Nora Theatre Company's 'EMILIE' to Begin 9/4

The Nora Theatre Company will present Lauren Gunderson's Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight. The piece will be the Boston acting debut for Lee Mikeska Gardner in the title role. Ms. Gardner was appointed Artistic Director of The Nora Theatre Company in November 2013 following a national search. The press performance is Monday, September 8 at 7:30PM.

Tonight, Emilie du Châtelet, leading physicist (before there was such a word), card shark, and all-around bad ass during the Age of Enlightenment returns searching for answers: Love or Philosophy? Head or Heart? Join the outspoken, revolutionary, and brilliantly sexy Marquise who introduced Newtonian physics to France and took Voltaire as her lover (correcting errors in his work) for a "fiercely inquisitive and joyfully sexy" (San Francisco Chronicle) theatrical exploration. Traverse time and space with a woman living ahead of her time, ignoring the rules of polite society, with her only limitation being that of her dexterous mind.

Tickets for Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight start at $15 and are currently on sale at or by calling 866.811.4111.

Under Ms. Gardner's leadership, The Nora is sharpening its focus on the feminine perspective with the underlying belief that it is also an inclusive human perspective. Ms. Gardner says: "Like The Nora's 2012 production of Photograph 51, Lauren Gunderson's Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight illuminates a little known historical figure who was profoundly influential in the advancement of science and, in Emilie's case, mathematics. We are introduced to a legendary mind, who was a bridge between Newton and Einstein, and, because she was female, has been lost to the history books. Beyond that, Ms. Gunderson examines the life choices and sacrifices of the Marquise that are resonant today, experienced by both women and men, as we all wrestle with creating a life and a legacy that will mean something. We all want to die knowing we counted."

Lauren Gunderson is a playwright, screenwriter and short story author from Atlanta, GA. She has spoken nationally and internationally on the intersection of science and theatre and Arts Activism, and teaches playwriting in San Francisco. Her plays include I and You (Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award), Bauer, Silent Sky (Jane Chambers Award finalist). Her 2011 three-city rolling world premiere of Exit, Pursued By A Bear, was featured in American Theatre Magazine and The Week. The production reached 20 communities across the US often winning "Best Comedy" accolades. Leap was published with Theatre Emory's Playwriting Center (2004), and her first collection of plays, Deepen The Mystery: Science and the South Onstage, is published with iUniverse (2006). Her first musical, The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog! is becoming a series of children's books published by Amazon. Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Tonight (published by Samuel French) was commissioned and premiered at South Coast Rep in 2009, and has run across the country and in England. Other plays include By And By and Fire Work (2011 winner for Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project). She has developed plays with Second Stage, Red Bull, Primary Stages, New Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, TheatreWorks, The Magic Theatre, among others.

Ms. Gunderson is the recipient of the Berrilla Kerr Award for American Theatre, Young Playwright's Award, Eric Bentley New Play Award and Essential Theatre Prize. She received a Sloan Science Script Award (2008) for her screenplay Grand Unification. Her short story "The Ascending Life", won the Norembega Short Fiction Award and was published in the anthology, The Shape of Content; her science play Background was published in ISOTOPE: A Journal of Nature and Science Writing. Her string theory poem "Hook of a Number" was published in the anthology Riffing On Strings. She is a Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Foundation, a Dramatists Guild member, and was a member of Just Theatre's New Play Lab. She writes for The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and tweets at @LalaTellsAStory, and curates She received her BA in English/Creative Writing at Emory University, and her MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch, where she was also a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.

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