The Life of Galileo
April 10 - May 17, 2009
In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the year Galileo first turned his telescope upward and changed the way human beings thought of their place in the cosmos, Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT and Underground Railway Theater present Bertolt Brecht's The Life of Galileo! Playing Friday, April 10 through Sunday, May 17 at Central Square Theater, this production of The Life of Galileo, Brecht's widely acclaimed masterpiece of science theater, is translated by David Hare, directed by David Wheeler, and stars Boston area favorite Richard McElvain in the title role. One of Brecht's most well known and complex plays, The Life of Galileo explores the life of the founder of modern science and the conflict between reason and faith. Written on the brink of World War II while the playwright was exiled from Germany and living in the U.S., Brecht examines the ordeal Galileo was forced to undergo as he set his personal passions and beliefs against the authorities of Church and State. It reveals the famous scientist's self-hatred for giving up his convictions in the face of the Inquisition, and poses powerful questions that resonate today about the social responsibility of the scientist. The Life of Galileo also takes a bold look at the costs and implications of scientific discovery. What are the repercussions of a fundamental paradigm shift? What must we change about the ways we live our lives when a single breakthrough rocks the very foundations of our belief systems? In the late Renaissance, it was the cosmos; in the 19th century, evolution; today, the possibilities that might be unearthed by unlocking the human genome. In The Life of Galileo, Galileo's scientific and personal integrity are put to the test as he argues for his very life in a passionate debate over science, politics, religion and ethics; the debates rage on today.
During the run of The Life of Galileo, there will be talk-backs after selected performances led by world-class scientists such as Eric Lander (Co-Director, Broad Institute and President Obama's newly appointed science advisor); see www.centralsquaretheater.org for a complete schedule.
In addition, a Galileo Symposia Series will take place before every Saturday night performance. Audience members will have the opportunity to participate in stimulating debates with renowned scientists and professors, providing insight into Galileo's life and times, and also into how the questions raised by the play impact us today. The Galileo Symposia Series is free with the price of admission to The Life of Galileo, and the schedule is below. Symposium leaders include Nobel Laureate Jerome Friedman, Owen Gingerich, Alan Guth, Ian Hutchinson and Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek.
Sat., 4/11, 6 PM: Who rocked our world more - Galileo or Darwin?
Sat., 4/18, 6:45 PM: Scientific discovery for whom?
Sat., 4/25, 6:45 PM: What did Galileo unleash?
Sat., 5/2, 6 PM: The battle for the truth: science vs. religion.
Sat., 5/9, 6:45 PM: Brecht in action: the creation of a master-work.
Sat., 5/16, 6:45 PM: Is the scientist responsible to anyone?
Event Name: The Life of Galileo
Review posted by: SIS from Somerville, MA, May 04, 2009
I haven't seen such a good production in a long time. The acting, directing, and costumes were all wonderful. We hope this is an indication of the quality of future work done at this fine new... Expand
Event Name: The Life of Galileo
"Life of Galileo"
Review posted by: Susan from Medford, May 04, 2009
I liked it very much: excellent acting, good staging and direction, and surprisingly relevant writing, considering that Brecht wrote this play more than 60 years ago.