EST and the Sloan Project are co-producing the annual festival of commissioned and developed works focusing on science and technology-related themes. The goal is to expand public perception of science and engineering by breaking down stereotypes.
Workshop productions include Emily Levine's Five Easy Steps to Metaphysical Fitness: They Actually Work, running Jan. 19-March 3. Levine offers a comical take on the views of Isaac Newton, quantum physics and the chaos theory, while providing contemporary examples including the election of Barack Obama and the National Enquirer.
Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51, directed by MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow, will be workshopped Jan. 15. Elizabeth Marvel, Liam Craig, Michael Esper, Jeremy Shamos, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe and Alessandro Nivola will appear in the work that recounts the Nobel Prize-winning model of the DNA molecule and the work of biophysicist Rosalind Franklin, who made the discovery possible.
David Strathairn will star in the workshop of Tommy Smith's Beautiful Night under the direction of Evan Cabnet on Jan. 23. The depression-era work explores the relationship between Soviet inventor Leon Theremin and the black prima ballerina whom he marries.
Meredith McDonough will direct Ann Marie Healy's Leave the Light On, which will be presented on Jan. 22. The intellectual adventure follows the life and work of biologist Robert Trivers. New play readings include Jason Grote's Darwin's Challenge, directed by Eric Ting (Jan. 16); and Posthumusical, featuring book, music and lyrics by Matt Schatz (Jan. 29), directed by Jordan Young.
First Light 2009 will also present the annual Cabaret Scientifique Jan. 23 at 9 PM. Performers will be announced shortly.
A suggested donation of $10 is requested for all First Light 2009 workshops and readings. For further information visit www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org.
The Ensemble Studio Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street in Manhattan.