Carl Djerassi's Taboos Gets U.S. Premiere in NYC

By Kenneth Jones
July 31, 2008

Redshift Productions will present the U.S. premiere of Carl Djerassi's planned-parenthood-themed Taboos, directed by Melissa Maxwell, at the Soho Playhouse Sept. 10-Oct. 19.

"What makes one a parent?" production notes ask. "Love, genetics, giving birth? This question lies at the center of Carl Djerassi's newest play Taboos. Returning to his scientific roots, Djerassi explores the other side of planned parenthood. When a lesbian couple and an infertile Christian couple look to have a child, more then biology gets in the way of the idea of the 'perfect family.' Taboos explores the unexpected, and often messy, results that arise when emotions and science collide."

Opening will be Sept. 19. SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street.

Djerassi is emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford and renowned inventor of the birth control pill. He's spent the past 20 years writing on the human aspects of science.

The Taboos cast includes Helen Merino, John G. Preston, Julie Leedes, Jenn Schulte and Blake Delong.

The creative team includes Lauren Halpern (sets), Adrainna Durantt (lights), Chloe Chapin (costume), Arielle Edwards (sound) and Katy Tucker (projections).

Taboos was presented at London's New End Theatre in 2006. Djerassi's plays include a trilogy of "science-in-theatre" plays: An Immaculate Misconception (seen around the world since its premiere at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Oxygen, co-authored with Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann; Calculus (also seen as a chamber opera with music by Werner Schulze). His "non-scientific" play Ego (aka Three on a Couch) has been seen internationally. Phallacy was seen in London and heard on German radio. His sixth play, Taboos, opened in London in 2006 and had its German language premiere in July 2006 in Graz. He is also the founder of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program near Woodside, CA, which provides residencies and studio space for artists in the visual arts, literature, choreography and performing arts, and music.

The performance schedule is Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM.

Tickets are $30-$42.50 and can be purchased at www.sohoplayhouse.com or call (212) 691-1555.

For more info about Redshift Productions and its upcoming productions, please visit www.redshiftproductions.com.

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Redshift Productions "connects audiences intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually to science." Redshift Productions "fosters the vision that everyone has a stake in the scientific endeavor. Using the arts as a means of communication, Redshift provides opportunities for scientists to share their work, and for the public to explore the universe through the unique perspective of science."

Redshift Productions was founded in 2000 by Max Evjen and Megan Halpern.