Chicago Premiere of THE HALF-LIFE OF MEMORY Set for Tonight at Storefront Theatre
Local playwright and actor Jason Lindner tells the story of a deteriorating former Manhattan Project physicist who has discovered that radioactive material can be extruded from his memory. Visits from his colorful colleagues and lost love will determine his fate and perhaps the fate of us all. The Half-Life of Memory, produced by Cold Basement Dramatics in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and directed by Co-Artistic Director Sophie Blumberg, will run from June 4 through June 29 at the Storefront Theater (66 E Randolph St) in The Loop. Tickets are on sale now at tix.com. ($15; $10 for students/industry with proper ID).
The Half-Life of Memory tells the story of Salek (Mark Maxwell), a Manhattan Project scientist, now in his declining years, as he is revisited by the reverberations of his past. The memories of his former physicist colleagues, J. Robert Oppenheimer (Stephen Dale), Albert Einstein (Michael Sater), Edward Teller (Daniel Sappington), and Enrico Fermi (Dan Planz), coerce Salek in different directions as they converge to try to reap the consequences of Salek's discovery of radioactive consciousness. Sal is also visited by his former love, Helle, (Teagan Walsh-Davis) and the hauntingly evocative remnant of death, the "Eyeball Man" (Shozzett Silva). The action of the play sends Salek on a descent through love, betrayal, spite, and even a vaudeville number as he races to finish his work.
The character of Salek is loosely based on Mr. Lindner's relative who was a Mannhattan Project physicist and Glencoe native, Professor Severin Raynor. Before his death in 1992, Professor Raynor would say that he moved to the suburbs and away from downtown Chicago because he had calculated that if an atomic bomb hit the city center, his home in Glencoe would be just outside the blast and radiation radius.
Jason Lindner (Playwright) a Chicagoland native and graduate of the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in Playwriting, has had numerous productions in Chicago, New York City, around the country, and recently in the UK. In New York he toured with a troupe of French clowns, performed with mermaids, snakes, and ninjas, and has had his writing showcased by The Public Theatre, Disney, and Fox TV, amongst many other places. In addition, Jason wrote and performed for Second City, Chicago as part of their Kid Co.
Sophie Blumberg (Director, Co-Artistic Director) is a director and dramaturg based in Chicago. The New York City native received her B.A. in Drama and Integrated Program in Humane Studies from Kenyon College. Her favorite companies that she has worked with include: Goodman Theatre, The Hypocrites, Victory Gardens, The Women's Project (NYC), Light Opera Works, The New York International Fringe Festival, ART/NY, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Writer's Bloc, Pride Films and Plays, Women's Theatre Alliance, Vienna Juvenile, and Halcyon Theatre. Upcoming directing projects include Enchanted April in August 2014, and Journey into Hindsight in September 2014.
Tickets for The Half-Life of Memory are available for $15 ($10 students/industry with proper ID) at tix.com.
Cold Basement Dramatics, which began in 2010, is now a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as of December 2013.
Cold Basement is dedicated to telling stories about the things that we hide from ourselves and others.