Hydriotaphia, or The Death of Dr. Browne

Hydriotaphia, or The Death of Dr. Browne
By Tony Kushner
February 3, 4, 5, 10,11,12, 2011 / 8:00 pm
Kresge Little Theater, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge  W16

Hydriotaphia, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, is a farce about wealth, engineering, desire and death. Based on the last day in the life of noted scientist, physician and writer Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682), this production is a major undertaking by MIT students, with themes that provoke thought and laughter about central issues at the Institute and beyond. Artistically, it is an unwieldy, intellectual, low comedic rant that demands the impossible.  Aspiring to the impossible is what MIT students do best.

Presented by MIT Dramashop and the MIT Theatre Arts, Hydriotaphia is directed by Professor Janet Sonenberg, Head of Music and Theater Arts at MIT.




Janet Sonenberg

Janet Sonenberg, Director of Hydriotaphia by Tony Kushner
Janet Sonenberg is Professor of Theater Arts and head of Music and Theater Arts at MIT. A stage director who has also worked in television and film, she is the author of two books, The Actor Speaks and Dreamwork for Actors, that describe a new acting technique that she has developed: that of actors stimulating and then mining their own dreams to illuminate and deepen their performance. In her work with students, she teaches classes in acting and directing, and directs student theatrical productions. Along with other faculty, she develops work with her students that is eventually produced in the professional world, most recently a play between MIT and the Royal Shakespeare Company of the UK in which her students served as dramaturges and creators. She finds particular satisfaction in working with MIT students, who learn other ways of knowing in her classes, discovering the authenticity of their own voices and developing “the courage to not know, which what doing science is about.”