Black Rep and University of Washington Host Roundtable on Women’s Health

The St. Louis Black Repertory Company announces a March 10, 2022 panel discussion co-hosted by Ron Himes, Founder and Executive Producer of The Black Rep and Henry E. Hampton Arts in Residence at Washington University in St. Louis, and Rebecca Messbarger, Ph.D., director of medical humanities, director of undergraduate studies in Italian and professor of Italian.

The panel will provide historical context as The Black Rep continues its in-person 45th anniversary season with Charly Evon Simpson’s Behind the Sheet which opens March 18 at the Center of Creative Arts’ (COCA) Catherine B. Berges Theater in St. Louis, Mo. The panel is free and open to the public.

Behind the Sheet follows several black women who underwent invasive experimental surgeries while enslaved on an Alabama plantation in the 1840s. Although the story is fictional, it is deeply rooted in history and the early career of Dr. J. Marion Sims, considered the founder of modern gynecology.

The roundtable will take place on Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the formal lounge of the Women’s Building on the University of Washington campus. Sponsored by the Program in Medical Humanities at the University of Washington, it will be moderated by Hedwig Lee, professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity at the University of Washington.

The following panelists will speak that evening:

  • Sowande’ Mustakeem, associate professor of history and African and African-American studies at the University of Washington

  • Yolonda Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor of health care ethics at Saint Louis University

Season passes and individual tickets to Behind the Sheet are available online at or by calling The Black Rep Box Office at 314-534-3807. Reduced rates are available for groups of 12 or more and for the Intergenerational Morning on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, with the support of the Taylor Family and Trio Foundations.

For everyone’s health and safety, everyone present must either be fully vaccinated or present a negative Covid test result received within 72 hours of arrival. A Covid19 vaccination card or a negative test result must be presented on arrival. Masks are mandatory at all times inside. Even if you’re seated in pods and far apart, masks should stay in place. For complete and up-to-date health protocols, please visit the University of Washington website.

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