Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight

In a listing of the most influential minds in the history of scientific research, Isaac Newton will inevitably be ranked near — if not at — the very top. Less commonly found is the name of Emilie du Châtelet, despite her achievements in not only standardizing the French translation of Newton's groundbreaking Principia Mathematica but in critiquing said theories with her own groundbreaking calculus-derived analysis. Born in the early 1700s, Emilie du Châtelet defied reigning gender expectations by studying mathematical theory from an early age, while at the same time garnering a reputation as one of the most vivacious noblewomen in Enlightenment-era France. These dual passions, intellectual and emotional, are examined in contemporary playwright Lauren Gunderson's Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight. A work of historical fiction, the piece imagines the title figure ruminating over the impact of her life and the final worth of her existence. Brought to the stage by Theatre Pro Rata, an ever reliable source for challenging new works, the production combines scientific explorations with romantic liaisons, particularly a lifelong relationship with Voltaire. Directed by Carin Bratlie and anchored by Sharon Custer and Matt Sciple, two exceptionally versatile performers, the work has a core theme of intimacy and education that is further underscored by being performed in a science classroom at St. Catherine University. (Photo by Charlie Gorrill)
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: June 7. Continues through June 22, 2013

 
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