Cookin' with Typhoid Mary
A Culinary Monologue
Cathy Plourde as Mary Mallon
- 2019, Jewel Box, Puget Sound, WA.
- Winner, Lambda Literary Award in Drama, (The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays).
- Published in The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays, Outskirts Press, CO.
- “Women, Health, and Representations” Conference, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Westbrook, ME.
- Provincetown Fringe Festival, Women’s Week, Provincetown, MA.
- City of Cleveland Health Department sponsors a tour and a video of the play.
- Reviewed in Lesbian Review of Books, Altadena, CA.
- Excerpted in Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public’s Health, Judith Leavitt (Beacon Press, Boston).
Mary Mallon, dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by a hostile press, never admitted that she was a typhoid carrier. Her persistent refusal to defer to medical experts infuriated George Soper, a sanitation engineer for New York City. He built his career on tracking down Mary and incarcerating her. In this monologue, Mary speaks for herself. An Irish emigrant, she traces the story of her persecution back to the Potato Famine, all the while eyeing and chopping potatoes for the stew pot in the kitchen of the mysterious institution where she cooks.
Mary’s version of events is both humorous and chilling. She resists a theory of germs that would indict her for murder, when half of Ireland starved to death before the indifferent eyes of the world.