Brecht's "Life of Galileo"
In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the year Galileo first turned his telescope towards the skies and changed the way human beings thought of their place in the cosmos, Catalyst Collaborative@MIT and Underground Railway Theater will present Bertolt Brecht’s "The Life of Galileo." Performances at Central Square Theater are April 10 - May 17.
Richard McElvain as Galileo, the production will be
directed from David Wheeler from a translation by David
Hare, who recently wrote the screenplay adaptation for the
highly acclaimed motion picture, "The Reader."
As a side note, the play was written by Brecht on the brink of World War II while the playwright was exiled from Germany and living in the United States.
As the story unfolds, Galileo’s scientific and personal integrity are put to the test as he argues for his life in a passionate debate over science, politics, religion and ethics. The same debates rage on today. "The Life of Galileo" also reveals the famous scientist's self-hatred for giving up his convictions in the face of the Inquisition and poses powerful questions that still resonate about the social responsibility of the scientist.
Brecht also questions what we must change about the ways we live our lives when a single breakthrough rocks the foundation of our belief systems. In the late Renaissance, it was the cosmos; in the 19th century, evolution; today, it's the possibilities that might be unearthed by unlocking the human genome.
Richard McElvain has been acting and directing in the
Boston area for twenty-five years and has won the Elliot Norton
Award for Best Actor. Most recently he was seen in Boston
Theatre Works' award-winning production of "Angels
in America." Other credits include "To Kill
a Mockingbird," "Bang the Drum Slowly" and
"The Lady from Maxim's" with the Huntington
Theatre; "Barking Sharks" and
"Unexpected Tenderness" at Gloucester Stage
Company; and "The Scarlet Letter", "Sylvia"
and "Twelfth Night" at New
Rep. He has also appeared at Merrimack Rep
and with the Boston Shakespeare Theatre Company. His
directing credits include the classics and the works of Israel
Horowitz at Gloucester Stage and off-Broadway. McElvain also
played Mr. Crain in the film "Mermaids" and
appeared in several episodes of the hit Boston-based television series,
“Spenser for Hire.”
During the run of "The Life of Galileo," there will be talk-back sessions after selected performances led by world-class scientists such as Eric Lander (Co-Director, Broad Institute and President Obama’s newly appointed science advisor), Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek, Robert Jaffe (MIT Morningstar Professor Physics), and others. Check the theater's website (below) for updated details.
As well, a Galileo Symposia Series will take place before each Saturday night performance. Audience members will have the opportunity to participate in debates with renowned scientists and professors, providing insight into Galileo’s life and times as well as how the questions raised by the play impact us today. The Galileo Symposia Series is free with the price of admission. The schedule is as follows:
Saturday, April 11, 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 18, 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, April 25, 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, May 2, 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 9, 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, May 16, 6:45 p.m.
The Catalyst Collaborative@MIT is a unique collaboration between MIT and Underground Railway, a professional company with 30 years experience connecting professional theater with the community. CC@MIT is dedicated to creating and presenting plays that deepen public understanding about science, while simultaneously providing an artistic and emotional experience not available in other forms of dialogue about science.
For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit www.centralsquaretheater.org.
-- OnStage Boston
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