Dr. William Shumway is a bright and talented cellular researcher who may be on the cusp of huge leap forward in the fight against cancer. And so a bidding war begins among the top universities and medical facilities to acquire his services. Dr. Robert Brock, chief administrator of the Hill Matheson Institute, is determined to land the prize, and he succeeds. Whisked away to the New York-based HMI, Shumway continues his work amidst the high-stakes, high-profit world of pharmaceutical research. But just because everyone involved is highly intelligent doesn't mean they make good, or even ethical, decisions. Bob Clyman's character-driven drama Secret Order explores that strange area where idealism, medical ethics and the urge to do good deeds battle against the overriding need for acclaim and huge quarterly profits. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis opens its Studio Series with Secret Order; performances are Tuesday through Sunday (October 28 through November 15) at the Emerson Studio Theatre in the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves; 314-968-4925 or www.repstl.org). Tickets are $42.50 to $54.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 28. Continues through Nov. 15, 2009