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First Light Readings

Presented by the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

When a new telescope focused on the heavens becomes operational, the initials images it sees are called First Light. For fourteen years, the EST/Sloan Project has led a pioneering nationwide effort to commission, develop and present hundreds of new plays that challenge and broaden the view of science in the popular imagination.

by Jeff Bienstock, Patrick Link and Eric March

Mon March 12 @ 7pm

Rival paleontologists fight for their legacy in a musical battle for the ages.

by Bekah Brunstetter 

Thu March 15 @ 3pm

After a Thanksgiving dinner debate gets out of hand, Blaine sets out to prove to her father that global warming is real. But the data is slippery, and Blaine struggles to defend her truth when Googling isn’t enough.


by Holli Harms

Thursday, March 15 @ 7pm

1967: one lone cosmonaut is launched into space on a fatally flawed rocket. As he hurtles back to earth, Vladimir Komarov is haunted by his past, present, and his now-inevitable future.

by Justin Fleming

Fri March 16 @ 7pm

Against his father’s wishes, Santiago Cajal secretly pursues his dreams of being an artist, while compliantly studying medicine. In the scientific backwater of Barcelona, he discovers that the brain is composed of independent neurons. Armed with his secret talent for art, he embarks on an extraordinary mission to show the world his discovery.

by Laura Jacqmin

Mon March 19 @ 7pm

Can one Player save the most influential computer game company of the 1980’s from certain doom? Matching wits against feuding founders, a changing adventure game marketplace, and a demonic CEO, one man attempts to rout disaster and score the maximum number of points. A theatrical text adventure based on the fall of Infocom.

by Jennifer Maisel

Fri March 23 @ 7pm

Sara lives on Mars time, spearheading the Mars Rover Expedition, visiting a planet she cannot touch. Her teenage daughter Lis, on earth time, falls under the spell of the cyber-cypher Edgar2330. An exploring woman and a longing-to-be-explored girl try to find each other in our increasingly disconnected universe.

by Beau Willimon

Sun March 25 @ 3pm

1997: A legendary chess master travels to New York to play the supercomputer created solely to defeat him.

by Keith Reddin*

directed by Giovanna Sardelli*

Mon March 26 @ 7pm 

For decades after he left Germany, the Nazi scientist Arthur Rudolph played a crucial role in US missile development and getting a man to the moon. But toward the end of his life, America didn’t want him anymore. A story of mixed allegiances and strange bedfellows in 20th century science.

by Carla Ching

Thu March 29 @ 7pm

Mable Kwan was a famous grifter who taught her sons the long con. One retired and became a magician; another, a sports writer. Blue, the youngest and the only girl, now studies game theory and may become the best con artist of the family. When the estranged trio is called home with a small fortune at stake, who will con who in the end?

Earlier Event: March 11
The Big Brunch Theory
Later Event: April 1
April Fool's Brunch!