Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Theatre and Dance

Sub-Department

Theatre and Dance

First Advisor

Steven Pearson

Abstract

The Flying University is solo theater performance framed as an academic lecture about Marie Curie and her discovery of radium, delivered to a group of women who have gathered in secret to further their education. As the lecture proceeds, the professor brings in her own research based on a study of Esther Horsch (1905-1991) who lived on a farm in central Illinois. She introduces data from Esther's journals, personal memories, and dreams about Esther's life. The professor's investigation of radium plays at the intersections of magical and mundane, decay and the transformation of life, and the place of ambition in these two women's lives.

The intention of this piece is to explore these themes, which are full of mystery, through the traces of the daily lives of Mme. Curie and Esther. Their words and photos are used as roots from which to imagine the things that echo beyond their familiar work; elemental and also fantastically radiant.

The Flying University was written and performed by Catherine Friesen April 27-29, 2012 in the Center for Performance Experiment at Hamilton College as part of the University of South Carolina MFA Acting Class of 2013 showcase, Pieces of Eight.

Share

COinS