The International Museum of Surgical Science Presents GUT by Alexander Utz

May 6 – July 3, 2022

Opening Reception: May 18, 2022, 6:00PM – 8:30PM Free

Experiments and observations on the gastric juice, and the physiology of digestion / By William Beaumont.

On June 6, 1822, at the American Fur Company Store on Mackinac Island, among a group of fur traders, a musket accidentally misfired and hit a 19-year-old French-Canadian voyageur named Alexis St. Martin. Quickly rushed to the nearby Fort Mackinac hospital, St. Martin’s wound was cleaned and dressed by the fort’s surgeon, William Beaumont. At the time, Beaumont did not believe St. Martin would survive more than 36 hours, but the young voyageur miraculously began a slow recovery.

When the wound healed in a way that left an opening directly into St. Martin’s stomach, Beaumont saw an opportunity to learn more about the process of digestion. For the next 11 years, the two men would work together on a series of 238 experiments and studies that completely reshaped our understanding of the digestive process.

Explore this incredible story and learn from Chicago playwright Alexander Utz, author of the new play Gut, about how history is translated to the stage.

Alexander Utz is a Chicago-based playwright and actor, as well as a co-founder and Artistic Director of Avalanche Theatre. His plays have been read and performed with The Plagiarists, Otherworld Theatre, Bower Theatre Ensemble, Three Brothers Theatre, Benchmark Theatre, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, Three Cat Productions, and 5th Wall Productions. His play Sunflowers is available through Next Stage Press. He is a resident playwright with Three Brothers Theatre. This summer, he will be participating in an artist residency on Mackinac Island to complete a final revision on his play Gut about William Beaumont and Alexis St. Martin.

Alexander Utz.

Read more about Alexander Utz at

About the Contemporary Arts Program: The International Museum of Surgical Science supports a commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and programs that use the frame of contemporary artistic practice to examine new perspectives in medical-surgical science and our relationship to the body. The Museum’s Contemporary Arts Initiative includes rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as an ongoing Artist in Residence program.

The International Museum of Surgical Science acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Header Image: Experiments and observations on the gastric juice, and the physiology of digestion / By William Beaumont.