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THE POISONER – Coming April 2024


a play written by MM Haney & directed by Lee Sunday Evans

April 6th - 20th, 2024 | LaMama Experimental Theater | New York, NY

© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘The banks of the Flint River. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016

And where we had thought to find an abomination,

we shall find a god;

where had thought to slay another,

we shall slay ourselves;

where we had thought to travel outward,

we shall come to the center of our own existence;

where we had thought to be alone,

we shall be with all the world.

– Joseph Campbell



THE POISONER, a play that's inspired by the Flint water crisis, will be presented this coming April 2024 by the historic La MaMa Theater in New York City. A universal tale, THE POISONER is a thriller unraveling the deception, abuse of power, and utter negligence of early 2000’s Michigan water politics to reveal the unjust dynamic between the powerful and the overpowered. With a fast-moving neo-noir storyline driven by a perspicacious journalist who returns to the spiritual desert that was his hometown, THE POISONER invites you to leap into the unknown… ‘for it is by falling into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life’.

Directed by two-time Obie Award-winning director and choreographer Lee Sunday Evans, THE POISONER will run April 6th - 20th, 2024, and include talkbacks with talented designers, photographers and artists who have contributed to democracy, water justice, and beauty, in Flint and beyond.

– Dedicated to those people of Flint – some of America’s poorest and most vulnerable – affected by the criminal neglect of a city water supply –


© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘Flint native Deborah Hayman. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016


"You know what my biggest fear is? That people are going to forget about us.”


© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘Bonnie Hammond, 87. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016


When her hair started falling out and she developed a skin infection on her legs: “The doctor said it’s from bathing in the water.”


© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘Bonnie Hammond, 87, bathes the skin infection on her legs. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016

© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘After a bath. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016

© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘Tiantha Williams, 38, whose son was born prematurely. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016


“The disease specialist came in and told me I had Listeria… the water caused my baby to almost die.”

The contamination of Flint's water exposed nearly 30,000 children to a neurotoxin known to have detrimental effects on children’s developing brains and nervous systems. New York Times


© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘Tim Monahan, a carpenter, was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease in 2014. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016


“For all intents and purposes, they are getting away with murder.”

The Legionnaires' disease outbreak during the water crisis in Flint, Michigan was one of the largest in U.S. history, sickening at least 90 people and killing 12 according to state data. But investigation strongly suggests the actual toll was much higher. PBS


© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘Water distribution at Catholic Charities. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016


Once a thriving industrial city of nearly a quarter million people, Flint, Michigan’s population dwindled to less than 100,000 in the aftermath of auto plant closures during the 1980s. The city has demolished over 5,000 abandoned houses in the last decade. Today, not one grocery store exists within the city.


© Matt Black / Magnum Photos; ‘GM assembly plant. Flint, Michigan, USA', 2016


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