The Elgin Area Leadership Academy in collaboration with Elgin Community College will present a staged reading of “Dr. Kelsey,” a one-act play written by retired 16th Circuit Court Judge Wiley Edmondson and directed by ECC Theatre professor Jeff LaRocque. The play will be held on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. in the Spartan Auditorium, located in Building G at ECC’s Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Admission is free.
This docudrama examines ethical leadership and tells the story of Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey’s fight to prevent the drug thalidomide from being authorized for use in the United States. Thalidomide was heavily marketed throughout the world and would eventually be proven to cause severe birth defects. Featuring a cast of ECC student actors, the performance will explore how the one woman’s courageous stance in the face of enormous pressure saved countless lives.
The docudrama is presented as part of the Elgin Area Leadership Academy’s discussion on ethics. The academy is an award-winning program of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce that crafts and delivers a curriculum specifically designed to assist individuals in becoming active and inspiring contributors to the community. Following the play, there will be a discussion of the issues brought forth in the drama and the ethical choices a person is often asked to make.
Previous plays written by Edmonson and offered through the Leadership Academy have focused on the 1995 Chicago heatwave, the flooding of New Orleans, the explosion of the Challenger spacecraft, the incident at Hotel Rwanda, the sinking of the Titanic, the Mai Lai massacre, the women who nursed the wounded at Gettysburg, the Danes who saved the Jews from Nazi Germany, the integration of schools during the Civil Rights Era, and the 18th century slave trade between Africa and the Americas.
For more information on the Elgin Area Leadership Academy, visit elginchamber.com/leadership.