Tesla’s Letters

The two-act, 4-character stage play set in 1997 in the Balkans is about an American who sets out to find Nikola Tesla’s doomsday device only to discover that a machine is not required.

Play title:  Tesla’s Letters

Author (s):  Jeffrey Stanley

Publisher: Samuel French

Publication Date: 1999

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Technology

Scientist (s): None

Source Texts: Unknown

Character Breakdown: 2 Men, 2 Women

Dragan Milincevic, Biljana, Daisy Archer, Zoran Jelecic

Setting: Varies

Time Period: 1997

Synopsis of Play: The two-act, 4-character stage play set in 1997 in the Balkans is about an American who sets out to find Nikola Tesla’s doomsday device only to discover that a machine is not required. Electrical pioneer Tesla, a Croatian-born Serb, was Thomas Edison’s biggest rival. Daisy Archer, a bright-eyed Ph.D. candidate, arrives in Belgrade thinking she has permission to view a certain cache of letters at the Nikola Tesla Museum. She is not prepared to face the museum’s director Dragan, a Serb with family in Croatia, who has needs of his own and who strikes a dangerous bargain with Daisy. He will test her willingness to see the letters by having her enter war-torn Croatia to visit Tesla’s birthplace and determine whether it has been destroyed. If she returns with photographic evidence she will be given access to Tesla’s letters. Daisy learns that the bargain is much more complicated than it at first appears, and that she is a pawn in a larger agenda. (play text cover blurb, Samuel French)

First Performance Date: April 6th, 1999

First Producer: Ensemble Studio Theatre/ Alfred P. Sloan

Performance History: Tesla’s Letters was originally presented as part of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/ Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project, and received its world premiere at The Ensemble Studio Theatre on April 6th, 1999. It was directed by Curt Dempster and the executive producer was Jamie Richards. The set was by Paula Sjoblom, with lighting by Jeff Croiter, costumes by Julie Doyle, sound design by Robert Gould and the production stage manager was John C. McNamara.

Links:

https://www.nytimes.com/1999/04/19/arts/theater-review-leaping-to-the-stage-from-tragic-headlines.html

http://www.curtainup.com/tesla.html

http://newsciencereview.com/?p=751

http://scienceandfilm.org/people/54/jeffrey-stanley

http://meetmeinthegreenroom.com/index.php/42-recent-news/187-j-a-di-bello-s-review-of-tesla-s-letters

Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citations

                            

2007, TimeLine Theatre Company,                                           2007, TimeLine Theatre Company,

Photo: Mike Tutaj                                                                         Photo: Mike Tutaj

                                                  

2007, TimeLine Theatre Company,                                           2015, Eastern Kentucky University Theatre

Photo: Mike Tutaj     

                                                     

2015, Eastern Kentucky University Theatre                               2015, Eastern Kentucky University Theatre

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