Lauren Gunderson's EMILIE; LA MARQUISE DU CHATALET DEFENDS HER LIFE TONIGHT to Have NYC Premiere at The Flea

One of the first female physicists, the 18th century Marquise du Châtelet died from complications in childbirth in the midst of disproving Newton’s Laws of Physics.

By: Jan. 31, 2023
Lauren Gunderson's EMILIE; LA MARQUISE DU CHATALET DEFENDS HER LIFE TONIGHT to Have NYC Premiere at The Flea

Duende Productions will present the New York Premiere of Emilie; La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson (The Catastrophist with Marin Theatre Company; Natural Shocks with WP Theater), directed by Kathy Gail MacGowan (In The Summer Pavilion at 59E59; Kentucky Cantata at HERE) at The Flea Theater (20 Thomas Street New York, NY 10007), April 6-30.

Emilie is one of History's most undertold stories. One of the first female physicists, the 18th century Marquise du Châtelet died from complications in childbirth in the midst of disproving Newton's Laws of Physics. Her work became the basis for Einstein's theory of relativity, but her long-time lover Voltaire, who wrote with, for, and about her, remained more noted for her work than she did, until very recently. Lauren Gunderson's play powerfully tells Emilie's story with humor and love, putting her story back in her own voice and restoring the credit for the work that became the foundation for so many others.

Playwright Lauren Gunderson has been named the most-produced playwright in America by American Theatre since 2015 and The Guardian called her the Most Popular Playwright in America Today. However, The New Yorker bets You've Never Heard of America's Most Popular Playwright and Slate Magazine wondered, Is America's Favorite Playwright Too Much for New York? Gunderson's play Emilie; La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight originally premiered in 2009 with South Coast Rep. This production with Duende Productions will be the play's New York debut.

The production will run for a total of 21 performances, April 6-30 with shows on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7:30pm, and Sundays at 5pm. Tickets ($40) are available for advance purchase at www.eventbrite.com. The performance will run approximately two hours, with an intermission.

Lauren Gunderson

(Playwright) is one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015 topping the list thrice including 2022/23. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation's Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her play The Catastrophist, about her husband virologist Nathan Wolfe, premiered digitally in January 2021. She co-authored the Miss Bennet plays with Margot Melcon, and The Half-Life of Marie Curie premiered off-Broadway and at Audible.com. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You; Exit Pursued By A Bear; The Taming and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists; The Book of Will; Silent Sky; Bauer, Natural Shocks, The Wickhams and Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon is available from Two Lions/Amazon. She is the book writer for musicals with Ari Afsar (Jeannette), Dave Stewart and Joss Stone (The Time Traveller's Wife), Joriah Kwamé (Sinister), Kait Kerrigan and Bree Lowdermilk (Justice and Earthrise), and Kira Stone (Built for This). She is a board member of The Playwrights Foundation. LaurenGunderson.com

Kathy Gail MacGowan

(Director) has directed hundreds of developmental readings for new work in New York, leading to the direction of 15 premieres by New York playwrights. Past New York premiere productions of new work include: In The Summer Pavilion (Backstage Critic's Pick; NYCFringe/59E59) and Kentucky Cantata (Best of Off-Broadway by Critic Howard Miller; HERE) by Paul David Young, The Golden Year (3 Stars, Time Out NY; WorkShop Theatre) and The Dishonorable Discharge of Private Pitts by Daniel Damiano (IATA Theatre); Broad Channel by James Bosely (UP Theater Co), Bergen by Steven Fechter (14th Street Y), Rosemary and Time by Jennifer Fell Hayes (Paradise Dream Factory) and The Battles of Richmond Hill by Penny Jackson (HERE). This past fall, she directed Conor McPherson's The NIght Alive to sold out audiences at The Chain Theatre. Kathy regularly directs at The Stella Adler Conservatory /NYU Tisch and recently directed and adapted Henry 4, Part 1, which went on to tour NYC public schools and, notably, Rikers prison in January. She received her MFA in directing from The New School for Drama, and is a Drama League directing finalist. She also is a member of AEA and SDC.

Duende Productions seeks to make profound, illuminating, and elegant works for the theatre that are classics-based or inspired, language driven and actor focused. Duende is a female-led company. Their production of Lauren Gunderson's Emilie; La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight will feature a predominantly female-identifying creative team. www.duendeproduction.org

 




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