Presentation Title

An Alternative Approach to Allergies

Presentation Type

Poster

Keywords

Dramaturgy, Theatre, Clinical Ecology, Lisa Kron, Allergies, female playwright, Well

Department

Theater Arts

Major

Theatre Arts (Directing Emphasis)

Abstract

Playwright Lisa Kron was one of 20,000 patients to receive treatment for food allergies at the Ecology Unit of Henrotin Hospital in Chicago in the 1980s. In her autobiographical play, Well she explores her unique treatment process in various scenes. Pepperdine’s theatre department staged Well this last January where my role as dramaturg would lead me to conduct extensive research on the groundwork behind the line of medicine known as clinical ecology.

The Unit operated briefly from 1983 to 1986 and was led by the pioneer of clinical ecology, Dr. Theron G. Randolph. Of the many books he published on the topic, An Alternative Approach to Allergies outlines the foundations: the substances people eat, breathe and touch every day can result in a variety of physical and emotional disorders in susceptible people ranging from headaches and fatigue to, in some extreme cases, psychosis. Dr. Randolph’s solution to these challenges was what Kron dubs the “Allergy Unit”, an environment-controlled hospital wing that kept patients in porcelain-and-steel quarters where hospital staff wore no fragrances and the Chicago air was completely filtered.

Dr. Randolph’s new approach was short-lived, however; the California Medical Association reported in 1986, ''No convincing evidence was found that patients treated by clinical ecologists have recognizable syndromes, that the diagnostic tests employed are reliable, or that the treatments used are effective.” I invite you to take a journey into the world of Well and ponder the core question Lisa Kron posses: why are some people sick and other people are well?

Faculty Mentor

Bradley Griffin

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative

Location

Waves Cafeteria

Start Date

29-3-2019 2:00 PM

End Date

29-3-2019 3:00 PM

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Mar 29th, 2:00 PM Mar 29th, 3:00 PM

An Alternative Approach to Allergies

Waves Cafeteria

Playwright Lisa Kron was one of 20,000 patients to receive treatment for food allergies at the Ecology Unit of Henrotin Hospital in Chicago in the 1980s. In her autobiographical play, Well she explores her unique treatment process in various scenes. Pepperdine’s theatre department staged Well this last January where my role as dramaturg would lead me to conduct extensive research on the groundwork behind the line of medicine known as clinical ecology.

The Unit operated briefly from 1983 to 1986 and was led by the pioneer of clinical ecology, Dr. Theron G. Randolph. Of the many books he published on the topic, An Alternative Approach to Allergies outlines the foundations: the substances people eat, breathe and touch every day can result in a variety of physical and emotional disorders in susceptible people ranging from headaches and fatigue to, in some extreme cases, psychosis. Dr. Randolph’s solution to these challenges was what Kron dubs the “Allergy Unit”, an environment-controlled hospital wing that kept patients in porcelain-and-steel quarters where hospital staff wore no fragrances and the Chicago air was completely filtered.

Dr. Randolph’s new approach was short-lived, however; the California Medical Association reported in 1986, ''No convincing evidence was found that patients treated by clinical ecologists have recognizable syndromes, that the diagnostic tests employed are reliable, or that the treatments used are effective.” I invite you to take a journey into the world of Well and ponder the core question Lisa Kron posses: why are some people sick and other people are well?