Presented by Magic Theatre, in Partnership with the Exploratorium
Wednesday Evenings, September 12, 19, and 26 at 7pm
Exploratorium’s McBean Theater
The Magic Theatre, in partnership with the Exploratorium, presents Science on Stage 2007, the seventh annual presentation 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 12, 19, and 26, at 7pm. Featured playwrights include Stephen R. Culp, David Ford, and Ira Hauptoman. Explore topics ranging from continental drift to neuroscience to Galileo’s afterlife and catch a glimpse of plays in the making. Each performance will be followed by a discussion with the playwright, artistic staff, and a scientific expert. 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 a same-day Exploratorium entrance ticket or by $10 donation at the door. Science on Stage is sponsored by the Magic Theatre / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Initiative. The series schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, September 12
Pangaea, by Stephen R. Culp
Directed by Jimmy Bohr
A group of scientists in Antarctica are inexplicably converting into religious fanatics one by one. A man searches the seedy clubs of Istanbul for his sister whose interrogation has become a viral video on the net, while an anti-globalization activist is tortured psychologically in a dark CIA prison...and a 14-year old boy in his Sacramento bedroom has the answers to everything. The conspiracy, the mind control, the fate of mankind...it all drifts together like the continents.
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, Stephen R. Culp received degrees in Directing and English Literature from Regis University. After moving to New York to attend the National Shakespeare Conservatory, he began writing plays between acting jobs. Other plays include: The 13 Hallucinations of Julio Rivera (which premiered at the Magic in 2004), Kitty, Let’s All Clap, Life on Pluto, and Decadent Lawyers in Heat. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Wednesday, September 19
Joan's Brain, by David Ford
Directed by Mark Routhier
A young Joan is influenced by both her wild, anachronistic, socially experimenting friend, and her godfather, the neuroscientist. As she discovers her intellectual curiosity for the science of the brain, Joan leans toward a career in neuroscience. In an ironic twist after she has earned her degree, she must usher her godfather through an extremely difficult battle with brain cancer.
David Ford’s first play, Too Good to Be True, won 2nd place in South Coast Rep’s 6th Annual California Playwrights Competition. His second play, The Interrogation of Nathan Hale, premiered at SCR and was published by Dramatic Publishing Company. His third and fourth plays were commissioned by SCR and Phoenix Pictures (respectively) and have been read at the Mark Taper Forum, the Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, and Magic Theatre. Mr. Ford has been collaborating on new and unusual theatre for fifteen years. His collaboration with Brian Copeland, Not a Genuine Black Man, has been running for six months in San Francisco. Recent work has been with storyteller-holy-man Ron Jones and Michael Rice, a mentally disabled performer on Say Ray; and with Charlie Varon on Rush Limbaugh in Night School, Ten Day Soup, The People’s Violin, and his new CD: "Visiting Professor of Pessimism." As a director, Mr. Ford has worked regionally at the Public Theatre, Second Stage, St. Clement’s, Dixon’s Place, One Dream Theatre, and Theatre for the New City (NY), Highways (LA) and Woolly Mammoth (Washington, D.C.) as well as at theatres around the Bay Area including Magic Theatre and Marin Theatre Company. Mr. Ford also teaches Creating and Performing Your Own Work at The Marsh and has taught playwriting at Stanford University and San Francisco State. He is a Resident Artist at the Marsh.
Wednesday, September 26
Starry Messenger, by Ira Hauptman
Ira Hauptman and Barbara Oliver reunite (Partition) to explore the lighter side of Galileo’s life and contributions to science. In this comedy, Galileo is once again tried for heresy -- this time in the afterlife. Confronted by two Inquisition-era Cardinals, the great scientist is joined by two cloistered daughters and an opportunistic son who (for their own reasons) urge him to abandon his conviction that the Earth revolves around the sun.
Ira Hauptman’s plays have been performed throughout the United States, as well as in Paris, Brussels and Bangalore. Starry Messenger is his second play to be developed through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project. The first, Partition, is about the early twentieth-century mathematicians Ramanujan and Hardy. It was presented by the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York as a staged reading in FirstLight 2002, and then seen at the San Francisco Exploratorium in a staged reading co-produced by the Magic Theatre and Berkeley's Aurora Theatre Company. Its premiere took place at the Aurora in 2003 with Barbara Oliver directing. Mr. Hauptman's plays have been performed in New York at the Manhattan Theatre Club and in Los Angeles at the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre, FirstStage, Odyssey and Moving Arts. He has also written criticism for Partisan Review and The New Republic. He is a graduate of Yale Drama School and teaches at Queens College