And now, Frankenstein?

2013

This is the fourth year we collaborate with the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra to create a new play to be presented during the European Researcher’s Night, with the special characteristic of having a cast entirely made up of scientists.

“Sr. de Chimpanzé” (2009), “As Moscas são ratos que Voam” (2010), “Asn Ala Tyr Lys Lys Gly Glu” (2012) and “E agora, Frankenstein?” (2013) are the plays that constitute the path we have been creating where we reflect about Science, the scientists, and their relation with the work and the surrounding social medium.

In 2013 the theme for the Researcher’s Night is the FUTURE. To address that theme we chose Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” where we encounter the fabulous idea of science creating human life. Today, 200 years after, in the future, the tremendous evolution of our knowledge about the world makes us see that idea as a possibility we my experience in a not so far future. In our adaptation of the text, we departed from Shelley’s story and ended up in the future, our present, imagining what knowledge and which technologies Dr. Frankenstein would use today to breath life into a creature.

So, we follow the evolution of science along the last 200 years, from the technology used by Dr. Frankenstein until this moment when we seem to be on the verge of Shelley’s fabulous idea coming to life.

Our history tackles other subjects besides our  scientific and technologic ability to create life, like the ethical questions related to such a goal, a strong reflection upon social discrimination, and the statute of women in society. Everyone of them a subject from the present and the future.

Synopsis:

Dr. Frankenstein is just finishing a project he has been working on for years now, the creation of a human being. When the ideal conditions are met, in a stormy night, his creature, built from chunks of other bodies, comes to life. The scientist gains conscience of the ugliness of his creation, regrets of his deed and runs off. The creature, abandoned by its “dad”, faces all alone a society that discriminates it for its looks and hunts it. It hides in a small village, in the house of two sisters, but ends up mistreated and persecuted. Some years later, life goes well to Dr. Frankenstein and his fiancé Elizabeth, but family peace his broken in a stormy night by the creature, that has come to settle things with its creature, demanding him to build it a girlfriend.

Now, in a modern laboratory, Dr. Frankenstein and his new scientific partner Tuleva are working on the creation of a new creature using stem cells. The moment finally arrives when the first creature comes to claim its girlfriend, but something goes wrong…

Creative and technical team:

Discussion and ideas: Carlos Gago, Cristiana Paulo, Ermelindo Leal, Inês Almeida, Inês Violante, Isabel Nunes, Isabel Prata, Joana Cardoso, Josephine Blersch, Margarida Carneiro, Mário Montenegro, Marisa Vaz, Rui Capitão, Rui Fausto, Sandra Samúdio, Telma Pereira, Telmo, Xe Pizarro

Text: adapt from “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley and the homonym adaptation by Philip Pullman.
Translation and adaptation by Cristiana Paulo, Ermelindo Leal, Isabel Nunes, Isabel Prata, Margarida Carneiro, Mário Montenegro, Rui Reis, Sandra Samúdio, Telmo, Xe Pizarro

Cast: Cristiana Paulo, Ermelindo Leal, Inês Almeida, Inês Violante, Isabel Nunes, Isabel Prata, Josephine Blersch, Rui Fausto, Rui Reis, Sandra Samúdio, Telmo, Xe Pizarro

Direction: Mário Montenegro
Costumes and props: Joana Cardoso, Marisa Vaz
Lighting: Rui Capitão
Technical operation and assistance: João Castro Gomes
Hair: Carlos Gago
Photography: Francisca Moreira
Video: Alexandre Lemos
Executive production: Filipa Heitor (Science Museum), Mário Montenegro (marionet)

Co-production: marionet | Science Museum of the University of Coimbra

marionet is funded by:
Câmara Municipal de Coimbra

Supporters:
Fundação Bissaya Barreto, Ilídio Design, MAFIA – Federação Cultural de Coimbra,
EU Seventh Framework Programme, Marie Curie Program, Universidade de Coimbra

Acknowledgement: Rui Damasceno

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