Artists Rep Presents Dear Galileo for Fertile Ground 2012


Three women in three different times wrestle with their identity, the conflict between science and religion, and what it means to be their fathers' daughters in a Fertile Ground staged reading of Dear Galileo by Claire Willett.

In Renaissance Italy, Celeste Galilei lives under house arrest with her elderly father Galileo, the disgraced astronomer who wants to defy the Pope yet again by publishing one last book. In a small town in Texas, creationist author and TV pundit Robert Snow is at a loss when his 10-year-old daughter Haley's newfound passion for science begins to pull her away from the Biblical teachings of her upbringing. And in Swift Trail Junction, Arizona, home of the Vatican Observatory's U.S. outpost, New York sculptor Cassie Willows arrives to find that her estranged father, world-renowned astrophysicist Jasper Willows, has gone missing. As the three stories move toward their point of convergence, the destinies of each become inextricably bound with the others, linked through time by love, family, grief, faith and the search for identity.

Post-show talkbacks will be held after each performance with the playwright and director, moderated by Mead Hunter.

Dear Galileo
Written by: Claire Willett
Directed by: Stephanie Mulligan
Featuring: David Bodin, Adrienne Flagg, Chris Harder and Gilberto Martin del Campo
Performance Dates: Jan 21 @ 2pm; Jan 23 @ 7:30pm
Venue: Artists Repertory Theatre - Morrison Stage (15th and Morrison St.)
Tickets: All shows Pay-What-You-Will. Cash at the door. Suggested Donation: $10.
Box Office: 503.241.1278 or

Claire Willett, Playwright
Playwright Claire Willett was the summer 2011 Writer-In-Residence at the I-Park Artists' Colony in East Haddam, CT., was named the 2011 Oregon Literary Fellow for Drama, and was a finalist for the 2011 Fox Valley Repertory Collider Project (a new initiative supporting the creation of new plays about science and technology). Three of her plays have been produced as staged readings in Portland's annual Fertile Ground Festival of New Works: Upon Waking in 2009, How the Light Gets In in 2010, and That Was the River, This Is the Sea (co-written with Gilberto Martin del Campo) in 2011. Claire's fourth play Dear Galileo, written during her I-Park residency, is funded by a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission. Her next project is a chamber opera based on Norse mythology co-written with Los Angeles composer Evan Lewis. Claire has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Whitman College in Washington, where her first play Requiem: God Breathing was the top faculty pick in the 2002 student-written One Act Play Contest. She is also a graduate of the Paul A. Kaplan Theatre Management Program at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. She has lived in Tokyo, Ireland and the Bronx but now resides in her hometown of Portland, where she works as a fundraising consultant and social media specialist for arts nonprofits. She is currently the Manager of Grants, Communications & Social Media for Oregon Ballet Theatre.

Fertile Ground Festival of New Works
This is one of two productions Artists Rep will produce as part of the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works 2012. The World Premiere of (I Am Still) The Duchess of Malfi runs on Artists Rep's Alder Stage January 10 through February 12. More information on that production can be found at Fertile Ground was launched by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (the service organization for Portland theatre artists and organizations) in 2009 to provide a platform for Portland theatre companies to showcase their commitment to new work. More information about the Fertile Ground Festival:

Artists Repertory Theatre
The 2011/12 Artists Repertory Theatre season is presented by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. With this 29th season, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theater company in Portland. Artists Rep strives to challenge artists and audiences with plays of depth and vibrancy in an intimate setting. Artists Rep explores the strengths, frailties, and diversity of the human condition primarily through regional premieres, commissioned works and selected classics appropriate to contemporary issues.

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