about Galileo in America
It was a time when the FBI kept meticulous files on German war refugees in Los Angeles— people like Peter Lorre and Thomas Mann along with Brecht. A time when beloved American artists like Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, and Jerome Robbins were called on to testify about their political beliefs in front of demagogues like Senator Joseph McCarthy. A time when civil liberties were threatened by blacklists, when clowns and inquisitors shared the spotlight, and people of integrity were forced to grapple with the true cost of living up to their principles.
Not unlike today, you might say.
Created by University of California, Irvine, faculty member Antoinette LaFarge and director Robert Allen, Galileo in America is structured as a surreal epic in which these stories are twined into a single braid, bringing Galileo and his daughter Virginia face to face with the FBI agents who shadowed Brecht. It is partly inspired by German cabaret and boasts original music by composer Philip White.
In considering how we mythologize history for political ends, LaFarge and Allen draw on a great deal of historical source material, including Brecht's own journals and poems and the testimony of various witnesses before HUAC. They have also mined the records that the FBI kept on Brecht during the war years, which have become available through the Freedom of Information Act.
Galileo in America began in a workshop organized by graduates of the Columbia University Theater Program who wanted to create a piece that spoke to their reality as working artists in Hollywood as well as Americans living in doubtful times. The development process included staged readings of the work-in-progress in October 2004 at the Goethe Institute, Los Angeles, and the Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades. The project creators are grateful to all those who attended the workshops and readings and offered their insights on the project.
Performances will be Feb. 24-26 and Mar. 1-3 2012.
- Thursday, Feb. 23, 8 pm
- Friday, Feb. 24, 8 pm
- Saturday, Feb. 25, 2pm and 8 pm
- Thursday, Mar. 1, 8 pm
- Friday, Mar. 2, 8 pm
- Saturday, Mar. 3, 2pm and 8 pm
Tickets are available online through UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts box office. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for performances that are not sold out.
Galileo in America is part of "By & About Brecht," a mini festival of Brechtian theater at UC Irvine. Tickets for the two “By & About Brecht” productions (Galileo in America and Mother Courage & Her Children) are available at a discount when purchased as a package
Please check our our fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo:
For more information, please contact Robert Allen by email at email@example.com or by phone at 949-892-8098.