On June 2, following the 2:00 pm matinee performance of BUMP, the lively new comedy by Chiara Atik, audiences are encouraged to stay for an extensive discussion of many of the issues the play addresses, especially current birthing technology, devices for instrumental vaginal delivery (IVD), the Odon Device, and how medical devices get approved for clinical use. Joining playwright Chiara Atik will be David Milestone, Acting Director for the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact, USAID, and Brian Johnson, co-founder and publisher of MassDevice, for a conversation moderated by Sonia Shechet Epstein, Executive Editor of Sloan Science & Film at the Museum of the Moving Image.
BUMP is the exuberant exploration of the evolution of women's understanding about and control over the childbirth process through the stories of three separate quests for knowledge: a young expectant mother in colonial New England getting coached through her first pregnancy by a peppery midwife (inspired by the diary of Martha Ballard); a contemporary message board where new pregnant moms swap gripes, quips, and observations; and a grandfather/mechanic's invention of a device that could revolutionize how babies in distress could be safely delivered (the last inspired by the story of Argentine mechanic and inventor Jorge Odon).
The World Premiere of BUMP is this year’s mainstage production of the EST/Sloan Project, EST's partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop new plays "exploring the worlds of science and technology," an initiative now in its twentieth year.
About the Panelists
David Milestone is Acting Director of USAID Bureau for Global Health's Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact (CII). CII applies business-minded approaches to the development, introduction and scale-up of health innovations. Since 2011, USAID, CII, and its partners have cultivated a pipeline of over 150 innovations and supported them on their path to deliver health impact—from improved maternal and newborn health to enhanced outbreak response for diseases like Ebola and Zika to strengthened health supply chains. David has also held various strategic marketing roles at Stryker, an $11B medical device company, where he led innovation and strategy initiatives in India.
Brian Johnson is co-founder and publisher of MassDevice, the newsletter and online journal for the medical devices industry. Brian conceived the idea for MassDevice.com in 2007 and launched the publication in March 2009 with Brad Perriello. As publisher, he has spearheaded the growth of the publication to 75,000 readers each month and led the company to profitability in 2011, just two years after launch. He has worked as a reporter for The Eagle-Tribune, covering business and economics, local government and crime in the Merrimack Valley and is the co-author with Jan Egleson of the graphic novel, MWD: Hell is Coming Home.
Chiara Atik is a graduate of the Obie Award-winning EST/Youngblood program, and a portion of BUMP had its origins as a short play written for Youngblood's monthly Sunday Brunch series, specifically its annual crossover with the EST/Sloan Project, the Youngblood Science Brunch. Her plays include I Gained Five Pounds, Women (a mashup of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and HBO’s Girls) and Five Times in One Night, which was first produced at EST. She is the author of numerous articles for Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Refinery29, and New York, as well as the book, Modern Dating: A Field Guide. Her screenplay, Fairy Godmother, was on the 2016 Blacklist. Helen Estabrook (Whiplash) and Cassidy Lange will produce for MGM, which won the rights in a bidding war. Television: NBC’s Superstore.
About the Moderator
Sonia Shechet Epstein works at the intersection of science and culture. As Executive Editor of the Museum of the Moving Image’s website Sloan Science & Film, she produces all of its content. At the Museum, she also curates the ongoing series “Science on Screen” which pairs rarely screened films with discussions between scientists and filmmakers. Since 2014, she has been a mentor at NEW INC—the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s incubator for practitioners in art and technology.
BUMP began previews at the Ensemble Studio Theatre on May 9 and runs through June 3. You can purchase tickets here.