health insurance system. In this painfully accurate portrayal of the personal struggles of one couple, Milligan makes public the suffering that thousands of American families experience in private. I was inspired by the performance, and energized to move our state from health insurance for some, to health care for all.”
John Marty, Minnesota State Senator

“This is a wonderfully executed piece of political theatre, focusing not on those in power, but choosing instead to shine a light on the reality of the people who are suffering and dying through lack of care. It highlights the flaws in a system which is only useful for those who can afford its privileges. This is one man theatre at its very best and is something the fringe should embrace with gusto. If you love to be challenged by the theatre you’re watching and leave the theatre willing to ask the questions that make a difference, then Mercy Killers is a shining example of provocative theatre and production you don’t want to miss out on.”
Broadway Baby

“This poignant drama cuts to the chase: healthcare is a human right, not a commodity. The incredible strength of the performance is the character development of ‘Joe,’ the apple pie-loving, Rush Limbaugh-listening, blue-collar worker who struggles with the uniquely American experience of losing your health in the land of plenty. Milligan’s performance strips away the polarization of the political debate and opens the door for real conversation as to how can this be happening here.”
Joanne Boyer, Wisdom Voices

“The backbone of Michael Milligan’s shattering monologue concerns the tenuous security and quality of life of working class people in the US … As performer, Milligan invests the character with a solid reality that lets us fill in all the gaps – we don’t have to be told where he shops or what he listens to on the radio – and convinces us that the story is about much more than a faulty health system.”
The Stage

“Michael Milligan has created the near impossible: a passionate
evening of socially conscious theater that doesn’t read like
rhetoric. Beautifully crafted and immensely entertaining, do not
miss this show.”
Merri Biechler, Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, Athens, Ohio

“Michael Milligan’s play Mercy Killers is a powerful indictment of our failed healthcare system and its cruelty. Caring citizens should protect and empower each other. We can fix the healthcare system by covering everyone under an improved and expanded Medicare for all, and Michael’s play should inspire us all to fight even harder for healthcare justice.”
Johnathon Ross, M.D., MPH, Former President of Physicians for a National Health Program

“This searing one man show manages to make politics personal, largely thanks to a heart-breaking performance from leading man and Broadway actor Michael Milligan.”
The List

“At the centre of Michael Milligan’s one man show is not just a searing indictment of the U.S. healthcare system but also a surprisingly tender love story. It is a combination perfectly judged to affect the audience, to break through prejudices and politics straight to the core of a very real problem. Mercy Killers also stands out, however, as some of the best theatre at the Fringe.”
TV Bomb

Host a Performance

For information about hosting a performance or for more information contact us:


…or send us a message using the form on our Contact page:


Contribute to Mercy Killers

Many performances of Mercy Killers are FREE and made possible entirely by donations. Please help pay it forward.

About Michael

Michael Milligan is a performer who has been writing and acting for the theater for almost two decades. Milligan has appeared both on and off the Broadway stage and in regional theaters throughout the country. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School.