Award-Winning Script On Psychedelic Research In The '60s Gets L.A. Staged Reading
The story of Timothy Leary's research into the effects of psychedelics at Harvard University in the 1960s will get its first staged reading in Los Angeles on January 31.
With a cast of characters including Aldous and Laura Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, Marianne Leary and her larger-than-life husband Timothy, the television pilot script "Seven Eternities," penned by NYU MFA graduate Mirella Christou will explore several untold themes of the era that also resonate today.
"What compelled me most in approaching this subject was that of censorship - specifically the events that led to the wide-scale suppression of scientific study of these substances essentially halting progress in addressing many of the difficult-to-treat disorders such as post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and a litany of others," said Christou. "I hear the topic of psychedelics and micro-dosing in the press daily, which leads me to assume there's a spark of interest in revisiting this line of inquiry that was outlawed in the mid-60s due to issues other than the psychedelics themselves," she said. Popular figures such as Michael Pollan and Oliver Sachs have penned articles in mainstream magazines on the topic, while major Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have sought to finance research in psychedelics.
However, the "Seven Eternities" script is much more than a single-issue piece. It hones in on the characters themselves and their complexities as fully-fleshed out human beings. There is a balance in the show between the professional and personal lives of these characters. There are also narratives that scratch the surface of social movements that were brewing at the time, such as Civil Rights, the women's movement and the anti-war movement. The humanity and the humor are what most readers latch on to in the story -- it's journalistic in its investigation and poetic in its execution, and there's a reason why, said Christou. "I've gotten more reads and notes from high-level writers and producers on this script than any other script, so I think I have a clear idea of what people are leaning in to. The current iteration of the script is certainly honoring the wonderful feedback that I've been so lucky to receive."
The script has been recognized by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in its Prize for screenwriters. The prize is awarded each year to a film or a piece of writing that focuses on science and technology, or highlights the life of a scientist, engineer or mathematician. In previous years The Imitation Game and Hidden Figures have been beneficiaries of the Sloan Prize. LA-based Scriptd is presenting the live staged reading at venue ArtShare LA on January 31st at 8 pm. Scriptd is an organization that connects talented writers with fans and the community to help find, promote and actualize film and TV's next big scripts.
"Seven Eternities" will be performed by: Ben Caplan (Call the Midwife, Band of Brothers), Larry Powell (The Christians), Antonia Cruz-Kent (Conduct of Life), Josh Breslow (Nashville, New Girl), Clayton Froning (Teen Wolf), Farah Merani (Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments), Valeria Gonzalez, and Acacia Fisher.
Please RSVP at: Eventbrite