Aired on KSDS-FM on 4/28/17
RUN DATES: 4/20/17 – 5/4/17
VENUE: The Roustabouts Theatre Company
Does genius grant exemption from morality? Certainly, many brilliant artists and scientists have exhibited less than brilliant behavior.
Take Anton Myrvold. He’s just become a finalist for the Nobel Prize in Physics. He considers himself, and his work, beyond reproach. He’s actually labeled himself the “conscience of science.” He’s passionate about his work on astronomical Dark Matter.
But, over the course of one evening, we come to see the Dark Matters lurking in his own life – both personal and professional.
He bullies his wife, an international human rights activist. He’s bombastic, pedantic, condescending. But he can also be a romantic, and an inspiration to his University of Chicago students. At this intimate dinner, he’s ready to announce the post-doc who will be honored with the most coveted fellowship in physics.
Anton promised the prize to the gifted Gray a year ago. But instead, he’s decided to give the internship to Gray’s somewhat less talented girlfriend, Britt.
Before the night is over, each of these fascinating, fictional characters will be tested to their ethical core. All will exhibit an instinct for ruthlessness, as they consider just how far they’ll go to get what they want.
This provocative drama, “Margin of Error,” is a world premiere by playwright Will Cooper, and the premiere production of San Diego’s newest theater company, The Roustabouts, co-founded by Cooper, and local actor/director/writers Phil Johnson and Ruff Yeager.
Yeager is the commanding center of this outstanding production, forcefully directed by Rosina Reynolds. The impeccable ensemble also includes Joel Miller, Kate Rose Reynolds and Roxane Corrasco.
The design work is superb, and contributes mightily to an auspicious beginning for this theater and this play. Despite some clumsy exposition, wavering accents and an excess of symmetry and repetition, this thought-provoking drama confronts critical issues of integrity, morality, abuse of power and women’s precarious position in the world of science.
As Anton attempts to rationalize his actions, as men like him so often do, he insists that “It is our shadows that make us interesting.”
Look to the skies and ponder that.
©2017 PAT LAUNER, San Diego Theater Reviews