Axis Company's episodic multimedia play Hospital, which examines the interior life of a person in a terminal coma, is something of a signature for the company, which has produced a new installment of the drama nearly every year since 1997. Each annual production of Hospital has a new protagonist entering this state in a different way every year. The audience travels with the protagonist as they live out their last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of their own brain. Although Hospital is a serial play, each episode is a self-contained short play that can be seen in isolation. The brief premise film that begins each year's production-depicting the event that brought on the coma-is shown at the beginning of each performance.
This year's iteration imagines a young grade school teacher with epilepsy-played by Britt Genelin, and by Madeleine Birnbaum in childhood flashbacks-who has grown tired of taking the deadening medicine she requires to live normally. Accepting the risk of a major seizure, she stops taking the pills. On a much-anticipated date the following night, she goes up to the roof to look at the night skyline in the beginnings of a summer storm. Her companion briefly leaves her, and she has a serious epileptic event, slipping from the roof and falling to the pavement below. Once in a coma, she travels through the vast, dark interiors of her dying mind, utilizing dream-like characters from her class subjects, distant memory and imagination to guide her to the end.
Episode 1: July 8-16
Episode 2: July 22-30
Episode 3: August 5-13
Episode 4: August 19-20
The show is a summer downtown phenomenon beloved for its balance of horror, humor, and weirdness.