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The Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST), in collaboration with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, presents its monthlong First Light Festival. The centerpiece is the world premiere of David Zellnik's Serendib, which investigates how the dynamics of a group of primate field researchers amusingly mirrors the closely observed behavior of a troop of Sri Lankan temple monkeys. Click here for tickets. In addition to the mainstage production, First Light also showcases works in development. Four will have workshops and six will have their first pubic readings. For the workshops the writer, director and cast have five days to rehearse and mount a performance on Day 6. The workshop productions are: Workshop 1 - THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD Friday, April 13, 7 PM By Matt Schatz What drives the quest to create the world's tallest building? In the 1960s everything seemed possible to the engineers and architect who conceived and built the World Trade Center complex. Based on actual events, THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD examines what is gained and what is lost when we try to reach the sky. Click here for tickets. Workshop 2 - BY PROXY Friday, April 20, 7 PM By Amy Fox BY PROXY follows the story of Sonia, a young doctor working for the top researcher of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, who makes a startling discovery about a closely studied family, which leads to a personal and professional dilemma. Click here for tickets. Workshop 3 - GALOIS Tuesday, April 23, 7 PM By Sung Rno Math, love and revolution collide in this music theater piece exploring the romantic life of Evariste Galois, who invented a branch of mathematics, Galois Groups, as a teenager, but died at 21, the victim of a tragic duel over a woman amid the radical politics of France in the 1830s. Click here for tickets. Workshop 4 - ME AND MARIE CURIE Friday, April 27, 7 PM By Alec Duffy In this magical drama, Madelyn, a 16-year old science whiz, competes to be selected by NASA for the first "manned" mission to Mars. To help her, she enlists the aid of Marie Curie, who exposes her to the idea that science may ask for a more personal sacrifice than one bargained for. Click here for tickets. The plays which will receive their first public readings during First Light include: Reading 1 - EVER MORE INTELLIGENT Monday, April 2, 7 PM By Alex Timbers, founding member and chief artistic force of the hipster theater company, Les Freres Corbusier, and director of Heddatron Victorian England. Two drunken scientists are enclosed in a laboratory filled with microscopic flesh-eating robots. Uh-oh. Click here for tickets. Reading 2 - THE GREAT DISMAL Tuesday, April 3, 7 PM By Gwydion Suilebhan What connects the six people bogged down in the Great Dismal Swamp, where the underground railroad, George Washington's financial failures, and the complexity theory behind firefly blinking patterns all converge to form a fragile but dangerous ecosystem? An entomologist, his undergraduate assistant, his wife, her "alternative healer," a mathematician, and the dean of the local Christian college must figure it out-before it's too late. Click here for tickets. Reading 3 - LEAVE A LIGHT ON Wednesday, April 4, 3 PM Inspired by the Writings of Robert Trivers By Ann Marie Healy Robert Trivers, one of the founding fathers of evolutionary biology, meets his match in fellow researcher Helen Bunwick. As the two scientists spar their way across the political minefields of science and education in the late 1970s, they discover deeper motivations for their intellectual quests. The ultimate challenge becomes a research project on deception and self-deception in the evolutionary process. Who is lying to whom? And, in science's survival of the fittest, what will it mean to win? Click here for tickets. Reading 4 - DOCTORS JANE AND ALEXANDER Thursday, April 5, 7 PM By Edward Einhorn Using found, fabricated, and occasionally finagled text, Edward Einhorn explores the life of his grandfather, Alexander Wiener, the co-discoverer of the Rh factor in blood, through interviews with his mother, Jane Einhorn, a PhD psychologist who recently retired due to a debilitating stroke. In the course of these interviews his grandfather's ambitions and achievements are contrasted with his mother's, and ultimately, with his own. Click here for tickets. Reading 5 - CHANCE & NECESSITY Friday, April 6, 7 PM By Jon Klein CHANCE AND NECESSITY reveals the secret adventures of Jacques Monod, the Nobel-Prize winning molecular biologist. The astounding events of Monod's early life-battling the German Occupation of Paris alongside his friend Albert Camus, surrendering to an illicit love affair with a young music student, and discovering the bacterial properties that led to Monod's own theories on evolution-are all chronicled and speculated upon by another famous friend-the tortured author, Jerzy Kosinski. Click here for tickets. Reading 6 - PERFRECT AND CONSTANT Monday, April 9, 7 PM By Rob Askins It's 1541 and Nicolaus Copernicus is dying in silence. The master behind the theory of the modern cosmos refuses to publish his work. It is up to Georg Joachim Rheticus, a brilliant young man with a secret, to convince him that the world needs to know it moves. Click here for tickets. The First Light Festival will close on Friday, April 27 at 10pm with CABARET SCIENTIFIQUE, a unique evening of science-related cabaret performances. Admission is FREE.

Show Details

  • Dates:Closed on
  • Location:Ensemble Studio Theatre, Off-Broadway