Contact: Courtney Hiatt, Western Washington University College of Fine and Performing Arts marketing, at (360) 650-2829 or Courtney.Hiatt@wwu.edu
BELLINGHAM - Western Washington University's Department of Theatre and Dance presents “An Experiment with an Air Pump,” written by Shelagh Stephenson and directed by Charlotte Guyette, on Nov. 1-3 and 7-10 at 7:30 p.m. and on Nov. 4 and 11 at 2 p.m. in the PAC Mainstage Theater.
Inspired by the 1767 painting by Joseph Wright titled “An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump,” Stephenson’s play explores the “intoxication of discovery… the irresistible pull of light over darkness… and the power of frontiers tumbling before science’s merciless deconstruction.”
The action of the play is set within the same English house at the turn of two different centuries divided by a gap of 200 years (1799 and 1999). These junctures in time represent the dawn of the Industrial Age and the Age of Biotechnology, ideal moments in history for exploring the aims and ethics of science as well as the evolving role of women. A disturbing discovery beneath the kitchen’s floorboards instigates a thought-provoking search into past events where human beings, art and science are beautifully intertwined. Stephenson seems to indicate, that while the machinery of science has evolved, human impulses have changed very little.
“An Experiment with an Air Pump” will show at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 1-3, as well as on Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 7-10. It will also show at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4 and 11. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early as late seating will not be allowed due to the production’s seating configuration.
Intended for mature audiences, “An Experiment with an Air Pump” contains adult language and content and will make brief use of a strobe light.
Tickets are available through the WWU Box Office and cost $12 for general admission; $10 for seniors, WWU faculty and staff; and $8 for students. A limited selection of tickets will also be available at Village Books and the Community Food Co-op.
WWU Box Office hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour prior to the performance. For individual tickets or disability accommodations, contact the WWU Box Office at (360) 650-6146 or visit http://www.tickets.wwu.edu.
For more information, please call Western’s Department of Theatre and Dance at (360) 650-3876 or visit http://www.wwu.edu/theatredance.