April 16, 2010

What a surprise for the cast and crew of Einstein's Gift! Vern Thiessen, the author of the play, sent his well wishes via email.
I note on my calendar that you open EINSTEIN soon. Please pass on my regards to the cast and crew for a successful run.
Vern Thiessen

April 15, 2010


EINSTEIN’S GIFT – A dramatic interpretation of history

Richmond Hill, Ont. (April 15, 2010): The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of Einstein’s Gift by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen, the third play of the 2009/2010 Season. On April 16, 2010, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of the Einstein’s Gift, at the incredible price of only $15.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).

Einstein’s Gift features a star studded cast of 9 actors, many of whom play multiple roles in this tribute to two important men of the 20th Century: Fritz Haber and Albert Einstein. While the two Nobel Prize winning scientists may not have know each other quite in the way that Vern Thiessen describes, the play is Thiessen’s attempt to show the “humanity” of the two, caught in the web of moral issues of pre- and post-World War I.

Einstein (played by Dave Henderson) and Haber (played by Rob Goodale) exemplify the differences between pure and applied science, but Thiessen also uses them to explore the relationship between imagination and knowledge; between faith and nationalism; between pacifism and war. This not to be missed production of Einstein’s Gift is directed by Joan Burrows and explores what happens when society takes what one discovers or invents and does something horrible with it.

Joan Burrows notes: “In 1905, who would have thought that anything these Jewish-German men were developing would result in negative consequences? In this dramatization of their lives, Thiessen gives us a challenge in the play’s structure – Brechtian in style and very fitting given it is the story of Germany from the turn of the century to the beginning of the second world war. The play has been a “gift” to all of us who have worked on it, stretching us creatively and intellectually. We hope you enjoy the journey as much as we have!”

Supporting Dave Henderson and Rob Goodale are Brandon Moore (as Otto, one of Haber’s research assistants), Samantha Lynch (as Clara Immerwahr, a Jewish-German chemist and the first wife of fellow chemist Fritz Haber), Ainsley Ford (as Charlotta Natha, Haber’s second wife), Marcus Bruce (as various characters including Bernhard Rust, Minister of Education), Ashley Casciato (as various characters including a German soldier and a cabaret singer), Art Sinukoff (as various characters including a German general and a deacon), and Ken Marquardt (as various characters including Colonel Peterson and a Gestapo soldier).

Playwright Vern Thiessen was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and studied, both, at the Universities of Winnipeg, and of Alberta. He is a past-President of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and won the 2003 Governor General's Award for English-language Drama, for Einstein's Gift, which was first performed in 2003 at The Citadel Theater, Edmonton Alberta.

Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome Salvation Army, Richmond Hill Community Church and Friends of the East Gwillimbury Library as recipients of the Charity Night for Einstein’s Gift.