Adapted for the stage by Wesley Savick and directed by graduate student Neerja Aggarwal, Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams will be performed by student actors from MIT and Wellesley College.
Einstein’s Dreams is an international bestseller written by the distinguished physicist and Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at MIT Alan Lightman. A fictional collection of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein while he worked at the patent office in Switzerland in 1905, Einstein’s Dreams explores the many possible worlds where time works differently as Einstein develops his theory of relativity. Will mistakes inevitably be repeated if time wraps back onto itself? Will people choose to complete tasks immediately or later if time stands still?
With Stage Manager Kevin Fulton, Assistant Stage Manager/ Production Assistant Willow Jarvis, Technical Director Stephanie Rodemann, Assistant Technical Director Peter Durest, Props Master Wei Low, Master Electrician Jacob Gunter, Set Designer Sara Brown, Lighting and Video Designer Allison Schneider, Lighting and Video Assistant Jakob Weisblat, Head of Video Josh Higgason, Costume Design Emily Rosser, Costume Shop Manager/ Wardrobe Penney Pinette, Sound Designer/ Live Engineer Kendall Allard, Composer Veronika Stelmakh, Admin Assistant Alexa Torres, Directed by Neerja Aggarwal
Performed by Sabrine Ahmed Iqbal, Alexa M. Garcia, and Alex Boles.
Photo Credit: Loren Sherman '17
Alan Lightman is a distinguished physicist and accomplished novelist. He was born in Tennessee in 1948, as a son of a movie theater owner and a dance teacher. In 1970, he received his Bachelor’s degree in physics from Princeton University and in 1974, he received his PhD in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology. He later became professor of science and writing, and senior lecturer in physics at MIT which made him the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities. During his time at MIT,
he cofounded the Catalyst Collaborative in 2004, which is a collaboration between MIT and the Underground Railway Theater of Boston. The Catalyst Collaborative aims to convey science and the culture of science through theater. As a physicist, Lightman has made fundamental contributions to the theory of astrophysical processes under conditions of extreme temperatures and densities. His research focused on relativistic gravitation theory, the structure and behavior
of accretion disks, stellar dynamics, radiative processes, and relativistic plasmas. As a writer, his novel Einstein’s Dreams published in 1993 has been translated into thirty languages adapted into many independent theatrical productions. His other well-known novel, The Diagnosis, was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award in fiction.
Wesley Savick is a director, playwright and an adjunct lecturer at MIT. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Marquette University and ABD at Northwestern University’s Ph.D. program in Theatre. He has written twenty-five plays, directed ninety professional productions which included projects from the Catalyst Collaborative. Some productions he wrote and directed include Mr. G, an adaptation of Lightman's Einstein’s Dreams, and Yesterday Happened: Remembering H.M which is based on the life of the most-studied brain patient of the 20th century. Plays he has directed include Len Jenkin’s Pilgrims of the Night, Peter Brook’s The Conference of the Birds, Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth, Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros and Nicolai Erdman’s The Suicide.
Neerja Aggarwal, Director
Neerja Aggarwal is currently a graduate student studying Electrical Engineering and Theater at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She grew up pursuing both acting and science. As a sophomore at MIT, Neerja took her first directing class and discovered her true passion for directing. Before Einstein’s Dreams, she directed Now Then Again, a time-bending romantic comedy about two physicists, with MIT Experimental Theater Company and The Importance of Being Earnest with MIT Dramashop. She feels that being a performer has also helped her to excel as an engineer and vice versa. Neerja is especially interested in exploring concepts in science through the lens of performance. “There’s really only two places where magic can happen: in physics and on stage.”
This production of Einstein’s Dreams is part of her thesis work towards her Theater Arts degree. With this show, she is especially interested in experimenting with new ways to readapt the novel by incorporating movement and original sound.