People's Light & Theatre Company Presents LEGACY OF LIGHT 10/13-11/7

People's Light & Theatre Company presents Legacy of Light, by Karen Zacarías from October 13 - November 7, 2010 on the Steinbright Stage. AbiGail Adams directs. People's Light & Theatre is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355. For tickets call 610.644.3500 or visit

In Legacy of Light, true-life 18th century scientist Émilie du Châtelet, Voltaire's lover and the translator of one of Isaac Newton's monumental works, and modern-day Olivia, also a scientist and on the verge of discovering a new planet, have more than just a passion for Isaac Newton in common. They live in separate times and many thousands of miles apart, but their lives and loves criss-cross in unexpected ways.

For this production, Artistic Director AbiGail Adams invited her brother Hank Murta Adams, the Studio Creative Director at Wheaton Arts, to design the glass structure that will serve as the visually-striking backdrop for the set. Hank Adams is an award-winning visual artist, whose work has been featured all over the world, including Austria, Japan, and parts of the United States. The art he has created specifically for Legacy of Light is composed of many glass ornaments that are intended to enhance the lighting design for the play. Light will play off the glass pieces, evoking images of the night sky-a landscape complementary to the vast themes that this play encompasses.

"The play requires a strong dramatic presentation to help the audience make links between the Enlightenment and some present consequences of that extraordinary time," Guest Dramaturg Graham Graves says. "It has been fascinating to explore these possibilities, not just at the level of the play's action and its characters, but also in its shifting philosophical perspectives. It draws upon the life of an extraordinary woman of science, Émilie, the Marquise du Chateleine. The play shows how she promoted and developed Newtonian physics and cosmology to augment the powerful impetus scientific progress gave to the political and social revolutions of the Age of Enlightenment and subsequent centuries. We are experiencing a similar transformation today, which has yet to unfold completely in political and social life. The play is mercurial and turbulent like the times we are living through."

He continues, "The play makes much of the scientific theory that energy is never lost and that the information from the past is available and forming the present, often when we are least aware of it. Indeed, that lack of awareness might be our greatest handicap in dealing with change and turbulence. It is intriguing to work with a play that treats this difficult idea with humour and economy."


Legacy of Light previews on Wednesday, October 13th and Thursday, October 14th at 7:30pm. The play opens on Friday, October 15th at 8pm and runs through November 7th. Audiences are encouraged to join the artists after each Thursday evening performance to discuss the production.

Single tickets range in price from $25 - $45. Special discounts, meal packages, and talkbacks with the artists are available for groups of 10 or more. 10am performances for school groups are also available. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x134 or email Actors, prices, performances dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges may apply.

Subscription tickets are now available. In addition to Legacy of Light, shows in the 5-Play series include The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto (November 17, 2010 - January 9, 2011), The Master Builder (March 23 - April 17, 2011), Dividing the Estate (May 11 - June 5, 2011), and Hatchetman (June 15 - July 10, 2011).


With this production People's Light continues its program called The Scoop: History, Context, and Gossip, a lively discussion before every performance. Cast member Greg Wood will discuss the world of the play, how and why it was chosen, as well as how it was cast, designed, and rehearsed. Refreshments will be available in the lobby before The Scoop begins and before the performance. The program will start one hour before curtain time and will take place in the theatre. No reservations are necessary.


People's Light, a professional theatre founded in 1974 in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration.


Karen Zacarías (Playwright) has written the award-winning Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Book Club Play, The Sins of Sor Juana, and the adaptation of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Her children's musicals include the award-winning Looking for Roberto Clemente, Chasing George Washington, Ferdinand the Bull, Einstein Is a Dummy, Jane of the Jungle, and Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans. Her plays have been produced at Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, The Goodman Theater, The Denver Center, Round House Theater, The Arden, Cleveland Playhouse, The Alliance Theater, The Berkshire Theater Festival, and many more. Her awards include: 2010 Citation for the Steinberg Award for Best New American Play (Legacy of Light), National Francesca Primus Prize (Mariela in the Desert), National Latino Play Award (Mariela in the Desert), Winner ATT/TCG First Stages Award (Mariela in the Desert), Finalist Susan S. Blackburn Award (Mariela in the Desert), The Edgerton New American Play Award (The Book Club Play), The New Voices New Vision (Einstein is a Dummy), and the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play (The Sins of Sor Juana). Karen lives in D.C. with her husband and three young children. She is the Playwright-in-Residence at Arena Stage, Professor of Playwriting at Georgetown University, and the Founding Artistic Director of Young Playwrights' Theater. She is currently working on commissions for La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, South Coast Rep and Denver Center of the Performing Arts.

AbiGail Adams (Director) is Artistic Director of the People's Light & Theatre Company. During her 33-year association with the Theatre, she has directed more than 60 plays. Recent productions include The Emperor's New Clothes, Nathan the Wise, The Day of the Picnic, Getting Near to Baby, Theophilus North, Twelfth Night, Something You Did, Fabulation, and The Member of the Wedding. Abbey served for ten years on the faculty at Swarthmore College and has also taught at New York University, Bryn Mawr College, Carnegie Mellon University and the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. She has served as a panelist and site reporter for the NEA and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College.
Hank Murta Adams (Glass Installation Artist) is the Studio Creative Director at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center where he facilitates numerous individual and collective projects for a diverse artist community, while serving as an educator and mentor for numerous young artists working as assistants and interns. He has been awarded three Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and was the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the New York State Arts Council. He was awarded a Fellowship at the Creative Glass Center of America in 2001 and is a member of the Creative Glass Center of America Advisory Board. His work has been featured in numerous one-man exhibitions ranging from J&L Lobmeyr Glass in Vienna, Austria; Remnant: Hank Adams, at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY; the Elliot Brown Gallery in Seattle; Heller Gallery in NYC, the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI and the Hunterdon Museum of Art in NJ. Adams' work was also selected for Creativity and Collaboration: Pilchuck Glass School at 30 in Seattle, WA, in 2000. Other group shows range from the triennial traveling exhibition, Americans in Glass, to World Glass Now, held in 1988 at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan; and the Glass Skin, a traveling exhibit organized by the Corning Museum of Glass.
Graham Graves (Dramaturg) was the Dramaturg for People's Light's production of Nathan the Wise last season. Prior to that he served as a career officer in the British Council for 25 years, living and working in Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Malta, and Washington, where he was an Education project officer at the World Bank in its Middle East and North Africa regions. Subsequently, he worked as an independent education consultant with European Community education projects throughout the newly independent countries of the former Soviet Union, including Russia. He has a B.A. Honors in philosophy from University College, London; a post-graduate degree in Administrative Studies from Oxford University; and a Master's degree in Education and Applied Linguistics from the Institute of Education, University of London. Currently, he lives in Wallingford, PA.

Jefferson Haynes (Saint-Lambert/Lewis) has been seen at People's Light in Stretch and Treasure Island. Jefferson has appeared onstage in the Philadelphia area with Arden, Azuka, and Interact, among others. When offstage, he works as a scenic carpenter around the Philadelphia theatre community. Jefferson is also a member of Philly Improv Theatre and teaches acting and improv for all ages.

Emilie Krause (Millie/Pauline) is a recent graduate from Temple University. Recent roles include Virginia Poe in Haunted Poe (Brat Productions), Annalee in 516 (Philadelphia Theater Workshop) and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare in Clark Park). She has also participated in PlayPenn (2009, 2010) and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. She will appear in Dividing the Estate at People's Light in the spring.

Susan McKey (Émilie du Châtelet) has called People's Light her artistic home since 1988. She was last seen as Regan in King Lear, and also played Sylvia Stein in End Days last summer. Susan has been in all six holiday Pantos and will be working with director Ken Marini in The Master Builder later this season. Susan is a Barrymore Award winner.

Stephen Novelli (Voltaire) most recently directed The Secret of Sherlock Holmes at People's Light. Recent acting assignments at People's Light include Most Ancient in Gossamer, Gloucester in King Lear (Barrymore nomination for Supporting Actor), Saladin in Nathan the Wise, Dr. Manette in A Tale of Two Cities, Darius in The Persians and The Father in Six Characters in Search of an Author. He has directed Tuesdays with Morrie, Camping with Henry and Tom, Valley Song, Measure for Measure, As You Like It and Glengarry Glen Ross for People's Light. A member of the resident company since 1974, he now serves as an Artistic Associate.
Mary Elizabeth Scallen (Olivia/Wet Nurse) has been a company member since 1991 and has most recently appeared in The Emperor's New Clothes, King Lear, A Tale of Two Cities, The Persians and Getting Near to Baby. She's also worked with the Lantern, the Arden, PlayPenn, Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Weston Theatre (VT) and Gretna Theatre (PA). She teaches acting at Penn and consults for FAIMER, an international medical education foundation, on communications skills and interactive teaching.
Greg Wood (Peter/Monsieur du Châtelet) was last seen at People's Light as Peter in Absence. Other roles at PLTC include Marvin in Falsettos, Johnny in Misalliance and Tartuffe in Tartuffe. Other recent credits include: Fred in Fallen Angels with the Walnut St. Theatre, Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, and Antony in Antony & Cleopatra for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Mr. Lockhart in The Seafarer with the Arden Theatre Co. Film and television credits include: The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Happening, The Answer Man, Bereavement, Bottleworld, Killing Emmett Young, A Gentlemen's Game, Law & Order, Ed, Hack, and Homicide.

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