Curious Theatre Branch
Tikkun Olam Theatre Company: A contemporary of Galileo and Copernicus, Giordano Bruno was a precocious Franciscan monk with a penchant for memory and imagination. In his late 20s he had a dream: he sat in the middle of the prevailing geo-centric universe and rose into the heavens. He struck the star-covered firmament and punched through, discovering the infinity that lay beyond. His new belief in the infinite universe made him a pariah. The Church despised him for his blasphemy, and early astronomers refused to tolerate him because he was just a crazy monk with a vision. After being run out of every country he lived in (five in all) he is imprisoned by the inquisition, held for eight years in a lightless cell, then burnt at the stake. He never recanted. The play focuses on the seven days leading to the monk’s execution. As the Church attempts with increasing desperation to convince Bruno to abandon his views on the infinite universe, Bruno attempts to toe a line between maintaining the truth of his experience and saving his life. Meanwhile, the visions of infinity begin to leak out of his head, threatening to undo the fabric of reality so closely guarded by the Church. The show melds conventional playwriting with ensemble-devised movement work to mirror the convention of the inquisition and the freedom inherent in an infinite universe respectively. The questions it asks center on the dichotomy between consensual reality and heightened experience. Who chooses our consensual reality? When should we accept or reject what we have seen? As our bodies scatter into dust, what of that reality really remains?
Location: Prop Thtr, 3502 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618. (773) 742-5420.
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