An Immaculate Misconception

One of the most challenging issues of the 21st century is the impending separation of sex (in bed) and reproduction (under the microscope) as a result of recent advances in contraception and assisted reproduction.

Play title: An Immaculate Misconception: Sex in an age of mechanical reproduction

Author (s): Carl Djerassi

Publisher: Imperial College Press

Publication Date: 2000

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Reproductive Biology

Secondary Discipline: Reproductive Science/Medicine

Scientist (s):

Source Texts:

Character Breakdown: 1 woman, 3 men

Dr. Melanie Laidlaw, Menachem Dvir, Dr. Felix Frankenthaler, and Adam

Setting: America

Act 1, Scene 1: May 1997, sitting room of hotel suite on the occasion of a scientific congress.

Act 1, Scene 2: September 1997, Dr. Melanie Laidlaw’s laboratory in an American Institute of Reproductive Biology and Infertility Research.

Act 1, Scene 3: November 1997, dream scene in sperm bank.

Act 1, Scene 4: January 1998, same location as Scene 1.

Act 1, Scene 5: Sunday, February 8, 1998 same as Scene 2.

Act 1, Scene 6: One hour later.

Act 1, Scene 7: September 1998, same setting as preceding scene.

Act 1, Scene 8: A few minutes later at the coffee bar of Research Institute.

Act 1, Scene 9:  A few minutes later, same setting as scene 7.

Act 1, Scene 10: One week later, same setting as preceding scene.

Act 1, Scene 11: Early December 1998, Dr. Melanie Laidlaw’s living room.

Time Period: 1997-1998

Synopsis of Play: One of the most challenging issues of the 21st century is the impending separation of sex (in bed) and reproduction (under the microscope) as a result of recent advances in contraception and assisted reproduction. Many of the ethical and societal issues associated with these new reproductive technologies, notably intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), are raised in an unusual format — namely in dialogic form — which is both entertaining and pedagogically informative.

(World Science Publishing Page)

First Performance Date: August 6 1998

First Producer: Edinburgh Festival Fringe by William Archer

Performance History: The one-act version of “An Immaculate Misconception” was produced by William Archer and first staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from August 6 – 31, 1998. Directed by William Archer. Lighting by David Babani. Stage Managed by Stephen M. Grasset. Original Music by Jessica and Alexander Boyd.

Review Links:

http://www.curtainup.com/immaculatemisconception.htnl

http://variety.com/2001/legit/reviews/an-immaculate-misconception-1200553416/

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/19/movies/theater-review-he-may-think-it-s-passion-but-she-knows-it-s-science.html

Entered by: Denise Gillman / Brooke Sanders

Production Photos:

Denise Balthorp and Paul Sulzman at the Eureka Chronicle- Photo by John O’Hara
Peter Vilkin and Denise Balthrop Cassidy at the Eureka Chronicle – Photo by John O’Hara

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