An Experiment With an Air Pump, Shelagh Stephenson's London hit that subsequently ran at New York's Manhattan Theatre Club, opens at Dallas Theatre Center Oct. 24. Performances began Oct. 18 for a run through Nov. 12. Dallas Theatre Center artistic director Richard Hamburger directs. Set in two different centuries, 1799 and 1999, Air Pump examines science through the centuries. In 1799, an eccentric family loves and loses amid the scientific fervor of a new age. In 1999, in the scientific chaos of the modern world, the cellar of the same house divulges a dark secret from 200 years before to its new occupants. Air Pump draws some of its inspiration from a painting in London's National Gallery, "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump" painted in the 18th Century by Joseph Wright of Derby. Stephenson is also the author of The Memory of Water and Ancient Lights.
The cast includes Mary Bacon (Harriet/Kate), Kate Goehring (Isobel), Kevin Henderson (Armstrong, Phil), Adrain LaTourelle (Roget), Caitlin O'Connell (Susannah/Ellen), Joanna Schellenberg (Maria) and Sam Tsoutsouvas (Fenwick/Tom).
Designing Air Pump are Scott Bradley (sets), Peter J. Hall (costumes), Scott Zielinski (lighting) and Jim Ragland (sound, original music).
Tickets are $55-$17. The Kalita Humphreys Theatre is located at 3636 Turtle Creek Boulevard between Blackburn and Lemmon Avenues. For reservations, call (214) 522-8499. The Dallas Theatre Center is on the web at http://www.dallastheatercenter.org.
-- By Christine Ehren