THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION Opens At The Beck Center 3/13

Who will win the race to invent the greatest innovation of the 20th century?  Beck Center presents the Cleveland premiere of the award-winning play, The Farnsworth Invention, on the Mackey Main Stage, March 13 through April 11, 2009. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. 

It’s the classic David and Goliath tale. The powerful president of RCA, David Sarnoff, competes with a self-taught potato farmer’s son, Philo Farnsworth, to invent a device Farnsworth calls “electronic television.” Although they are very different men, their vision is the same: to use this technology as a vehicle for social change. As Sarnoff tells his wife, “It’s gonna change everything, it’s gonna end ignorance and misunderstanding, it’s gonna end illiteracy. It’s going to end war.”

Aaron Sorkin, whose stage play A Few Good Men caught the attention of Hollywood in 1988, went on to write and create several critically acclaimed movies and television shows, including The American President, Charlie Wilson’s War, The West Wing, and Sports Night. He returned to the stage when his play The Farnsworth Invention opened on Broadway in December 2007. 

“The Farnsworth Invention is, essentially, a documentary on stage. Sorkin adeptly tells the story of two very different men—a Jewish immigrant media mogul and a Mormon whiz kid from Idaho—who are separated by 2,000 miles but have the same ambition: to change the world,” says director Scott Spence. “I couldn’t wait to bring this show to Beck’s stage and share Sorkin’s brilliant script with audiences across Northeast Ohio.”

Tickets are $28 for adults, $25 for seniors (65 and older), and $17 for students (22 and under with ID). An additional $3 service fee per ticket is applied at the time of purchase. Preview night on Thursday, March 12, is $10 with general admission seating. Group discounts are available for parties of 13 or more. To reserve tickets, call the Beck Center box office at 216.521.2540 ext. 10, or request seats at For group sales, contact Linda Hefner at ext. 29. Beck Center is located at 17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, just 10 minutes west of downtown Cleveland. Free onsite parking is available.

Beck Center’s production of The Farnsworth Invention is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. and is sponsored by FIT Technologies, WTAM 1100AM, WCPN 90.3FM, Cleveland Scene, Cox Communications, and the Ohio Arts Council. Beck Center’s production is also generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. 

Beck Center for the Arts is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers professional theater productions on two stages, arts education programming in dance, music, theater, visual arts, early childhood, and creative arts therapies for special needs students, and gallery exhibits featuring local and regional artists.

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