Presented by Magic Theatre, in Partnership with the Exploratorium
Wednesday Evenings, September, 14, 21, and 28 at 7pm
Exploratorium’s McBean Theater
Magic Theatre, in partnership with the Exploratorium, presents Science on Stage 2005, its fifth annual series of script-in-hand performances of new plays about science and technology. San Francisco's well-known producer of premiere theatre works, the Magic, and San Francisco’s popular museum of science and art will be offering engaging new plays at the Exploratorium's McBean Theater on Wednesday evenings, September 14, 21, and 28, at 7pm. The three plays address such topics as scientific genius, discovery, and disgrace; the implications of artificial intelligence, and the collision of science and religion. The series features some of America's most talented playwrights, including David Rambo, C. Michèle Kaplan and Elaine Romero, and some of the Bay Area's best professional directors/actors. Each performance will be followed by a discussion with the playwright, artistic staff, and scientific experts. Tickets may be reserved until 1pm the day of performance at the Magic Theatre box office. Call (415) 441-8822, Wednesday-Sunday, from 12-5pm. Admission to the plays is free with a Magic Theatre subscription, an Exploratorium membership, or an Exploratorium entrance ticket ($13 at the door.) The series schedule is as follows:
By David Rambo, Directed by Art Manke
Scientific Expert, Slawek M. Tulaczyk, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Earth Sciences, UC Santa Cruz
Wednesday, September 14, 7pm
A young PhD student on the verge of a momentous discovery seeks an ally in a disgraced genius. Cold science gives way to warm emotion, leading them to reveal the passions and demons that drive their quests. The Ice-Breaker will receive a full production in February as part of Magic’s 2005-06 season, presented in collaboration with the Magic/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Initiative.
David Rambo’s most recent play, The Lady With All the Answers, a one-woman play about Ann Landers, premiered this summer at the Old Globe Theatre. Among many other theatre credits, his 1998 play, God’s Man in Texas, premiered at the 23rd Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky, and became one of the most produced plays in the United States. Rambo currently writes for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” one of the most-watched television dramas.
Dr. Tulaczyk is currently Chair of the Glaciology Committee of the U.S. Subglacial Antarctic Lake Exploration Program. He has conducted extensive glaciology research in Antarctica and published numerous articles on the Antarctic ice stream, changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Ryder Glacier.
By C. Michèle Kaplan
Scientific Expert, Khalid M. Al-Ali, Ph.D., Director of Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University
Wednesday, September 21, 7pm
A brilliant 16-year-old boy, Charlie, recreates himself in “Charliebot,” an artificial intelligence program designed to grow and self-replicate without the help of its creator. Charlie’s parents are too busy with their own lives, and the ultra urban world in which they live is too mired in self-obsession to realize what the success of Charliebot means for the future of their son.
C. Michèle Kaplan has worked as a writer and/or director in theatre, television and film. She was awarded the Molly Kazan Award at the Yale School of Drama, and has been nominated for numerous other awards, including the Humanitas Award in 1997 for her teleplay, Mother Teresa, In the Name of God’s Poor, starring Geraldine Chaplin. The teleplay was produced by Pacific Theater Ensemble in Los Angeles and was selected as one of the ten best plays in Los Angeles by “Outlook LA,” and received two Dramalogue awards, among other credits. Kaplan is a member of the Writers Guild of America and of the New York Women in Film and Television. She received her MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, where she has also taught, and has had her numerous plays performed in the United States and in South Africa, her former home.
Dr. Al-Ali will discuss robotics, and where art, intelligence and robotics meet, and the multitude of aspects covering this most interdisciplinary and emerging field.
Walk Into the Sea
By Elaine Romero
Scientific Expert, David E. Presti, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley
Wednesday, September 28, 7pm
Karl is a molecular biologist who believes that viruses may be responsible for evolutionary leaps. When his wife, Virginia, gives birth to their son with Asperger's Syndrome, Karl dives deeper into his work and Virginia finds fundamentalism. As Karl and Virginia navigate their fates, an unexpected event pulls them toward an unavoidable collision. Elaine Romero participated in the Sundance Institute's Playwright's Retreat where she began Walk into the Sea. The Curious Theatre in Denver, Colorado has commissioned Romero, alongside Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Paula Vogel, to write a play for the War Anthology to be produced in the 2005/2006 season. Romero’s plays Before Death Comes for the Archbishop, Barrio Hollywood, ¡Curanderas! Serpents of the Clouds, Day of Our Dead, Secret Things, and If Susan Smith Could Talk have been presented at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Borderlands Theater, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Women's Project and Productions, INTAR, Kitchen Dog Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center, the Working Theatre, San Diego Repertory, The Phoenix Theatre, Invisible Theatre, New Theatre, and the Ford Amphitheatre.
Dr. Presti’s area of interest and expertise include the molecular biology and chemistry of the human nervous system and, in particular, one of the most challenging and fascinating issues of modern science: how physical processes in the brain are related to manifestations of behavior.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Martha Heasley Cox Raw Play Series have underwritten this series.