Poppyseed Bun

Written By: Wayne Ferguson

Synopsis: Andrei, an oncologist and hematologist, is well-known for his expertise, naturally innovative approach, and uncommon empathy for his patients. He works tirelessly to treat and save patients. Andrei has had many successes and his share of losses – seldom, if ever, due to his skill – resulting from bureaucratic ineptitude, shortage of drugs, inadequate facilities, and government cost-cutting programs. The play opens in a Canadian city between 2010 and 2015. Andrei has just lost a patient. Like others at the clinic, he is over-worked and the administration doesn’t appreciate the toll this takes on the medical staff. Bureaucratic, budgetary, and attitudinal obstacles create frustration and guilt; empathy and impotence generate anger. Andrei sinks into severe depression and begins to self-medicate with alcohol and Dexedrine. The clinic Director genuinely believes that work is the best treatment and to prove his point sends Andrei to a psychiatrist who is attitudinally on the same wave length as himself, and who tells Andrei that he just has to suck it up and get over it. Andrei struggles to continue working. His successes, as awe-inspiring as they are, cannot relieve his depression and guilt. He achieves periodic respite but knows before long there will be another downward spiral, another crash. Eventually he goes on stress leave – that’s what they call it to avoid using the term sick leave. He continues to use medication and alcohol, but they can only numb, they cannot cure, the cancer in his soul. He seeks help goes into rehab, and seems to be progressing well. He presents as having improved sufficiently to be eligible for a pass to go home for the holidays. During this time, he feels another bout of depression coming on. As the clouds begin to gather around him, he feels a sense of utter futility and that he cannot continue fighting. Can the Golem save him? Will he succumb to the cancer in his soul?

History: Unproduced. Read at MAP Open Door

Availability: Contact playwright

Running Time (mins): 46-75

Cast: 3M / 2F

Genres: Drama