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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester College Theater and Dance Department Presents
An Experiment with an Air Pump
February 16-18 and 22-24, 2007

St. Paul, Minn. - Macalester College Theater and Dance Department presents the drama An Experiment with an Air Pump, by British playwright Shelagh Stephenson, directed by visiting instructor, Cheryl Moore Brinkley. The play opens Fri., Feb. 16 on the Main Stage Theater of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, 1600 Grand Ave., in St. Paul, Minn.  Performances are Fri.-Sat., Feb. 16-17 and Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Sun., Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $7 general admission; $5 seniors and groups. Call (651) 696-6359 for ticket information.

Hailed by the New York Daily News as “… an impressive tapestry of complex issues,” An Experiment with an Air Pump  portrays two families living in the same house in Newcastle Upon Tyne, each struggling with the political, ethical and moral repercussions that come with scientific discovery. 

Separated by two centuries, the parallel families face similar dilemmas, both social and scientific.  Then one family makes a shocking discovery that throws the very nature of the other into question. 

The inspiration for the play comes from a 1767 painting by Joseph Wright titled "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump."

Due to language and adult themes, this play is not suitable for children.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,884 students.  Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, diversity and civic engagement.