Ear to the Edge of Time (2018)
Directed by Nadia Tass
Written by Alana Valentine
October 11, 2018 to October 27, 2018
'I wanted to reach into the rib cage of space and time and pull out not one but two beating hearts. One in each hand. And I’ve never wanted anything like that before.’
A world premiere, Ear to the Edge of Time is the product of an extraordinary odyssey of discovery and exploration for one of Australia's great contemporary playwrights, Alana Valentine.
Inspired by true events and interviews with astrophysicists and astronomers all over the world, Valentine has written a captivating drama about a young radio astronomer who makes a universe-shifting discovery, only for her work to be taken over by her older, male, supervisor. As she wrestles with her frustration and the potential consequences of speaking out, the decision about whether to go public is taken out of her hands when a poet publishes a contentious verse about her work.
Even to the least scientific, the physics in the play is accessible, fascinating and provocative, opening a window into the world of space and time as a metaphor for the relationship of art and science.
With a stellar cast of Belinda Giblin, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Christopher Stollery and Tim Walter, and directed by the internationally acclaimed Nadia Tass, Ear to the Edge of Time is potently topical in its observation of the scientific community, and completely timeless in its exploration of the mysteries of the universe.
Ear to the Edge of Time is the winner of the fifth STAGE International Script Competition and was developed and supported by the University of California, Santa Barbara’s STAGE project and Professional Artists Lab, the California NanoSystems Institute, and through an Australia Council Fellowship. STAGE is a competition for the best play in the world about science or technology, and Ear to the Edge of Time was the winner from 200 entries from 19 countries in 2012.
"The play is based on interviews I did with diverse members of the radio astronomy community, including a two-week residency at the Parkes Observatory where I lived with the astronomers and climbed to the top of the focus cabin at the pinnacle of the dish. I then travelled to Rome to visit the Vatican Observatory and record Brother Guy Consolmagno, to London to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich to record Dr Marek Kukula and Dr Rebecca Higgit, to Oxford to interview Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell and to Manchester to the Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory to interview Professor Andrew Lyne." - Alana Valentine
(No director's note available for this production)
Rehearsal photos by Marnya Rothe | Production photos by Kate Williams