A Scientist who enhances life with his work and knowledge but discovers too late that knowledge in the wrong hands brings death.
Play title: Einstein’s Gift
Author (s): Vern Thiessen
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Publication Date: 2003
Primary Discipline: Chemistry
Secondary Discipline: Physics
Scientist (s): Albert Einstein and Fritz Haber
Source Texts: From the “Post Script” section of the playbook, Vern Thiessen acknowledges The Story of Fritz Haber by Morris Goran, Einstein in Berlin by Thomas Levenson, Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch and the Transformation of World Food Production by Vaclav Smil, The Poisonous Cloud by L.F. Haber, and The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussel.
Character Breakdown: 5 Men, 2 Women.
Haber, Albert, Otto, ACTOR 3 (Clara, Singer), ACTOR 4 (Lotta, Soldier), ACTOR 6 (Deimling, Rust), and ACTOR 7 (Deacon, Peterson, Gestapo, Soldier).
Setting: USA, Germany, and Switzerland.
Time Period: 1905-1934
Synopsis of Play: A Scientist who enhances life with his work and knowledge but discovers too late that knowledge in the wrong hands brings death. The ideal of science to serve humanity is shown in sharp contrast against the reality of political will, nationalism, and war. Chance, pride, ego, and passion collide in this play based on the life and work of Nobel Laureate Dr. Fritz Haber, who risked everything for a country that never accepted him, but used his work to murder millions. (Play text on back cover by Diane Jensen)
First Performance Date: 2003
First Producers: Citadel Theatre
Einstein’s Gift premiered at The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, in February 2003. It was performed on the MacLab Stage. It starred James MacDonald as Albert Einstein and the other cast including Michael Spencer-Davis, Julien Arnold, Stephanie Wolfe, Phillip Warren Sarsons, Paul Morgan Donald, and Daniela Vlaskalic. The play was later produced at Theatre and Company in Kitchener, Ontario, in April 2003.
Entered by: Hogan Holt and Jalynn Ponzo
Hogan Holt is a Theatre major with a concentration in Acting at Christopher Newport University where he is currently a senior. He enjoys acting and performing comedy and is Artistic Director of “Laugh Out,” the improv comedy group at CNU
Jalynn Ponzo is political science and philosophy major at Christopher Newport University. She currently a senior and is planning to join the Air Force after graduation. Jalynn enjoys reading and listening to music in her free time.