Lantern Theater Company Announces Additional Panelists And New Title for IN CONVERSATION

Lantern Theater Company will host Informed Consent playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer and noted bioethicists/oncologists Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Dr. Steven Joffe for In Conversation: Bioethics, Theater, and Identity on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at approx.. 8:15 p.m. The panel will explore the nature of scientific progress, particularly in medicine where the engagement of human subjects is both necessary and ethically challenging, and how theater dramatizes these issues so effectively and sympathetically. The conversation immediately follows the 6:30 p.m. performance of Laufer's Informed Consent and is free to the general public with ticket purchase. Members of the press are invited to attend; advance reservations are required.

"The creative and inventive imagination of humanity always seems much more dynamic than our faculty of caution, which we should be able to rely on to preserve us from the destructive potential of our innovations," said Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon. "The great Athenian poets gave us stories of hubris in which the heroes were destroyed through the very excess of their virtue. The outward forms of society have changed radically in the intervening twenty-five centuries, but the basic substance of human ethical dilemma has remained eerily constant. Scientific genius is the pride of our age; it defines our time and nourishes our lives. But as with any virtue it must be circumscribed by wisdom. In the event, we'll be exploring the ethical questions raised by the blistering pace of advances in medicine and bioengineering."

About the Panelists

Noted bioethicist and oncologist Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel is one of the leading thinkers on medicine and society of our time. He currently serves as Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2009 to 2011 he served as special advisor for health policy to the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama Administration, and from 1997 to 2011 he was chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. He is a columnist for The New York Times, a frequent commentator on CNN and MSNBC, and author of several books on bioethics as well as the best-selling memoir Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family.

Dr. Steven Joffe is a pediatric oncologist and bioethicist. He is currently the Emanuel and Robert Hart Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He also serves as the Director of the Penn Fellowship in Advanced Biomedical Ethics and as Vice Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Deborah Zoe Laufer's plays have been produced across the United States at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House, Geva Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Portland Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and in Canada, Germany, and Russia. Informed Consent was commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which empowers playwrights to create original and compelling work about science and technology; the play was co-produced in 2015 by Primary Stages and Ensemble Studio Theatre at the Duke Theatre in New York. Her play End Days, another Sloan commission, was awarded the ATCA Steinberg citation and appeared at Ensemble Studio Theatre through an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant. Laufer's other plays include Leveling Up, Sirens, Out of Sterno, The Last Schwartz, Meta, The Three Sisters of Weehawken, Fortune, The Gulf of Westchester, Miniatures, and Random Acts. Laufer is a recipient of a 2009 Helen Merrill Emerging Playwriting Award, a 2010 Lilly Award for playwriting, as well as grants and commissions from the Edgerton Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National New Play Network. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School and a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the Dramatists Guild of America.

In Conversation: Bioethics, Theater, and Identity immediately follows the Tuesday, January 24, 6:30 p.m. performance of Informed Consent and free to the general public with ticket purchase. Tickets are $33 and are available online at www.lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. Student tickets are $15 in advance; $10 student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID. Discounts are also available for theater industry professionals ($10 in advance or at the door), seniors 65 and up, groups of 10 or more, and U.S. military personnel. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Sts. in Center City Philadelphia.

About Lantern Theater Company

Founded in 1994, Lantern Theater Company enters its twenty-third season with a record number of subscribers, its largest-ever operating budget at $1.3 million, and a growing community of theater artists engaged in its productions and audience enrichment events. In 2015, the Lantern launched the Lantern Theater Artist Fair Pay Initiative, a pioneering program to increase the compensation of its contract theater artists by 50% over the prior season. The Lantern seeks to be a vibrant, contributing member of its community, exposing audiences to great theater, inviting participation in dialogue and discussion, engaging audience members on artistic and social issues, and employing theatrical language and techniques to enrich learning in the classroom. Since the inception of the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, the Lantern has received 94 nominations and 19 awards. The Lantern's 2016/17 season continues with Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer (now through February 12, 2017; press opening on Wednesday, January 18), Coriolanus by William Shakespeare (March 9 - April 16, 2016), and The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord (June 1 - July 2, 2017). More information is online at www.lanterntheater.org.

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