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VIDEO: Now Playing, 'A Number' Explores Possible Impacts of Human Cloning

A Number, a one-act drama by Caryl Churchill about the potential consequences of human cloning, will be presented free of charge October 27 to November 13 at the McCormick School of Engineering.

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.

Shows will be held at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays in Room L361 of the Technological Institute, located at 2145 Sheridan Road, in Evanston, with free parking directly across the street. Performances are free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by phone at (847) 324-3294 or online at

A Number presents a very human perspective on how relationships might be affected by the technology of genetic engineering and cloning,” said Matthew Grayson, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the play’s producer. “It’s a personal, touching, and at times disruptive view of how this controversial science could change real lives.”
ETOPia presents 'A Number' by Caryl Churchill
Churchill’s play was first performed in 2002 at the Royal Court Theatre in London and received its American premiere two years later at New York Theatre Workshop. Northwestern’s production – a remount of a production staged earlier this year by the National Asian American Theatre Company – features James Saito, an Obie award-winning actor with credits on Broadway and on TV shows like Law and Order and Sex and the City, and Jon Norman Schneider, who has been seen on regional theatre stages and on TV’s 30 Rock and The Electric Company. John Gawlik, artistic director of Fox Valley Repertory, will direct, and Dan Moser, senior lecturer in communication studies and leadership and organizational studies, is the production manager.

The play is part of ETOPiA: Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts, an outreach initiative at McCormick whose goal is to inspire a cross-disciplinary dialogue about the role of science and technology in society. A Number is ETOPiA’s fourth play at Northwestern. Previous ETOPiA productions have included Copenhagen, Manya: A Living History of Marie Curie, and QED.

Each performance includes a post-show discussion led by Northwestern students and featuring a panel of faculty members and graduate students.

ETOPiA presents
A Number by Caryl Churchill
October 27 to November 13, 2011
8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays / 2 p.m. Sundays
Technological Institute, Room L361, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston
Admission is free, but reservations are strongly recommended.
For reservations: (847) 324-3294 or