By Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Sean Daniels
Originally produced at Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY .
February 18, 2014 through April 13, 2014
About the Premiere Production
Ripped from today’s headlines and based on a true story, an ambitious geneticist, Gillian, is hired to help solve why a Native American tribe is being devastated by diabetes, but her research threatens to destroy their most sacred traditions. Meanwhile at home, she and her husband are confronted with the choice of using modern science to determine whether their four year-old daughter will be haunted by the family’s medical history. With genomic breakthroughs happening at breakneck speed, this heartwarming and honest tale explores the question of just how much knowledge is too much.
The issues unleashed in Informed Consent by nature require reflection; evoke strong opinions and emotional responses – the true results of deeply impactful theatre. These questions will only become more complex over the course of time and as the momentum of scientific study and discovery builds.
Because of the immediacy of the subject matter and its relevance in a local and national context, several surrounding events will be launched in conjunction with the performance of this work, including post-show discussions and pre-show lectures, talk-backs, community forums and a broad range of interactive engagement opportunities for the greater Rochester and Cleveland Communities. A core value of all performance activities at Geva Theatre Center is to put the artist and the patron at the center of the organization – establishing a sense of ownership, pride and excitement within the community for the development of new work. Informed Consent will play a crucial role in realizing this organizational focus.
Through this effort, Geva also seeks to deepen its working relationships with emerging playwrights. The work of Deborah Zoe Laufer has generated much excitement among the artistic staff of Geva Theatre Center. An earlier version of Informed Consent received a reading at Geva, under the direction of Sean Daniels, Geva’s Director of Artistic Engagement.
For this world premiere production of Informed Consent which will be produced in March, Mr. Daniels and Ms. Laufer travelled to the Grand Canyon to meet with the Havasupai tribe. Furthermore, they met with a DNA specialist in Florida and in Philadelphia, and went to a DNA lab to watch DNA be taken apart. These important visits provided additional details and information that will be valuable as we develop the final play – information that will be shared with everyone involved in the creative process.
This grant will provide an additional week of rehearsal with the creative team including playwright and designers.
Informed Consent was originally commissioned by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/ Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project. Additional funding for this production was also provided by the EST/Sloan Project.
Informed Consent is co-produced by Nixon Peabody LLP, Barbara and Sid Sobel and media sponsors WYSL 1040AM and WXXI.
Director: Sean Daniels
Set Design: Michael Raiford
Lighting Design: Brian Lilienthal
Sound Design: Matt Callahan
Cleveland Play House
April 25, 2014 - May 18, 2014