Past Performances

FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES - fall 2016

Three documentary films — The BelieversParticle Fever, and Tim’s Vermeer — marked the ninth season of ETOPiA: Engineering Transdisciplinary Project in the Arts, an outreach initiative that seeks to inspire cross-disciplinary dialogue about the roles of science and technology in society.

Mill Girls - Spring 2016

Mill Girls is the story of a group of young women in the 1840s who leave home to work in a Lowell, Massachusetts textile mill. As industrialism mounts, the women spur a workers’ and women’s rights movement.

A Life of Galileo - 2015

In examining the life of one of history’s most prominent scientists, A Life of Galileo examines the struggle between unchanging worldviews and evolving scientific knowledge.

Grounded - 2014

A tale of isolation and lost dreams, Grounded examines how combat can take a psychological toll on drone pilots. The play introduces us to a nameless American female fighter pilot and chronicles several years of her life. After she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she is reassigned to pilot drones from a windowless trailer in the Nevada desert. The shallows of workplace existence replace the adrenaline rushes and military camaraderie of piloting actual fighter missions. Literally commuting to war, she fights terrorists by day and then returns home to her husband and baby each night. The pilot struggles through the disorienting and surreal differences between work and home as well as the pressures to fight terrorists half a world away.

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs - 2013

A harrowing tale of pride, beauty, lust, and industrial design, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, illuminates how Jobs and his obsessions have shaped our lives. The play takes the audience all the way to China to investigate the factories where millions toil to make iPhones and iPods, shining a light on our love affair with devices and the human cost of creating them.

The How and the Why - 2012

The How and the Why, a play about two female evolutionary biologists at opposite ends of their careers, will have its Chicago-area premiere at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering this fall. It tells the story of Zelda, a Harvard professor, and Rachel, an NYU grad student, connected by their competing evolutionary theories about the female body, but their relationship actually goes far deeper.

A Number - 2011

Written in 2002 – six years after the highly publicized creation of “Dolly,” the cloned sheep – A Number explores the conflicts that arise between a father and his adult son, who learns that his father may have allowed his son to be cloned when he was a child. The play delves into the personal consequences of human cloning and how the power of replicating genetic identity may have unintended consequences.

QED - 2010

Peter Parnell's QED is an up-close and personal portrait of Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in physics, lifelong advocate for creativity and originality in science, as well founder of the field of nanotechnology, and inspiration to young and aspiring scientists the world over. "QED" relives a day in the life of Feynman, storyteller extraordinaire, with all of the disjointed hobbies, fascinations, curiosities, stories, and quirky juxtapositions that made him a unique character in 20th century science.

Manya - 2009

This one-woman drama exposes the struggles and triumphs of the discoverer of radium and radioactivity, Madame Marie Curie — an academically impassioned, vehemently private, fervently Polish scientist, mother, and teacher. From the political oppression of her childhood to scientific realization and fame to the tragedy that forced her into single motherhood as well as further world prominence, Manya's story reveals a compelling journey.

Copenhagen - 2008

Copenhagen is set during World War II, when the friendship of two Nobel Prize-winning physicists is tested by the prospect of providing Nazi Germany with the atomic bomb. A mysterious visit by Werner Heisenberg to Niels Bohr's home in Copenhagen in 1941 brings these renowned physicists and dear friends together under trying circumstances and leads to an argument whose consequences may determine the fate of nations. Uncertainty, the quantum mechanical principle discovered by Heisenberg, lies at every turn as he, Bohr, and Bohr's wife, Margrethe, attempt to reconstruct this fateful conversation and unravel their misunderstanding once and for all. This Tony Award-winning play (2000, Best Play) is based on historical characters and events.