The Einstein Project
The Einstein Project
“The Einstein Project” is a highly theatrical journey into one of the most fascinating minds of the modern age. It rejects iconic clichés about Albert Einstein in order to reveal the true man – a dynamic, Shakespearean personality, driven by passion, fear and anger. Theatrical techniques involving movement, music and visual images – a Japanese tea ceremony, a picnic with physicist ghosts – convey his mental and emotional struggles. Humorous newsreels flicker to show the growing celebrity and absurdity of the Einstein phenomenon.
In the happy early days Einstein creates physics on the spot with members of the Uranium Club and spends his free time sailing with his emotionally disturbed son, Edward. But he increasingly finds himself at odds with the new Nationalism of Hitler’s Nazi Party – especially when embodied by his chief competition, the brash young genius Werner Heisenberg. Einstein’s fear and fury result in the abandonment of Edward – and an escape to America.
In the second act, at the height of World War II, Einstein wonders if his old friends are developing atomic weapons for Hitler. Ironically, it is possible that Heisenberg and the other German scientists have successfully resisted such weapons research and trust that Einstein will do the same. But the U.S. Government and ominous rumors from Europe feed Einstein’s fear until he breaks down and urges President Franklin Roosevelt to develop atomic weapons for use against Germany. As a result, one of the most famous pacifists of all time is forced to go counter to his own beliefs. And to Einstein’s horror, atomic bombs are dropped on a country he didn’t even consider – Japan.
The climax of the play finds Einstein reunited with his mad son, Edward, trying to sail in the atomic storm that he helped unleash. His discovered love for Edward gives him hope that we can stop the storm.
Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Scholar and playwright Paul D’Andrea began his career at Harvard, earning a B.A. in Physics. After studying Philosophy at Oxford, he returned to Harvard for a Ph.D. in English Literature. He helped found the Institute of the Arts and the Theatre of the First Amendment at Mason. His prize-winning plays include “The Trouble with Europe”, “A Full Length Portrait of America”, and “The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay”, which are produced widely. He has taught at Harvard, the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota. Paul D’Andrea won the Morse/Amoco Distinguished Teaching Award at Minnesota and the Teaching Excellence award at Mason. In 2000 his play “The Einstein Project” was presented at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, MA.
Professor D’Andrea teaches courses on topics such as Renaissance Art, Philosophy, and Literature; views of gender from Aristophanes through “Much Ado about Nothing” to “Sex and the City”; the moral vision of contemporary drama; and Shakespeare. He has written screenplays and is interested in linking the humanities and the arts through contemporary media.
He is the author of over thirty plays, produced Off-Broadway and at many prestigious regional theatres, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage in D.C., Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, Center Stage in Baltimore, South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Alley Theatre in Houston, A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, and many others. He is probably best known for his play “T Bone N Weasel”, which has received over a hundred productions at regional theatres throughout the US and has been adapted for film. “T Bone N Weasel” received several awards after its premiere at the Humana Festival, at Actors Theatre of Louisville, including an HBO Playwrights USA Award.
Klein is also the author of the only authorised stage adaptation of the famous children’s book “Bunnicula” by James and Deborah Howe, as well as of the plays “Young Robin Hood”, “Md. Dimly Perceived Threats to the System”, and “Betty the Yeti”. His other plays with several and important productions include “Suggestibility”, “Wishing Well”, “Octopus”, “Peoria”, “Southern Cross”, “The Einstein Project” (written with Paul D’Andrea and available at DCPAS), “Four Our Fathers”, “The Red and the Black”, and “Losing It”.
Jon is married to Laura Annawyn Shamas, playwright, essayist, and mythologist.